Browns GM Ray Farmer steals day 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft.


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First year GM Ray Farmer stole the show last night. He moved around the draft board with the stealth of a ninja. He got the most of the trade down when he got the Bills 1 and 4 in 2015 for moving down from 4 to 9. Then he gave up only a 5th to move up to 8 to get his cornerback Justin Gilbert. Gilbert is a top cover guy but I am not sure if he knows what the word “tackle” means. He is not physical but has height and speed to cover the bigger receivers in the AFC North.

Farmer moved again from 26 to the infamous pick 22 (two former Browns QB failed being drafted at that pick) to get QB Johnny Manziel. He gave up a 3rd to get that pick and the move was necessary because there were other teams reportedly after Johnny Football. He is not my first choice at QB because I see him as a risky player. There is significant chance that he will fail because of his lack of size and style of play. I did tweet that Johnny Football will become Johnny Flatball unless the Browns fix the right side of the O line. The team has plenty of picks to get help there.

Manziel has to develop into a more of a pocket passer to succeed. I am not sure he can do that. He also has to stay healthy. Given the tough defenses in the AFC North, that will be the bigger challenge.

The bottom line on the Browns round 1 draft is this. If Manziel does not work out, Farmer hedged his bet with the extra picks from the Bills in next years draft. Bryan Hoyer is the fall back position at QB. But he too is not thick and needs to be protected.

Biggest value of round 1 – Rams taking DT Aaron Donald with the 13th pick. Donald was 5th on my board. He is a perfect 3 technique guy that will provide inside pass rush for an already lethal D line.

Biggest reach of round 1 – The 3rd worst reach was QB Blake Bortles taken at 3 by the Jags. He is at least a year away and would have been available much later. They should have moved down to get extra picks. That pick is an explanation of why the Jags are always at the top of the draft.

The 2nd biggest reach was by the Dolphins taking OT JaWuan James. James was a mid 3rd round value on my board.

But by far the biggest reach was the Cards taking SS Deone Bucannon at 27. I had him as a late 3rd round value.

Biggest risk of round 1 – The Patriots took DL Dominique Easley at 29. Easley is an outstanding talent but has an injury history that includes 2 ACL surgeries. If he can avoid more injuries he will be a good addition but the odds are against that.

GOOD NEWS: At least I don’t have to burn my leather Browns jacket because they did not take Derek Carr with the 4th pick.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.

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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

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Browns GM Ray Farmer steals day 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft. by

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