Friday, April 25, 2008

Ryan and Kevin’s Draft Report, Day Two Special

Some would think that with the Browns trading away there first three picks, we may take the year off, skip the draft report, and just enjoy the changing of the weather, the start of the Indians season, and watching LeBron dominate the playoffs. However, we thought about you, our readers, and how little you have to look forward to in life outside of this report. So for your sake and sanity, we decided to create a day two draft report that focuses on players who will be available on day two of the draft and will be on the Browns radar. Please feel free to email comments (positive only) to, and you can always find a copy and leave comments on

Ryan and I enjoyed a great NFL season, especially for the Browns. All of the talent we have drafted in recent years finally played to its potential, and we found a signal caller to make it all work in Derek Anderson. The Browns are now the hot pick in the NFL to be the next great team. With our exciting offense, the NFL has awarded us 5 primetime games. I, for one, am a little disappointed in the scheduling. I am a simple man who likes simple things. I like my beer cold, my morning paper on the hopper, and my Browns on Sunday. What does one do on Sunday in the fall and winter when there are no Browns to watch? Exercise…no, read a book…no, watch the Patriots….hell no. However, it is tough to complain that the Browns are now a team showing a lot of promise, and a team that has played itself into the national spotlight. With the talent they had last year, and the addition of two very good defensive linemen in Shaun Rodgers, and Corey Williams, along with adding WR Donte Stallworth and OL Rex Hadnot to our already potent offense, the Browns will be fun to watch. Hopefully, the brewing QB controversy will work itself out, and will not distract a team that is playing well together. If it all comes together as planned, we will be writing about who the Browns will be taking with the 32nd pick in next year’s draft. Go Browns.

This year’s draft report is dedicated to Eddie “The Assassin” Johnson, Eric Turner, and Gib Shanley…the voice of the Cleveland Browns for so many years.

Kevin’s First Round
*This does not include trades. There is a very good chance Baltimore trades back into the first round, possibly with KC at 17 to take QB Chad Henne. NE will undoubtedly try to move down to get Rivers later. Dallas will probably dangle one of their two first rounders to a team that is looking for a QB at the end of round 1.

1st Round
# Team Player POS School
1 Miami Jake Long OT Michigan
2 St. Louis Glenn Dorsey DT LSU
3 Atlanta Matt Ryan QB BC
4 Oakland Chris Long DE Virginia
5 Kansas City Vernon Gholston DE OSU
6 New York Jets Darren McFadden RB Arkansas
7 New England (from San Francisco) Keith Rivers LB USC
8 Baltimore Leodis McKelvin CB Troy
9 Cincinnati Sedrick Ellis DT USC
10 New Orleans Dominique Rodgers Cromartie CB Tenn St.
11 Buffalo Devin Thomas WR Mich St
12 Denver Ryan Clady OT Boise St
13 Carolina Branden Albert OG Virginia
14 Chicago Reshard Mendenhall RB Illinois
15 Detroit Derrick Harvey DE Florida
16 Arizona Jeff Otah OT Pitt
17 Kansas City (from Minn) Chris Williams OT Vanderbilt
18 Houston Mike Jenkins CB S. Florida
19 Philadelphia James Hardy WR Indiana
20 Tampa Bay DeSean Jackson WR CAL
21 Washington Limas Sweed WR Texas
22 Dallas (from Cleveland) Jonathon Stewart RB Oregon
23 Pittsburgh Gosder Cherilus OT BC
24 Tennessee Jerod Mayo LB Tennesee
25 Seattle Calais Campbell DE The U
26 Jacksonville Kentwan Balmer DE UNC
27 San Diego Kenny Phillips S Miami
28 Dallas Mario Manningham WR Michigan
29 San Francisco (from Indianapolis) Phillip Merling DE Clemson
30 Green Bay Antoine Cason CB Arizona
x New England (pick forfeited) CHEATERS Never Win
31 New York Giants Tyrelle Johnson S Arkansas St.


1. Miami Dolphins - OLT Jake Long, Michigan
2. St. Louis Rams - DE Chris Long, Virginia
3. Atlanta Falcons - DT Glenn Dorsey, LSU
4. Oakland Raiders - DE Vernon Gholston, Ohio State
5. Kansas City Chiefs - DE Derrick Harvey, Florida
6. New York Jets - RB Darren McFadden, Arkansas
7. New England Patriots (from San Francisco) - CB Leodis McKelvin, Troy
8. Baltimore Ravens - QB Matt Ryan, Boston College
9. Cincinnati Bengals - DT Sedrick Ellis, USC
10. New Orleans - CB Mike Jenkins, South Florida
11. Buffalo Bills - LB Keith Rivers, USC
12. Denver Broncos - OT Ryan Clady, Boise State
13. Carolina Panthers - OT Branden Albert, Virginia
14. Chicago Bears - OT Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh
15. Detroit Lions - RB Jonathan Stewart, Oregon
16. Arizona Cardinals - CB Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie
17. Kansas City Chiefs - WR Devin Thomas, Michigan State
18. Houston Texans - OT Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
19. Philadelphia Eagles - OT Gosder Cherilus, Boston College
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - RB Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois
21. Washington Redskins - DE Phillip Merling, Clemson
22. Dallas Cowboys (from Cleveland) - RB Felix Jones, Arkansas
23. Pittsburgh Steelers - DT Kentwan Balmer, North Carolina
24. Tennessee Titans - OT Sam Baker, USC
25. Seattle Seahawks – WR Limas Sweed, Texas
26. Jacksonville Jaguars - LB Jerod Mayo, Tennessee
27. San Diego Chargers - S Kenny Phillips, Miami (Fla.)
28. Dallas Cowboys - WR DeSean Jackson, California
29. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis) – CB Aqib Talib, Kansas
30. Green Bay Packers – WR James Hardy, Indiana
- New England Patriots - Pick forfeited for cheating.

31. New York Giants - CB Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech

QB…The Browns Situation:

One of the classic battles of all time…. Good vs Evil, Seinfeld vs. Newman, Notorious BIG vs. Tupac, Heidi vs. LC, and now Derek Anderson vs. Brady Quinn. In Cleveland, everybody is taking sides on this one, and most of the fan base seems to be falling on the side of Brady Quinn. It’s amazing that a player with so much success (DA), leading a 4 win team to a 10-6 record, and in many NFL circles…leading the next great team to watch, is still less popular in Cleveland than former bust Quartebacks Tim Couch, Charlie Frye, and Kelly Holcomb. It is hard to pinpoint why the first Browns QB to go to a pro bowl since the beloved Bernie Kosar 20 years ago is less popular than Dave Couliet (Uncle Joey), but his inconsistency and the presence of Brady Quinn in town are two big reasons. It’s funny, even as we kept winning games last year I just kept saying, I’m not sold on Derek Anderson. Maybe it’s because Braylon, Kellen, and Joe J made circus catches all over the field for him. After all, DA would just throw the ball up for grabs, and those guys would go get it. Is that lucky, or just having confidence and a good repoire with your receivers? What I do know is that those same sentiments I have are widespread throughout the shores of Lake Erie, along with raw sewage and syringes. So when the Browns resigned DA, Phil Savage had to go into hiding for resigning a pro bowler. Without even starting a game, Browns fans and advertisers apparently are convinced that Brady Quinn is the next great thing. He is the only backup with a top 5 selling jersey in the league. He showed a lot of promise in camp (which he was late for) and in practice, and against the lowly SF 49ers late in the year. With such little experience, and with a very capable 10 win quarterback on the roster, it is amazing that everyone is ready to turn over the reins to Brady. Maybe, just maybe… is it because he is a local boy? Charlie Frye was a local boy too. Now I’m not saying Brady Quinn will be the next Charlie Frye, he is a much better player with a much better arm. But I will just warn Cleveland fans to peel away the hometown blinders and enjoy the situation we have…two good NFL quarterbacks. It’s been so long since we had one. Let’s just enjoy it.
PS: Phil, if you read this, Kansas City needs a Quarterback and has 6 picks in the first two rounds….I’m just saying.

Matt Ryan BC 6’5’’ 225 4.89 1
Chad Henne Michigan 6’3’’ 230 4.92 2
Brian Brohm Louisville 6’3’’ 230 4.81 2
Joe Flacco Deleware 6’7” 237 4.84 2
Andre Woodson Kentucky 6’4’’ 229 4.85 2-3
John-David Booty USC 6’3’’ 218 4.85 3
Josh Johnson San Diego 6’3’’ 213 4.51 3
Colt Brennan Hawaii 6’3’’ 207 4.79 4
Erik Ainge Tennessee 6’6’’ 225 4.98 4-5
Kevin O’Connell SD State 6’5’’ 225 4.61 5
Denis Dixon Oregon 6’3’’ 195 4.5 5-6
Bernard Morris Marshall 6’3’’ 223 4.68 6-7
Matt Flynn LSU 6’2’’ 230 4.79 7
Kyle Wright Miami 6’4’’ 220 4.85 7

Players of interest to the Browns at QB:

Josh Johnson San Diego 6’3’’ 213 4.5 3-4
Josh Johnson is being touted as a Michael Vick clone with his speed, athleticism, and strong arm. Luckily for the NFL team that drafts him, and the entire dog population of the city he ends up in, Johnson is more of a cat person. Johnson led the nation in many offensive categories including Passing Efficiency, Total Offense, and Points accountable for, and finished his career at San Diego as the all time NCAA pass efficiency leader. He had multiple 400+ yard games including one against the Bulldogs of Yale (Although stats against Ivy league football players shouldn’t count).His senior year, he totaled 2,993 yards passing, almost 800 in rushing, had 43 touchdown passes, only 5 interceptions, and completed nearly 69% of his passes. He ended his career as a Torero with a 30-4 record and almost 12,000 yards in total offense and had a Td/Int ratio of 113/15. In comparison, the consensus number one QB in this class Matt Ryan had just over 9,000 yards, completed around 55% of his passes, and his TD/Int ratio was a pedestrian 56/37. Johnson is a raw athlete who has not faced the top competition, but with comparisons to Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick, and Vince Young, he could be one of college footballs best kept secrets, and with his size(6’5’’), speed (4.5), combo, and that pinpoint accuracy, he could be one of the NFL’s best soon.

Bernard Morris Marshall 6’3’’ 223 4.68 6-7
Bernard Morris is a good football player. He has cruised up draft boards after stellar performances at both the Hula Bowl and the East West Shrine game. His athleticism at 6’3’’ is impressive and he has the arm and physical strength to match (18 reps). The real question about Morris comes off the field. He was arrested in 2004 for assault and battery during a bar fight. Now I understand Huntington West Virginia is a slow town and mixing it up is every college student’s right. However, in this case, Morris allegedly hit a pregnant woman with a beer bottle and accepted a one year probation sentence. I don’t have it all figured out. However, there are a few simple rules in this life I always follow. Don’t eat yellow snow, never order shark at a restaurant, don’t mix beer and wine, and never, ever hit a woman, especially one who is with child. And if you plan on hitting a pregnant least be a man about it and put the beer bottle down. I am sure Morris is sorry, and he has been clean since, but that’s a pretty big red flag and will be an issue before a team drafts him.

Kyle Wright Miami 6’4’’ 220 4.85 7
Kyle Wright is a quarterback from the University of Miami with a weak arm. The Browns already have that guy in the form of Ken Dorsey. Wright came into Miami as the top rated high school recruit, was called a “once in a lifetime player” in a time when the Hurricanes were perennial National Championship contenders. Under the lead of Wright, the Hurricanes got progressively worse and are now mired in mediocrity. Surprisingly, even with a very poor college career and noodle arm, his size, athleticism, and smarts is good enough that he is considered a draft prospect. It just goes to show that you can wrap poop in a Hurricanes jersey (# 2), and there’s a good chance someone will draft it. All joking aside, Wright is a very intelligent quarter back with decent skills and will be a good clipboard holder in the NFL. Life could be worse. You could be the pregnant chick Bernard Morris hit.

Colt Brennan Hawaii 6’3’’ 207 4.79 4
Colt Brennan put up single season numbers that most college QB’s would drool over for there career stats. In just two season for Hawaii, Colt Brennan is the owner of 21 college records. As one of the most accurate passers in the history of college football, Brennan completed 70% of his passes, had 14,000 yards, and had 131 touchdowns and 42 interceptions in 38 starts. With his mobility, he also tacked on another 3,000 yards for a total of 17,000 yards in his career. Many will say he is a product of the June Jones system…the same that produced Tommy Chang, but there has to be some talent behind those numbers. Brennan started his career at Colorado, but was arrested after he snuck into a girl’s room, gave his best Dirk Diggler (you may know him from his hit power ballad, “You’ve got the touch”) impression, exposed himself, and fondled the young college co-ed. He was kicked out of Colorado, and luckily for Colt the Hawaiians are forgiving people and welcomed him to their program. It is unclear whether or not Colt will have to go house to house to proclaim himself a sexual deviant in his new NFL city. Look for a coach (who does not have a daughter) to take a chance on Colt in the 4th or 5th round.

Colt Brennan at Boulder

Mark Nicolet Hillsdale 6’2” 220 4.85 6-7
Mark Nicolet was a little school All American at Hillsdale (Michigan), not to be confused with Cliff Huxtable’s alma mater Hillman. Not only was Nicolet a star on the field, he was a deans list student majoring in Financial Management. Which is a little more impressive than physical therapy or general education. On the field, he led Hillsdale to an 8-3 season breaking over 7 GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference…I had to look that up) records and being that conferences player of the year with over 3,400 yards this season. His post season has been impressive, where he was the Cactus Bowl MVP (Division II all star game), and he has moved himself into a spot to be drafted.

Running Back…The Browns Situation:

A year ago at this time, we were all wondering what it would feel like to see Jamal Lewis in brown and orange. Would we cheer for him? Would we embrace him as our own? Would he run for 295 yards every practice against our first team D? Sure, Orpheus Roye had come from the Steelers and Eric Steinbach was coming from the Bengals, but this was different. This was the Ravens, and this was the man who had come to symbolize the thug-life Ravens regime, the one Browns fans loved to hate. But when Jamal took a handoff and rumbled 66 yards for a touchdown against the Bengals in Week 2, all those questions were emphatically answered. The cheers resonated through Cleveland Browns Stadium, and he may as well have been my cousin Jamal from then on out. Jamal provided the smash-mouth runner the Browns have been looking for and was also a home-run threat from everywhere on the field. Lewis finished the season with over 1,300 yards and his game-capping, tackle breaking run to glory against the Jets was the most exciting Browns run since “Run William Run” against the Falcons in 2002. Lewis was re-signed to a three year contract in the off-season. Jason Wright has been a solid backup and could be counted on to pop a 25 yard gain on a draw or shovel pass about every third game. Wright is not a long-term answer, but is a dependable number two back for now. Jerome “the Ghost” Harrison has earned his nickname over the last few years, as despite a barrel full of promise, he has disappeared on game day. Word is he was prone to some breakdowns in pass protection, and he had a little bit of fumble-itis early on, but since Romeo has forced him to carry a football everywhere he goes à la Darnell Jefferson, those problems should be behind him this year. He’s also dating Halle Berry, and keeps his report card in his helmet.

Top Prospects
1. Darren McFadden, Arkansas (6’1, 211, 4.33)
2. Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois (5’10, 225, 4.41)
3. Jonathan Stewart, Oregon (5’10, 235, 4.46)
4. Felix “El Gato” Jones, Arkansas (5’10, 207, 4.44)
5. Jamaal Charles, Texas (5’11, 200, 4.38)

Players of interest to the Browns at RB:

1. Kevin Smith, Central Florida (6’1, 217, 4.53): Smith is a big strong back with surprising quickness. In a draft that is very deep at the running back position, Smith’s stock has fallen because of a mediocre 40 yard dash. In fact, while his stock was once at the level of Clerks and Chasing Amy Kevin Smith, it has fallen slightly into Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Kevin Smith (though still a ways away from the Kevin Smith who showed up in Catch and Release...look it up). Mallrats or Dogma, Kevin Smith is productive. In his junior year, he ran for 2,567 yards and 29 touchdowns.

2. Steve Slaton, West Virginia (5’9, 197, 4.45): Slaton decided to enter the NFL draft after his junior year. His camp will tell you that Slaton left mostly because Coach Rich Rodriguez departed for Michigan. But with freshman Noel Devine taking carries away from Slaton last year, Slaton may have seen his stock falling rather than rising if he stayed another year. Slaton was set to go to the University of Maryland out of high school, but his scholarship was rescinded after high school graduation, marking Maryland’s worst decision since staying sympathetic to the Confederate Army in the Civil War. Slaton is a speed guy who will immediately help in the return game. As with any small, quick running back/return guy who has come along in the last twenty years, many compare Slaton to Dave Meggett.

3. Mike Hart, Michigan (5’9, 206, 4.69): Mike Hart came to Michigan fresh off a decorated high school career on an Indian Reservation in Syracuse, New York. Hart rushed for 58 touchdowns during his senior year in high school, breaking the record previously shared by these guys:

Hart had a productive career at Michigan. Nagging injuries have hurt his draft value, as Hart missed time during both his sophomore and senior seasons. Hart went over 1,000 carries between fumbles during college, but then inexplicably had two key fumbles in his final college game against Florida. Hart may get overlooked because he’s not flashy and has been around seemingly, but he may represent outstanding value for a team in Round 3 or 4.

4. Thomas Brown, Georgia (5’9, 204, 4.42): Brown lacks ideal height and bulk to be a front line starter, but he had a highly productive career at Georgia, finishing fifth on the University’s all time rushing list. (Note: This list is topped by one of Herschel Walker’s personalities. His other personalities also rank #7 and #9 on the all-time list). The major questions on Brown are durability, as he missed time during each of his years at Georgia with various ailments, including a serious knee injury that caused him to miss most of his senior year.

5. Chauncey Washington, USC (6’0, 215, 4.35): Washington is no doubt an extraordinarily talented back, but he comes with a couple of rather large red flags. Sadly for readers of the draft report, the results of the Wonderlic test are now kept tightly under wraps, leaving us unable to satisfy our readers’ thirst to find one thing that they do better than the prospects we are writing about. However, we feel confident awarding this year’s Roderick Green Memorial Award to Washington, who was forced to sit out not one but two seasons due to “academic issues.” Now USC is a fine academic institution (though it is no Stansbury), but after hearing that Matt Leinart took Ballroom Dancing during his final year, any team drafting a guy who couldn’t meet the minimum grade requirements in these types of classes will have to wonder exactly what they are getting. That said, Washington turned in a 4.35 at his Pro Day Workout, so it probably won’t matter.

Outlook: The Browns are pretty well set at the running back position. However, there are a number of talented backs who could fall into the fourth and fifth round area, representing great value. The Browns may have to think seriously about taking one of these backs with an eye on the future.

Wide Receiver…The Browns Situation:

Browns fans have finally embraced Braylon Edwards. All it took was a season in which he shattered Browns records for receiving yards and touchdowns in a single season (with almost 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns), started in the Pro Bowl, donated over one million dollars to help students in Cleveland’s ailing public schools and personally paid for the funeral of a young fan he met through the Make A Wish Foundation. What really clinched it for most fans, though, was that Braylon was seen on the sideline during a game doing the O-H-I-O chant as Hang On Sloopy played. The Ohio State apologists remain ready to turn on Braylon the minute he drops a catchable pass (“Anthony Gonzalez makes that catch!”) or makes some noise about his contract (if Braylon had made the same comments that KII made this off-season, he would be crucified). Joe Jurevicius remained a dependable part of the offense with 50 catches and 3 touchdowns. After the season, Jurevicius did something that happens about as often as Britney Spears wears panties. He went to the Browns and requested they bring in someone else to fill the #2 hole (you guys are gross). The wear and tear on his body was too much, and he told the Browns he plans to retire after next year, presumably to open a bowling alley in Mentor. Enter Donte Stallworth from the Patriots. The Browns signed the mercurial wide receiver to a seven year deal. Stallworth played in the shadow of Randy Moss last season in New England, but will start opposite Braylon Edwards and allow Jurevicius to slide into the #3 hole (seriously, you’re disgusting). Most importantly, we should never be subjected to seeing Tim Carter in on an important down again for the Browns. Carter came in a trade from the Giants for Ruben Droughns, which was like the trade of a fruit cup for a box of raisins in an elementary school cafeteria...neither side was happy about it. The Browns don’t want to give Josh Cribbs too much to do, as being the top special teams player in the league and hosting Josh’s Cribbs on Fox Sports Ohio is a pretty full plate, but Cribbs will continue to develop in that 4th receiver role and be prepared to move into Jurevicius’ role after next year.

Top 5 Prospects
1. DeSean Jackson, Cal (6’0, 175, 4.35)
2. Devin Thomas, Michigan State (6’2, 215, 4.40)
3. Limas Sweed, Texas (6’4, 215, 4.48)
4. Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma (6’4, 224, 4.58)
5. James Hardy, Indiana (6’6, 217, 4.45)

Players of interest to the Browns at WR:

1. Eddie Royal, Virginia Tech (5’10, 184, 4.39): Royal established himself as the premier punt returner in the ACC during his tenure at Virginia Tech. Royal also showed great strength, setting the school bench press record for someone in his weight class by benching 390 pounds. His nickname is Mr. Perfect due to his uncanny resemblance to the late Curt Henning. During his career, Royal scored touchdowns on receptions, rushes, passes and returns. This guy came up with more ways to score than the Kama Sutra.

Separated at Birth?

2. Donnie Avery, Houston (5’11, 192, 4.29): Avery is blessed with incredible speed. During his senior season, Avery made 91 catches for 1,500 yards and seven touchdowns. He finished third all time in total yards amassed in Conference USA, a list topped by Arnold Jackson (Mr. Drummond was fifth, Willis was disqualified after he held up the student union at gunpoint, and Dudley had to stop playing after his encounter with the man at the bike shop). His individual workout produced a 6.30 3 cone drill, which may mean nothing until you consider that only one other receiver ran under a 6.80. His change of direction and “suddenness” skills are as good as anyone in the draft. If Avery were three inches taller, he’d be considered an elite prospect in this draft.

3. Dexter Jackson, Appalachian State (5’10, 182, 4.27): Jackson catapulted into the national spotlight (and onto the cover of Sports Illustrated) when Appalachian State went into the Big House and knocked off Michigan at the beginning of the college football season, marking the biggest upset at Michigan since Sigma Chi beat Phil Delta Theta in the 1995 Mud Bowl. Jackson ran a blistering 4.27 40 yard dash at the Combine, which may make him the fastest player in the draft. However, only (only?!?!?) a 30.5 inch vertical for a guy who is 5’9 may hurt his prospects as a receiver. No one questions his ability to step right in and help immediately in the return game.

4. Paul Hubbard, Wisconsin (6’3, 221, 4.49): I have no idea if Paul Hubbard is in any way related to former Cav legend and Mayfield Heights resident Phil Hubbard, but I’m just going to assume he is. Hubbs, as I’ve begun to call him, lost some draft value at the Combine. After training with his godfather, Dinner Bell Mel Turpin, Hubbard ran slower than expected, turning in a 4.49 40. Turp the Burb was jettisoned after the Combine, and a series of grueling workouts (and French lessons) with Ben Poquette got Hubbard down to a 4.38 40 yard dash time during his Pro Day. Hubbard stands 6’3 with a 40 inch vertical leap, which will make him an effective red zone target at the next level.

5. Arman Shields, Richmond (6’1, 194, 4.37): Like many of the receivers in this year’s draft, Shields had what scouts call a “Wow Combine.” However, coming off a knee injury and coming from a school known more for producing guys who wear shirts with their collars popped than guys who make it in the NFL, this was even more important for Shields. Shields posted a 4.37 40 yard dash with 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and a 37.5 inch vertical leap. With his Combine performance, Shields separated himself from other small school prospects at the Wide Receiver position.

Outlook: The Browns appear to be in good shape at the Wide Receiver position. You can pencil in Stallworth, Edwards and Jurevicius as the starters, with help coming from Cribbs. Phil Savage is not ready to give up on Syndric Steptoe or Travis Wilson as the fifth Wide Receiver, and Steve Sanders will compete for the fifth receiver spot if he can take time away from the KEG House to get some training in. Phil Savage has said on the record that the Browns will not draft a wide receiver in this year’s draft. However, as our old pal Fitzie from South Boston might say, “ya nevuh no.”

Tight End…The Browns Situation:

Laugh all you want at him, but if Kellen Winslow really were a soldier, wouldn’t you want him in your platoon? Winslow followed up his outstanding 2006 season with an even more dominant 2007 campaign. Despite being plagued by a bum knee and a separated shoulder, Winslow gained over 1,100 yards receiving and was the player on the Browns other defenses had to plan to stop, opening things on the outside for Braylon Edwards. Some of the catches Winslow made were downright spectacular, including what should have been the game-winner in Arizona (Winslow was “forced out” like he was Jim McGreevey...hi oh, that’s for all the political readers in the audience). Winslow simply went up and “out-wanted” two defensive backs for the ball. Winslow also has the intense, sometimes maniacal, desire to win, and honestly, if we needed a sack on one play, Kam Wimbley is probably the only player on the Browns defense I’d choose over Winslow. The Browns other tight ends play their roles well. Rob Chudzinski’s offensive playbook did not include the patented Steve Heiden two yard catch on third and one, but the savvy veteran provided excellent pass protection, and used his gravity defying white man flat-top to distract mesmerized defenders. Darnell “Rinky” Dinkins is a devastating drive blocker. Sure, he may have had only one more catch than you or I did last year, but he was also a key contributor on special teams, forcing a big fumble on a punt return against Baltimore.

Top 5 Prospects
1. Martellus Bennett, Texas A&M (6’6, 259, 4.68)
2. Dustin Keller, Purdue (6’2, 242, 4.53)
3. Fred Davis, USC (6’3, 255, 4.76)
4. Brad Cottam, Tennessee (6’8, 270, 4.63)
5. John Carlson, Notre Dame (6’5, 251, 4.88)

Players of interest to the Browns at TE:

1. Jermichael Finley, Texas (6’5, 243, 4.82): Finley’s parents were of course huge fans of the Jackson 5. They just couldn’t figure out who they liked the most, Michael or Jermaine. They decided to hedge their bets and go with Jermichael, which was better than the alternative, Janito. Finley was a surprise entry into the draft after his redshirt sophomore year. With one kid already at home and another on the way, Finley decided the time was right. Finley is an outstanding athlete, having been offered a dual football and basketball scholarship to Arizona. However, his athleticism didn’t translate at the Combine (4.82 in the 40 yard dash). As a blocker, Finley is about as effective as the condoms he’s been using. One scout compares him to Randy McMichael, which can’t be a good sign for the mother of his kids...

2. Kellen Davis, Michigan State (6’7, 262, 4.59): Davis went both ways in college (college is a time for experimentation, after all), which either showed his versatility and athleticism, or prepared him for a career in the Arena Football League. Davis has great size and speed, and was regarded more as an athlete than a football player until his senior season and post-season workout. His 22 bench press reps at the Combine show good strength, but Davis needs to become a more willing blocker in order to make himself into a total package.

3. Martin Rucker, Missouri (6’5, 251, 4.75): Rucker is known as “T” to his friends, and Mr. T. to everyone else. Rucker had an outstanding senior season at Missouri, notching 84 catches for 834 yards and 8 touchdowns to help Missouri to a surprisingly strong season. Rucker was a Mackey Award finalist. If the draft were held directly after the season, Rucker may have been a second round pick. However, his stock dropped dramatically after a sub-par Senior Bowl and a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined at the Combine. Rucker is a good athlete who will help in the passing game, particularly in an H-Back-style system. He pities the poor fool who doesn’t draft him.

4. Jacob Tamme, Kentucky (6’4, 236, 4.58): Tamme graduated from the University of Kentucky in THREE SEMESTERS. Not sure if that says more about Tamme or the University of Kentucky, but it is impressive either way. Here’s a picture of Tamme in his UK dorm room.

Tamme was a receiver in high school, and brought his considerable receiving talent to Kentucky, finishing his career with 133 catches for over 1400 yards and 11 touchdowns, and garnering all SEC recognition in each of his final two years. Tamme was a finalist for the Danny Wuerffel Awards, which is apparently given out at an awards ceremony put on by Wuerffel himself in his parents rec room once a year so that people remember who he is.

5. Joey Haynos, Maryland (6’8, 259, 4.87): I’m going to be honest. I was struggling to find a fifth tight end to list here. But ultimately the decision came down to this: How many draft prospects are digging for nose gold in their official draft prospect picture? Like many tight ends, Haynos was a good basketball player in high school, but realized the opportunity for a 6’8 white guy is much better as a tight end than as a power forward. Haynos turned down small school hoops scholarship offers to walk on to the Maryland football team, and while at Maryland added 50 pounds of muscle. Haynos brings his basketball skills to the football field and has the ability to “box out” defenders to make short catches in traffic. Haynos has the opportunity to be the next Steve Heiden on third and two. If he grows a flattop, I’ll buy his jersey.

Don’t tell me that’s just a scratch!

Outlook: Though they play their roles well, Steve Heiden and Darnell Dinkins are limited in what they bring to the table. The Browns are in talks to extend Kellen Winslow’s contract well into the future. However, given that Winslow gets beat up more than a ten year old redhead with glasses, it makes sense to start developing someone else. The Browns brought Jermichael Finley into town ten days before the draft, and could consider him if he is still around when they pick in the 4th.

Offensive Tackle…The Browns Situation:

In last year’s draft report, we said “the time to upgrade the depth and talent along the offensive line is now.” In fact, Browns fans have been saying that since the days of Dan Fike. Last year, the Browns finally listened to us, proving again that if the Browns would just hire us, the lakefront will soon be littered with Vince Lombardi trophies, rather than being littered with...well...litter. (OK, so maybe Ryan thought Kevin Bentley was going to be a stud and Kevin suggested Travis Wilson had the best hands of any wide receiver in the 2006 draft...whatever). The Browns chose Joe Thomas with the #3 pick in the draft a year ago. Thomas received the call while on a fishing trip in Wisconsin, making this the most important fishing trip since Ahab went after the Great White Whale (see, it’s not just about the draft here at draft report headquarters...we read books occasionally). Not only did Thomas start from day one, anchor the Browns line and end up as the first Browns offensive linemen in 20 years to go to the Pro Bowl, but he also created a domino effect along the offensive line. Cousin Kevin Shaffer was switched over to his familiar right tackle position and performed well. He is even welcome back at the family reunion for now. Ryan Tucker received his “SANE” stamp and flew out of the cuckoo’s nest just in time to be suspended the first four games under the NFL’s substance abuse policy. When Tucker returned, he provided important depth along the offensive line and started the second half of the season at right guard after Seth McKinney was placed on injured reserve. The Browns gave up 5 sacks in the first quarter and a half of the first game of the season. For the next fifteen and half games, the offensive line gave up a total of 14 sacks. The Browns offseason moves make Tucker’s likely position a little unclear going into the 2008 season. He may continue as the starting right guard, where he proved a punishing drive blocker, or he may compete with Shaffer for the starting right tackle position. Either way, offensive tackle has transformed from a perennial weakness into one of the strengths of this Browns team. Nat Dorsey continues to provide additional depth and remains my favorite person named Nat who does not own the Peach Pit.

Top 5 Prospects
1. Jake Long, Michigan (6’7, 325, 5.35)
2. Ryan Clady, Boise State (6’6, 319, 4.90)
3. Chris Williams, Vandy (6’6, 320, 5.25)
4. Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh (6’7, 338, 5.35)
5. Sam Baker, USC (6’5, 308, 5.20)

Players of interest to the Browns at OT:

1. King Dunlap, Auburn (6’9, 309, 5.06): At the beginning of this year, King Dunlap was expected to make a strong move into becoming an elite tackle prospect. He was a pre-season All-American and All SEC selection. The hype was there and ready to go, but the performance simply was not. Coaches and scouts kept giving him chance after chance because they really wanted him to be good, like watching a hyped movie over and over again, waiting for it to get funny (I’m looking at you, The Simpsons Movie). Dunlap is a pretty good athlete, as evidenced by his 5.06 time in the 40. However, only 20 reps of 225 pound bench press is a cause for concern.

2. Brandon Keith, Northern Iowa (6’5, 343, 5.16): Keith was overlooked by the presence of All-American Chad Rinehart on the other side of the offensive line, but scouts like the potential of this behemoth, who bench pressed 31 reps of 225 at the Combine. Keith originally signed with Oklahoma, but quit multiple times during August practice, eventually transferring to junior college and then to UNI. Keith was recently arrested for rioting outside of an Events Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa. That’s what happens when you are 343, I guess. If you or I are making noise outside of an events center in Cedar Falls, Iowa (and we will), we may be charged with disorderly conduct or assault. But when you’re 343, it turns into a full scale riot.

3. Barry Richardson, Clemson (6’7, 320, 5.45): Barry Richardson sounds like he should be your accountant, not a 320 pound brute who can physically engulf opponents the way this guy engulfs cheeseburgers:

(Ed. Note: I realize you expected a different picture, but the enormous guy who is usually pictured with the enormous cheeseburger was actually swallowed whole by this little fella. RIP, cheeseburger guy).

Richardson is big and strong, but he lacks the quickness to keep up with the speed rushers he will certainly find in the NFL. This knocked him down in the rankings. However, some team may consider Richardson at guard and he could be a strong mid-round prospect.

4. John Greco, Toledo (6’5, 305, 5.29): Greco enrolled at Toledo after a standout career at Boardman High School, the alma mater of one Bernard J. Kosar. Toledo had an explosive offense, and Greco, a two-year captain and four year starter for the Rockets, helped lead the way. Greco inevitably draws comparisons to former Rocket lineman Nick Kaczur, now with the New England Patriots. Would it be surprising to see the Patriots jump on a guy like Greco early on Day 2? Not as surprising as finding out that Teddy Bruschi likes Kaczur to pee on him before Super Bowls to get fired up.

5. Geoff Schwartz, Oregon, (6’6, 332, 5.45): In honor of passover, our next offensive tackle prospect is Geoff Schwartz of Oregon. Simply by virtue of being listed in the Draft Report, Schwartz immediately moves into the list of greatest Jewish athletes of all time. With Scott Schoenweis being named in the Mitchell Report last fall, we’ve suddenly got an opening at step aside former 49er tight end John Frank.

OUTLOOK: The Browns are in good shape at the offensive tackle position (pause to see if I can actually feel hell freezing over). With Thomas, Shaffer and Tucker able to start and Nat Dorsey and Lennie Friedman in reserve, the Browns needs are not at the offensive tackle position. But Phil Savage has a keen eye for offensive line prospects on the second day of the draft, so the guys listed or many others could be in line to become the next Jon Dunn or Andrew Hoffman...just kidding, love ya Phil!

Offensive Guard/Center…The Browns Situation:

After years of neglect, the Browns finally made the offensive line a priority last year. Gone are the days of blocking with guys like Lewis Dawson, Enoch Demar, Brad Bedell, and Barry Stokes. The results have been overwhelming, as Browns fans are finally able to watch our receivers run a route that doesn’t begin with “HOT,” and 3rd and 1 became a down and distance the Browns were happy about. The world hasn’t seen a transformation like this since David Carradine went from Louis Skolnick in Revenge of the Nerds I, Tri Lamb at Adams College and vice president of the Greek Council, to the sheik, cool “Lew” in Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation. One would think that with such a solid season running and passing behind that line, and with the return of Ryan Tucker starting at right guard and Eric Steinbach starting at left guard, the Browns would address other needs. However, the Browns were busy this off season adding depth along the line. It’s sort of the Hugh Heffner line of thinking…why settle for two blond bombshell playmate wives when you can have three. I guess you figure you never know when someone will go down with a knee injury (late nights at the Grotto can be dangerous). They signed a solid starting guard from Houston, Rex Hadnot, who will challenge Tucker for a starting role, and resigned both Seth McKinney and Lennie Friedman (mazel), both of whom have been very solid when they saw duty in the past. Not to mention the intriguing possibility of LeCharles Bentley making a miraculous comeback. Now there is little chance that he can regain the form that made him the prize free agent signing a few years back, but if he is healthy, our offensive line will be deeper than Paris Hilton’s… bank account ( I know where you think I was going with that and I’m disgusted that you would even think that..)

At center, Hank Fraley and his belly return for another year at center where he has been very solid. After trading away Jeff Faine for a draft pick that landed us D’Qwell Jackson, the Browns center carousel went through more drama than a bad episode of Gossip Girl ( oh wait, there has been no bad episode of Gossip Girl or GG to those in the know). By signing Hank Fraley a year ago, the Browns solidified the position by getting a guy who is very reliable, and a guy who has the very real possibility of challenging Kobayashi for the hot dog eating competition when his career with the Browns comes to an end. Fraley defies logic as surprisingly agile and athletic for a man blessed with the body of Chris Farley circa the Chippendales’ SNL skit with Patrick Swayze (get well soon).

Watching a man with that belly getting downfield and leading Jamal Lewis to the end zone to seal the victory against the Jets last year gave a “big boned” man like myself a lot of pride. With Friedman and LCB in the mix to back up Fraley, the Browns have little need to address this position in the draft.

Positional Rankings:
Branden Albert Virginia 6’6’’ 309 5.17 1
Roy Shuening Oregon State 6’4’’ 306 5.29 2
Chilo Rachal USC6-5 315 5.16 2
John Greco OG Toledo 6’5’’ 305 5.29 3-4
Mike McGlynn Pittsburgh 6’4’’ 311 5.38 3-4
Donald Thomas Connecticut 6’4’’ 303 5.00 3-4
Eric Young Tennessee 6’4’’ 310 518 4
Robert Felton Arkansas 6’4’’ 315 5.5 4-5
Drew Radovich USC 6’5’’ 305 5.33 5
Chad Rinehart Northern Iowa 6’5’’ 320 5.5 5-6
Pedro Sosa Rutgers 6’4’’ 300 5.3 5-6
Chris McDuffie Clemson 6’4’’ 330 5.3 6
Mike Gibson California 6’4’’ 305 5.27 6-7
Andrew Crumney Maryland 6’5’’ 300 5.29 6-7
Bernadeau Mckenzie Bentley 6’4’’ 298 5.25 7

Mike Pollack Arizona State 6’4’’ 300 4.99 2
Steve Justice Wake Forest 6’4’’ 293 5.24 2-3
John Sullivan Notre Dame 6’4’’ 301 5.35 3
Doug Legursky Marshall 6’3’’ 312 5.22 4-5
Kory Lichtensteiger Bowling Green 6’2’’ 298 5.25 5
Cody Wallace Texas A&M 6’4’’ 296 5.3 6
Jamey Richard Buffalo 6’5’’ 295 5.22 6-7
Fernando Valesco Georgia 6’3’’ 318 5.14 7
Matt Spanos USC 6-5 317 5.47 7

Players of interest to the Browns at OG/C:

Kory Lichtensteiger Bowling Green 6’2’’ 298 5.25 5
The center with the highest blocking grade average (87.8%) of all major colleges was Bowling Green’s Kory Lichtensteiger (gazuntike). Kory has the versatility to play both guard and center...something most NFL teams are high on right now, especially Phil Savage and the Browns. His stock is falling slightly due to a poor showing at the Senior Bowl against the top competition. However, he has a strong hand punch, nimble feet, and a dolphin tattooed on his left thigh (don’t worry about how I know that). Kory is smart, able to make line calls, and has the size and skill to be a strong center in the league, and could be great value in round 5.

Doug Legursky Marshall 6’3’’ 312 5.22 4-5
If the NFL draft was based on strength, Legursky would be first round talent. If it was based on looks, he would be and undrafted free agent. He is one ugly SOB, kind of a mix of Julian Tavares and Meatloaf. Legursky had an impressive bench at the combine and proved he could run sub 5 40 yard dashes. Not bad for a center with his size. He is very solid in pass protection, allowing only one sack in his career. His upper body strength allows him to be very physical in short areas. His teammates nicknamed him the “animal” for his work in the weight room. He practically lived at the facility, either in the weight room or in the film room, something his coaches raved about. He is the kind of guy that may be slightly limited athletically, but his strength and effort make up for it. Legursky reminds me of the great Mike Baabarian, only without the good looks and acting skills.

Matt Spanos USC 6-5 317 5.47 7
No relation to Jesse, Matt is an absolute behemoth that has played every offensive line position at USC before settling in at Center for his senior campaign. There are not many 6’5’’ centers out there, but at the next level, that kind of size can be a huge asset. After a brutal combine, a 5.5 ish 40 yard dash, and not impressing at the East West game, Spanos is sliding toward the 7th round area. On top of that, he missed a lot of time for being academically ineligible. At USC, where there are as many tutors for football players as there are pictures of Brittany Spears crotch on the internet , that’s pretty pathetic. However, Spanos is still learning the position, and can play all three on the oline, and with his 6’5’’ frame, he could be a project for a team like the Browns that doesn’t need him to step in right away.

Bernadeau Mckenzie Bentley 6’4’’ 298 5.25 7
This small school prospect is a big fellow that dominated sub par competition. It should be noted that he played at Bentley, spurning scholarship offers from higher profile programs so that he could play close to his disabled mother. Awww. Mckenzie is a dominating force in the running game. However, he lacks overwhelming strength, and a mean streak (he’s a momma’s boy after all). He is a project in the truest sense of the word, but one who could end up paying off well if a team takes the time to teach him the game and he practices amongst high level professionals.

Shawn Murphy Utah State 6’4’’ 320 5.14 7
Shawn is the son of Atlanta Brave great and former NL MVP Dale Murphy. He is fairly raw after only spending 2 seasons on offense after starting his career on the d line. Murphy has had an irregular path to the NFL draft, and as a result he will be a 25 year old rookie. He started his college career at Ricks College (BYU Idaho), took two years off to serve his mission in Brazil before returning to college football at Dixie State Community College Rebels (known more for there academics than there athletics) where he led them to an appearance in the Rotary Bowl (may be a BCS game soon), and then to Utah State. Impressively, he ranked as one the highest rated guards in the country after only two years at the position. Despite a very fast 40 time, scouts have characterized Murphy as being soft in the midsection (welcome to the club). Now with a name like Shawn Murphy, I can understand this and attribute it to the like ofgGreen beer and Jameson, but with his Mormon upbringing, and subsequent neglect for libations, there’s just no excuse for that. With Murphy, a team in the seventh round will get a great backup with a chance to crack the stating lineup, and a very reliable designated driver.

Defensive Tackle…The Browns Situation:

“We must get fatter” has been the war cry of the Browns for as many years as “It just doesn’t matter” has been the war cry of Camp North Star. Now, as anyone who has watched the Browns over the past two years has learned, fatter does not necessarily equal better (except in the case of Jared from Subway...I bet that smug son of a bitch was a lot less annoying when he was a tub of goo...but I digress). Big Ted Washington has done little during his two years in Cleveland except provide shade for most of the team and fans on hot training camp days. After an ineffective beginning of the season, Washington was replaced by Ethan Kelley and then placed on injured reserve. He is expected to retire this off-season. Kelley Kelley Kelley Kelley Kelley Kelley Kelley Kelley, K-E-L-L-E-Y had his moments, but was too often single blocked and did not keep the offensive linemen from getting to the second level. Shaun Smith was signed as the heir apparent to Ted Washington, and showed excellent production when he was inserted at the NT position. However, injuries to Orpheus Roye forced Shaun to move outside, and while he was adequate at DE, the net result was to weaken the middle of the line. Enter Shaun Rogers from Detroit. Rogers was traded to the Browns for Leigh Bodden and a third round pick. Rogers comes with some baggage, but this is actually a nice change. For once, a supremely talented player with some baggage is coming to Cleveland for a fresh start rather than us watching guys leave the Browns and find happiness and production elsewhere. Rogers is a former first round pick and two-time pro bowler. Some in the media question his effort while he was in Detroit, and for that, some like to compare him to Gerard Warren, which is a huge mistake. As I said, Rogers has been to two pro bowls. The only time Gerard Warren has been to Hawaii was when he auditioned for the role of Hurley on Lost (he’s a big fan). Rogers weighed over 10 pounds at birth...If he’s half as tough as his mother must be, he’ll be a welcome addition.

Players of interest to the Browns at DT:

1. Frank Okam, Texas (6’5, 347, 5.32): One scouting service compares Frank Okam to Shaun Rogers. The scout said that “these two belong in Forrest Gump’s Box of Chocolates”...despite the mildly racist undertones, I think the scout meant to say that both players have consistency issues. Okam is big and strong, and was an all Big 12 selection 3 times during his career, but his motor is as inconsistent as a 1983 Chevelle. If Okam can make plays like this (, then I want him on my team. Okam was a team leader, and one scout said “he would run through walls for his teammates.” There must be something genetic about this, as Okam’s dad has been running through walls for years...

2. Jason Shirley, Fresno State (6’5, 329, 5.05): Shirley you can’t be serious that this guy made the draft report? Indeed he did, though the first scouting report I read on Shirley began “Put aside his arrest and suspension-riddled senior year during Hula Bowl and Texas vs. The Nation practices.” Well, way to put those aside, Jason. Shirley was suspended two games before the season even began for conduct detrimental to the team. Before he could come back, he was arrested on suspicion of DWI and suspended an additional five weeks. After five weeks away, he was reinstated on November 15. Two days later, he was cited for driving with a suspended license and dismissed from the team. Message to Jason Shirley: You are 329 will be noticed while driving on your suspended license. Despite all that, Shirley is a big man who is surprisingly agile, so some team will take a chance on him in the late rounds.

3. Maurice Murray, Mexico State (6’3, 334, 4.98): Do something for me. When you get a chance, go outside and have someone time you in the 40 yard dash. My guess is you will come up somewhere in the 6-8 second range. Then imagine that you are 334 pounds and could make that run in under 5 seconds? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Maurice Murray. Murray is the rare prospect who has caused the term upside to move from the NBA Draft to the NFL Draft. At New Mexico State, he played Nose Tackle in a 3-4 system. He did not produce eye-popping statistics at New Mexico State, but he did fill his role in the system.

Outlook: The Browns seem pretty well set at the NT position. Shaun Smith and Shaun Rogers are both young and signed to long term deals. Ethan Kelley remains on board in case of injury. However, given his experience in the 3-4, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Browns jump on Maurice Murray late on Day 2, or even as an undrafted free agent.

Defensive End….The Browns Situation:

Heading into the off-season, no position needed a bigger tune-up than defensive end. We say goodbye to arguably the best defensive player since the Browns have returned in Orpheus Roye. Phil Savage, who is a sucker for making big splashes on day one of free agency, pulled off another big one this year by trading for recently franchised Green Bay DE Corey Williams in exchange for a second round draft pick. We also hear Phil Savage is a sucker for R Kelly songs and Japanese anime, but that’s a story for another publication. Along with the addition of Shaun Rodgers…hopefully not the version that looks like he ate the backup kicker in training camp, the defensive line will be a strong point on the team. Opposite of Williams will be Robaire Smith, Louis Leonard, and Shaun Smith where he will be rotating in at both NT and DE. In a classic case of addition by subtraction, The Browns actually got better when Simon Fraser decided to test the free agent, and by some minor miracle, the Falcons actually signed him away from us. With a plethora of 3-4 Ends available in the late rounds, Phil could snatch up a guy like Keilen Dykes or Lionel Dotson to provide some youthful talent to this position.

Player Rankings:

Chris Long Virginia 6’3’’ 272 4.75 1
Vernon Gholston OSU 6’3’’ 266 4.65 1
Derrick Harvey Florida 6’5 274 4.84 1
Phillip Merling Clemson 6’4’’ 276 4.731
Calais Campbell Miami 6’8’’ 290 5.04 1
Lawrence Jackson USC 6’4’’ 270 4.821-2
Darrell Robertson Georgia Tech 6’4’’ 255 3
Kendall Langford Hampton 6’6’’ 287 4.95 3
Jeremy Thompson Wake Forest 6’5’’ 265 4.75 3-4
Jason Jones Eastern Michigan 6’5’’ 273 4.76 3-4
Chris Ellis VT 6’4’’ 263 4.71 4
Johnny Dingle West Virginia 6’2’’ 265 4.95 4-5
Brian Johnston Gardner-Webb 6’5’’ 275 4.68 4-5
Chris Harrington Texas A&M 6’5’’ 265 4.84 5
Wallace Gilberry Alabama 6’2’’ 268 4.98 5-6
Tommy Blake TCU 6’3’’ 272 4.78 5-6
Kenny Iwebema Iowa 6’4’’ 275 4.91 5-6
Rudolph Hardie Howard 6’2’’ 270 4.77 6
Trevor Scott Buffalo 6’5’’ 256 4.59 6
Louis Holmes Arizona 6’4’’ 263 4.84
Jeremy Geathers UNLV 6’2’’ 256 4.96 6
Chase Ortiz TCU 6’2’’ 250 4.9 6-7
Eric Foster Rutgers 6’2’’ 277 4.89 7

3-4 Specific DE’s
Lionel Dotson Arizona 6’4’’ 295 5.38 5-6
Nick Hayden Wisconsin 6’4’’ 291 5.15 5-6
Letroy Guion Florida State 6’4” 303 5.31 6
Marcus Harrison Arkansas 6’3” 317 5.06 5-6
Barry Booker VT 6’4’’ 284 4.96 6-7
Keilen Dykes West Virginia 6’4’’ 306 5.08 6
Derek Lokey Texas 6’2’’ 288 5.18 6-7
Marcus Dixon Hampton 6’4’’ 292 5.2 7

Players of interest to the Browns:

Lionel Dotson Arizona 6’4’’ 295 5.38 5-6
Lionel Dotson, nicknamed the L-Train (not to be confused with Lionel L-Train Johnson of the TNBC show City Guys) by his teammates because of his non stop motor, is one of the top prospects to be a 3-4 end. However, his 5.38 40 time at the combine left many scouts disappointed. Scouts want to know if the quick first step he showed that led him to 6.5 sacks and nine stops behind of the line of scrimmage is more telling that that time. He has a very good anchor against the run, and his productivity behind the line leads me to believe he can be very effective as an end in the 3-4. Off the field, Dotson is an eagle scout, volunteers with the elderly, and for the Salvation Army, so you can bet he won’t be playing “Make it Rain” at Club Melee, or getting stabbed in the back by his wife. He could be an interesting selection for Cleveland in the 5th or 6th round if he can fit a helmet over the halo over his head.

Letroy Guion Florida State 6’4” 303 5.31 6
Calling Letroy Guion a “student-athlete” is really using the term loosely. He was part of the Florida State cheating scandal, and in his junior year, it was actually discovered that during the Music City Bowl, Guion wasn’t actually enrolled at the University. (Really coach Bowden…wow) Instead of going on “Double Secret Probation” for his senior year, he abandoned his quest for a degree in General Studies and whatever career that leads to and declared for the NFL draft. Unfortunately for Letroy, he could have used another year of college football where he would have been one of the top players for the Seminoles. As a result of his curtailed career, Guion only played in 14 games and had 66 career tackles. There are guys in this report that recorded that many tackles halfway through there freshman years. His combine numbers did little to make people forget the poor production in college and questionable character. However, in the 6th round, a young prospect with hopefully his best football ahead of him could be a good project.

Nick Hayden Wisconsin 6’4’’ 291 5.15 5-6
Hayden is a weight room warrior (34 reps) whose strength does not always show on the football field. Translation…he’s a pussy (I really hope he doesn’t read this publication). For a 300 pounder, he moves pretty well, posting a 5.1 40, and jumping a 32 inch vertical. He is a bull rusher, with a wide array of moves, but needs to improve his anchor to play tougher against the run. He needs to get nasty (Ricky) against the run, and use that brute strength in the trenches, instead of just the weight room. If he can develop a mean steak, he could end up being a very good 3-4 defensive end.

Keilen Dykes West Virginia 6’4’’ 306 5.08 6
Dykes is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, or “The YO” to locals. He is the most versatile linemen in the draft playing some NT, some DT, and some D end. He showed during the East West game that he may be the top 3-4 end prospect of anyone in that game (granted it is the JV version of the Senior Bowl, but impressive nonetheless). Somehow, this two time First Team Big East player wasn’t invited to the Combine, but his pro day numbers were great. 5.08 forty, 33 reps, and a 30 inch vertical. Not bad for a guy lugging round 300 pounds. Dykes pretty much won every Mountaineer award on the field and off the field (academic and workout). He played in 44 games as a Mountaineer and led the once mediocre program to a 41-9 record over his four years. His coaches acknowledged him as the key piece to the success of the Mountaineers (right before they packed up for Ann Arbor). Dykes would be a wonderful fit for the Browns, and with his hard working attitude, and great character and smarts, Phil Savage definitely has Dykes on his radar (Creep).

Barry Booker VT 6’4’’ 284 4.96 6-7
Booker was a stud on one of the top defensive units in the country. Booker is on the smaller side for a 3-4 end, but he is strong enough against the run, and he would be a pest in the backfield due to his quick step and speed rushing. It is said Booker “lacks muscle tone” (if I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that…) but could develop his body in an NFL lifting program to match his speed with more strength. Instead of simply plugging in a big guy to take up blockers, Booker could be a guy who could make some plays behind the line of scrimmage. Virginia Tech defenders always come ready to play in the NFL, and Booker should continue that trend, and could be an excellent rotational defensive lineman.

Linebackers…The Browns Situation:

The 80’s was full of great shows, movies, music, and general pop culture. There was izod shirts, friendship pins, trapper keepers, keyboard ties, singers like Rick Astley, Billy Ocean, shows like 21 jump Street, ALF, and the Just say No campaign.….. But what I remember about the 80’s is great linebackers in Cleveland. Clay Matthews, Mike Johnson, Chip Banks, Eddie Johnson (RIP), David Grayson, Dick Ambrose, Tom Cousineau, Van Waiters, and Anthony Griggs. The latest decade… Rahim Abdullah, Darrin Hambrick, Wali Rainer, Marty Moore, Ben Taylor, Nick Speegle, and Lenoy Jones. All would be great candidates for a Where are they now special. I know one place they are not…In the NFL. With the arrival of Kamerion Wimbley, the Browns have found an outside linebacker who can get to the QB. His sack production was down last year from 11 to 6, but without another player on the roster who can penetrate the line of scrimmage, teams were able to key of Kam. Wimbley could also use another move. He is like the guy on the dance floor that only busts out the robot. He has got to dig deeper into his repertoire. The head dip Kam does is cute and all, but more coaching and technique is necessary for him to become an elite pass rusher. Willie McGinnest is still alive and making plays. Antwaan Peek struggled to stay healthy, but provided some pressure when healthy, and is a good compliment to Wimbley when he is in there. Backup David McMillan continues to make plays….in training camp. Chaun Thompson is gone, and gone with him is a small piece of my heart. I wish him all the best in Houston. It’s not his fault Butch Davis is a putz and drafted him 3 rounds to early. To replace Chaun, the Browns have brought in Shante Orr, a former Wolverine (so he will need at least 12 sacks before he is accepted in Cleveland). The Browns will most likely use one of their early 2nd day picks on a pass rushing OLB like UCLA’s Bruce Davis, or Cincinatti’s Craig DeAngelo.

Inside, the Browns have a far from stellar trio of Andra Davis, Leon Williams, and D’Quell Jackson. Andra Davis had his worst year as a pro, dropping off form a perennial 100+ tackler to around 60. However, he did put in one of the best defensive performances ever for a Cleveland player in the 8-0 victory against Buffalo in the snow. Unfortunately, not every game can be played in 12” of snow (Who owns that album?) prohibiting anyone from moving faster than a crawl. He made as many plays in that game as in the other 15 combined. With the improvement of our defensive line, I see D’Quell Jackson having a huge year. He led the team in tackle last year, but struggled when blockers were able to engage him. This year, behind big Shaun Rodgers, Corey Williams, and Robaire Smith, he will be free to be the tackling machine he was at Maryland. The same goes for future pro bowler Leon Williams. Leon, whose athletic ability is twice the size of his brain (I appreciate that Clark), is finally stating to get it and playing in position. I am looking for big things from Leon this year. Go get your 94 jerseys. Just don’t be corny and put your own name on it. Look for the Browns to address MLB in a guy like Beau Bell or Ben Moffitt, and possibly moving Leon (who had 4 sacks last year) opposite Kam.
In a 3-4, linebackers are the key, and you need a lot of talented ones. Back in the Eye of the Tiger Sam Rutigliano days of the 3-4 the lineup was Banks, Cousineau, E. Johnson/Dick Ambrose, and Clay Matthews. Heck, Bill Cowher and his chin couldn’t even crack the lineup. With the youth we have now, and with the addition of a good player either in the middle or outside in the draft, these guys could bring back the glory of the 80’s. Let’s hope they don’t bring back neon with it.

Player Rankings:

Keith Rivers USC 6’2’’ 240 4.63 1
Quentin Groves Auburn 6’3’’ 260 4.53 1-2
Xavier Adibi VT 6’2’’ 232 4.69 2
Cliff Avril Purdue 6’3’’ 253 4.51 2
Erin Henderson Maryland 6’3’’ 244 4.72 2-3
Marcus Howard Georgia 6’1’’ 237 4.45 2-3
Shawn Crable Michigan 6’5’’ 235 4.61 2-3
Bruce Davis UCLA 6’3’’ 252 4.7 3
Jordan Dizon Colorado 6’0’’ 229 4.71 3-4
Wesley Woodyard Kentucky 6’1’’ 227 4.51 3-4
Brian Kehl BYU 6’2’’ 242 4.67 4
Geno Hayes FSU 6’2’’ 222 4.65 4
Ezra Butler Nevada 6’2’’ 245 4.65 4s
Ali Highsmith LSU 6’0’’ 230 4.95 5
Gary Guyton Georgia Tech 6’2’’ 245 4.47 5
David Vobora Idaho 6’1’’ 236 4.71 5-6
Stanford Keglar Purdue 6’2’’ 240 4.58 6
Curtis Johnson Clark Atlantic 6’3’’ 240 4.6 6-7
Larry Grant OSU 6’1’’ 235 4.76 6-7
Vincent Redd Liberty 6’6’’ 263 4.58 7
Marcus Richardson Troy 6’0’’ 235 4.53 7
Craig Angelo Cincinatti 6’4’’ 250 5.0 7 FA

Dan Connor Penn State 6’3’’ 230 4.67 1
Jerod Mayo Tennessee 6’1’’ 242 4.54 1-2
Curtis Lofton Oklahoma 6’0’’ 242 4.79 2
Tavares Gooden Miami 6’1’’ 234 4.62 2-3
Jonathon Goff Vanderbilt 6’2’’ 245 4.63 3
Phillip Wheeler Georgia Tech 6’2’’ 248 4.76 3-4
Beau Bell UNLV 6’1 244 4.9 4
Jo-Lonn Dunbar BC 6’1 230 4.79 5
Vince Hall VT 5’11’’ 232 4.89 5-6
Ben Moffitt South Florida 6’1’’ 232 4.59 6
Spencer Larsen Arizona 6’2’’ 240 4.85 6
Rodrick Johnson Oklahoma 6’2’’ 254 4.87 7
Joey Laroque Oregon State 6’2’’ 226 4.87 7 FA

Players of interest to the Browns at OLB:

Bruce Davis UCLA 6’3’’ 252 4.7 3-4
Bruce Davis played defensive end at UCLA at 230 pounds and had 24.5 sacks over the last two seasons. He abused highly touted USC tackle Sam Baker, a player he gave up close to 100 lbs to. It’s crazy to think he could compete in the NFL at that size, so Davis has gotten his weight up to 250 on a diet similar to my own of bud heavies and anything wrapped in bacon. He now projects to be a pass rushing specialist OLB. The transition is always risky, but Davis is working with none other than Browns 2002 scapegoat Foge Fazio to work on his technique. The good news for Davis is that if he plays for the Browns, and learns 2 moves, that will be 1 more than he needs (ask Kam Wimbley). His first step is explosive, something that can’t be taught (especially by Willie McGinnest), and his strength is good as well. At the senior bowl, where Davis got his first taste of coverage as a linebacker, he looked about as comfortable as a young bachelor getting a lap dance next to his future father in law. However, with the proper coaching, this Quarterback terror can be a huge impact player, very much the same way Jason Taylor is. If he becomes more than just a one dimensional player, he can become an excellent choice in the middle rounds, and a future star. Bruce Davis was one of the final players to come to the Browns for a visit, and would be a great fit opposite Wimbley.

Ezra Butler Nevada 6’2’’ 245 4.65 4
Butler has unbelievable speed and athleticism for a player of his size, and he played the “bandit” position for Nevada which is an OLB/Tweener type. With those two facts alone, it should be clear that he would be on the Browns radar. He is incredibly fast 4.5-4.6 speed at 250 lbs, and he just explodes himself into ball carriers. He looks and plays like a smart and in control Chaun Thompson. In his career, he had 17 sacks and 51 tackles for loss. With those numbers, and his tremendous athleticism, Butler should be a late 1st to 2nd round pick. However, off field troubles have led to many teams simply taking Butler off there draft boards. He was suspended early in his senior season for an undisclosed reason. Rumor has it hat Ezra claimed Marijuana was part of his diet. Dumber words have never been spoken in a job interview outside of Mike Dukakis’ bid for the presidency. However, upon further review, Butler claims those comments were never made and he only tested positive once in his 4 years at Nevada. I mean, it’s not like there’s a lot to do in Reno. If Butler can convince Phil that he this was just a youthful indiscretion and marijuana is not something he puts on his cheerios, he could be a steal in the middle rounds.

Stanford Keglar Purdue 6’2’’ 240 4.58 6
Keglar is a smart, versatile linebacker that really turned heads at his workouts. On film, this guy just looks like a solid player, in both coverage and stringing out runs. However, after his workouts, he ran a very fast 4.58 forty yard dash, threw up 29 reps, and a 3.98 short shuttle. On top of this, Purdue coaches rave about this kid, especially his work ethic. With all of these raves, it is unsettling that he flew under the radar the way he did. Makes you think he could be another Mike Mumula or David Boston. Maybe the Browns are interested in Keglar to come in and keep Shaun Rodgers away from the Twinkies and in the weight room. That has to be worth a 6th rounder. Although, with Romeo around, I can’t imagine there are too many leftover Twinkies floating around the clubhouse.

Vincent Redd Liberty 6’6’’ 263 4.58 6-7
Vincent Redd was originally a Virginia Cavalier, but followed his coach to Liberty after getting buried in the depth chart in Charlottesville and into the Al Groh doghouse (after falling in love with the leafy green substance). He has unbelievable size at 6’6’’ 240, but he is unbelievably raw. He really only played one full season, and that was for the Liberty Flames (formerly coached by the great Sam Rutigiano), 2007 Big South Conference champions, a feat due largely in part to the standout defensive play of Vincent Redd. It is clear that Liberty University has a Chapel (their motto is challenge your mind, build your faith, and it was the office of the late Jerry Falwell). It is not clear whether or not they have a weight room. Redd only benched 225 13 times. Not too impressive for a man of his size, and it prevents him from being a Defensive End in the NFL. His real value lies in his quickness from a stand up rushing position and his movement laterally, which is very good for a player of his size. If he can learn some coverage skills, and given some time to mature, he could be a good find and good situational pass rusher for a 3-4 defense like the Browns.

Curtis Gatewood Vanderbilt 6’2’’ 248 4.72 7
Gatewood had an unbelievable career at Vandy. In his last two seasons, he recorded 11 sacks, 15 stops behind the line of scrimmage, 4 forced fumbles, 3 recovered fumbles, and 16 notches on his bedpost at the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Not bad work for a guy who is considered “undersized.” Luckily, it appears Gatewood is tougher than fellow Commodore Brandt Snedeker (see Masters post round interviews) , and will be able to make the transition from DE to OLB, and from college to the Pro ranks. The Browns need to keep taking chances on guys like these, and hopefully they will strike gold with one of them.

Players of interest to the Browns at MLB:

Beau Bell UNLV 6’1 244 4.9 4
Beau Bell is a player that is all over the map in terms of where teams value him. I have seen him listed anywhere from round 1 to off of teams draft boards. This is mostly due to poor workouts. On film, Bell looks like an animal. He plays fast, hits hard, and has the rage of a “mad dog at a meat market.” I feel like I’ve heard that before. The trouble is, at the Senior Bowl he looked very slow and stiff, and then his pro day was a disaster running in the 4.9 range. He did throw up 225 25 times, but NFL teams tend to frown on LB’s who are slower than offensive linemen…except the Browns (see Andra Davis). Bell’s effort in the weight room and working out is similar to mine…poor at best, and his classroom success has been described as “adequate”. Adequate academic success at UNLV translates t o brain-dead at most universities. Even with those issues, Bell remains an intriguing prospect for the Browns because of his nastiness against the run, and his hard hitting nature…something that is sorely missed in the middle of the Browns defense. He has been evaluated heavily by the Browns, and could be our pick at 122, and could end up being a great find with the proper motivation. In case Phil Dawson or Zastudil go down, Bell was the place kicker and punter in high school as well. I’m guessing he was stuffed in fewer lockers than those guys though.

Vince Hall VT 5’11’’ 232 4.89 5-6
Teams don’t love inside linebackers under 6 feet, although don’t tell that to London Fletcher. However, when you look at the career of Hall at VT, he was the rock in a defense that was the best in the country. This guy was more productive than a cleaning lady on speed. He posted over 400 career tackles, something only 9 other Hokies have ever done including former Browns stud Mike Johnson and Browns dud Ben Taylor. Even though he lacks the ideal size, he is very aggressive filling holes, even getting into the backfield to blow up plays at times. He had 4 sacks his senior year, and 7 tackles for losses…and that’s with missing 5 games with a wrist injury. This injury led Hall to miss some post season all star games and workouts, so teams are pretty much going to be watching the tape on him. In his case, that’s a great thing, because if you watch Virginia Tech on tape, this guy is the shining star on a very good defense. Couple this with his penchant for buggery…..I mean the weight room, and he becomes a possibility to fill the hole the Browns have at MLB. The question with Hall is whether or not his best football has been played already.

Ben Moffitt South Florida 6’1’’ 232 4.59 6
Moffit’s numbers as a senior led him to be a Dick Butkus award semifinalist. He recorded over 100 tackles, 12 stops for losses, 2 fumble recoveries, and 4 interceptions. Not bad for a guy who is described as an “average” athlete. Moffitt is a very high character guy…he almost quit football to join the ministry, and he drove over 100 miles round trip everyday to practice so he could be close to his wife and children. He won’t win any footraces in the open field, and doesn’t have overpowering strength. However, he does not allow himself to get taken out of the play and literally wills himself to make plays in the trenches. Moffit will unlikely be an upgrade to anyone the Browns have starting in the middle, but he could be a solid backup who can be a tough guy on the interior on 1st and 2nd down.

Spencer Larsen Arizona 6’2’’ 240 4.85 6
Spencer Larsen can’t run overly fast, he can’t catch all that well, he can’t throw, and he can’t drink (he’s Mormon). What he can do is tackle. Larsen is old for an NFL prospect (24) because he took his two year mission as a Mormon. He is mature in life, and as a football player, married (to only one wife) with children…although which of these prospects doesn’t have a few youngsters floating around or at least a few paternity suits out there. He is your classic, tough overachiever who is just a beast in short areas. NFL teams won’t ask him to cover, as that’s like asking Robert Downey Junior to stay off cocaine. As much as you want them to do it…it’s just not going to happen. Moffitt’s 40 times were high…in the 4.85 range, but his short area cone drill was quick…4.29, comparable to many db’s, which means he can move really well in quick bursts. Just don’t ask him to cover a TE or slot receiver farther than 5 yards…or go to a nudie bar with you. In either case…the result will probably be more or less disappointing. Ask him to line up in the middle on 1st and 2nd down and you will be very pleased with his run stuffing ability.

Jo-Lonn Dunbar BC 6’1 230 4.79 5
What Jo-Lonn lacks in size, he more than makes up for in athleticism and instincts. As a junior, his teammates recognized his effort and talent and made him the captain of a very good Eagle defense. His ability to diagnose plays and react quickly allowed him to make plays in the trenches and outside. In the East-West shrine game, Dunbar opened eyes as the best defender during the all star week. In the first seven games, with Dunbar in the middle, BC didn’t allow a team to rush for more than 70 yards in a game. An ankle sprain put him on the bench late in the season and the defense allowed close to 400 yards per game without him. On and off the field, Dunbar is an emotional leader, and a guy that is often compared to Ray Lewis and Jonathon Vilma (mostly by his parents). He is a player that can make the big impact play in a game whether it’s a bone crushing hit, a stop for a loss, or an interception. An inside guy as athletic as this, that can play all three downs and be a stud on special teams would be great value for a team in the 5th round. It should be noted that the Browns have had Dunbar in for a visit, and all reports are that he had a great time Christies.

Cornerback…The Browns Situation:

The Browns helped themselves more at cornerback in last year’s draft than at any other position. Eric Wright fell to the Browns in the second round because of “character concerns.” He was outstanding when healthy in his rookie season, proving himself an excellent cover corner and a sure tackler. Brandon McDonald stepped up when injuries forced the Memphis rookie into significant playing time. McDonald had strong performances against Andre Johnson and Chad Johnson during the second half of the 2007, and the off-season departure of Leigh the Flea Bodden puts B-Mac in front for the starting spot opposite Eric Wright. Starting two young corners would seem to have opened up a possibility for All Night Kenny Wright. However, Wright’s status with the team has been thrown into question by his arrest earlier this month for marijuana possession in Pearland, Texas. (Disclaimer: Wright is innocent until proven guilty. I mean, I ask you, does this look like a man who has been using...marijuana?).

The most disappointing thing is not that All Night was arrested, or that he was possessing marijuana in the parking lot of a police station or that he ran from the police. No. The most disappointing thing is that he was actually caught on foot by a police officer in Pearland, Texas (who I’m guessing does not run a 4.3). Does anybody know if the cop is available for the upcoming season? I don’t like to talk about Daven Holly because it makes me angry. Nick Sorensen was re-signed to continue in his role as special teams gunner and to take over from Simon Fraser the title of best hair on the team.

Top 5 Prospects
1. LeOdis “He Loves Us” McKelvin, Troy (5’11, 190, 4.38)
2. Mike Jenkins, South Florida (6’0, 200, 4.38)
3. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee State (6’1 1/2, 183, 4.29)
4. Antoine Cason, Arizona (6’0, 191, 4.45)
5. Aqib Talib, Kansas (6’2, 195, 4.44)

Players of interest to the Browns at CB:

1. Tracy Porter, Indiana (5’11, 188, 4.37): When you grow up as a boy named Tracy, you better learn to be very tough and/or a sick athlete. Tracy is the latter. A fantastic athlete, Porter was an outstanding prep basketball player and only played two years of football in high school. His technique is still a work in progress, but he has shown excellent ballhawking ability, finishing with the second most career interceptions in Big 10 history. Tracy showed more courage against the run in his senior season, but as a tackler, he is no Daylon McCutcheon. Porter will immediately help a team on special teams and as a nickel cornerback, with the upside to develop into an elite cornerback.

2. Tyvon Branch, Connecticut (6’0, 204, 4.31): When you run a 4.31 in the 40 yard dash, people are going to notice you, even if you play your college football in Storrs, CT. Branch had an excellent performance at the Combine, and is regarded as one of the top return men in the draft. I know, you are going to tell me that Antonio Perkins was also regarded as one of the top return men in college football when he was drafted, and he stinks worse than Sex Panther cologne (“Pungent...Stings the nostrils”). And to that I will tell are right.

3. Trae Williams, South Florida (5’9, 193, 4.51): Trae never really like football growing up, choosing to focus on academics at the urging of his father Furious Williams. But after his best friend and star football player Ricky was gunned down in cold blood, losing his chance at a scholarship, Trae vowed to pick up where his friend left off. Overshadowed a bit by his teammate Mike Jenkins, Williams made a name for himself by returning three interceptions for a touchdown during his senior season. Williams is the opposite of a workout warrior. He doesn’t seem to have the measurables that teams crave, but he performs when the lights go on.


4. Jack Williams, Kent State (5’9, 186, 4.32): Some teams might miss on this guy, but it is important to note that all 4 AFC North teams were present at the Kent State Pro Day this year, and Williams was one of only two players working out. They were not disappointed, as Williams posted an eye-popping 4.31 40 yard dash. Not blessed with great size, Williams is strong (19 reps of 225 at the Combine), can jump (35.5 inch vertical) and is extremely quick changing directions (posting one of the best times in the Cone drill at the Combine). Williams is ideally suited as a slot-cover corner and could go in Round 4 or Round 5. Also majoring in Leisure Studies...God bless Kent State.

5. Zachary Bowman, Nebraska (6’1, 197, 4.39): Bowman is not the next highest rated cornerback in the draft. However, he’s someone to keep an eye on in Round 6 or Round 7. Bowman is considered an injury risk, as he suffered two major knee injuries in college (torn ACL, ruptured patella tendon). However, before he did so, Bowman was seen as a potentially elite prospect, and Michigan fans may remember Bowman’s strong performance in the 2005 Alamo Bowl. Bowman is a physical tackler with good size and long arms. Quite a bit of risk, but if Bowman can stay healthy, he could represent great value later on Day 2.

Outlook: When you are counting on a couple of second year players, a guy who can’t outrun the cops and Daven Holly, saying that cornerback is an “area of concern” for the Browns is like saying weed is an “area of concern” for Ricky Williams. Look for the Browns to strike early and often on Day 2 for a cornerback. Cornerback could also be a position the Browns are willing to move up to get, if the right guy should fall their way.

Safety…The Browns Situation:

Since the likes of Tom Darden, Felix Wright, and Eric Turner, the Browns have been searching for stud safety who can act as the quarterback and last line of defense (and yes, I left off Marquis Smith and Earl Little on purpose). Finally however, with a youth movement in the defensive backfield, that search may be over. Over the past two seasons, strong safety Sean Jones has become the Browns most consistent defensive player on the field. Prior to last season, Sports Illustrated’s Dr. Z named Jones the best safety in the NFL. Now I have made some outrageous claims about Browns players in the past, including claiming that Lee Suggs would make multiple pro bowls and Richard Alston would become our number one receiver if he could just make it off of the practice squad, but Dr. Z’s claim that Jones is the best safety in the NFL is a pretty lofty. Jones is in fact a very good football player and is a playmaker and solid tackler. Before he gets his bust in Canton however, he needs to improve his TE coverage and work on reading offensives better so he can get everyone on the same page. Next to Jones is another youngster, Brodney Pool who has become a good roaming presence in the defensive backfield. He improved his tackling this year and provided us with a thrill when he intercepted Kyle Boller (something I could do), and took it back 100 yards for a TD (not something I could do. I probably would have taken a knee.) With these two getting better with age, and with some talented young corners also progressing, the Browns could have a backfield as good as the one with Hanfor Dixon, Frank Minnefield, Chris Rockins, and Ray Ellis of 1987.

Player Rankings:
Strong Safety

Tyrell Johnson Arkansas State 6’0’’ 207 4.39 3
Josh Barrett ASU 6’2’’ 223 4.35 3
Tom Zbikowski Notre Dame 5’11’’ 211 4.45 3
Craig Steltz LSU 6’2’’ 213 4.59 3-4
Jamar Adams Michigan 6’2’’ 212 4.59 3-4
Jamie Silva BC 5’11’’ 204 4.78 5
Caleb Campbell Army 6’2’’ 230 4.57 5
DJ Wolfe Oklahoma 5’11’’ 211 4.61 5-6
Chris Horton UCLA 6’0’’ 212 4.54 6

Free Safety
Kenny Phillips Miami 6’2’’ 212 4.48 1
Dajuan Morgan NC State 6’0’’ 205 4.5 3
Quintin Demps UTEP 6’0’’ 206 4.39 3
Simeon Castille Alabama 6’1’’ 195 4.63 4
Thomas Decoud California 6’2 207 4.5 4-5
Marcus Griffin Texas 5’10’’ 210 4.69 5
Jonathon Hefney Tennessee 5’8’’ 190 4.52 5-6
DJ Parker VT 5’11’’ 192 4.59 5-6
David Roach TCU 6’1’’ 202 4.53 5-6
Corey Lynch Appalachian State 6’1’’ 202 4.58 6
Dominique Barber Minnesota 6’0’’ 210 4.68 6
Husain Abdulla Washington State 6’0’’ 204 4.63 6-7
Bobbie Williams Bethune-Cookman 6’0’’ 214 4.55 7
Ryan Mundy West Virginia 6’1’’ 215 4.55 7

Players of Interest for the Browns at Safety:

Simeon Castille Alabama 6’1’’ 195 4.63 4
There are certain names in this world that bring the hairs on the back of my neck to attention. Timothy McVeigh, Osama Bin Ladin, David Koresh, Bozo the clown (I suffer from Coulrophobia(fear of clowns)), and Jeremiah Castille, father or Simeon. For those of you who don’t remember who this is…let me remind you. As Earnest Byner was prancing toward the end zone in 1987 to tie the game against the Denver Broncos, the outstretched arm of one unblocked (thank you very much Webster Slaughter) Jeremiah Castille reached out and stripped the ball out of Earnest’s arms, stripped the heart out of this 9 year old and the collective hearts of the entire city of Cleveland. And now, the devilish spawn of that man has entered the NFL draft. And let me say, that even if this kid is a future hall of famer, I would rather forfeit one of our only draft picks this year than have that name on a Browns jersey. I hope he gets drafted by San Diego and an earthquake sends him crumbling into the Pacific. But I’m not bitter.

Tyrell Johnson Arkansas State 6’0” 207 4.39 3
Johnson is sliding up boards like a high stakes game of chutes and ladders. He has some pretty impressive pedigree. His mom was a track star at University of Arkansas, and his dad played in the NBA for the Spurs and Raptors. Johnson had some impressive numbers at Arkansas State including a 26 tackle performance against North Texas. In his senior year, Johnson, according to many scouts was the best player on the field against the likes of Texas and Tennessee. He had a 14 tackle, 1 interception performance against Texas. He totaled 6 interceptions as a safety his senior year and 13 for his career, and is the all time Sun Belt leader in tackles with 363. At the combine, Johnson came in and embarrassed his big school competitors. He benched 225 27 times, ran in the 4.3’s, and jumped 39 inches. If people hadn’t heard of him before that, they did now. For a guy with those numbers, and a guy that shattered pretty much every Sun Belt record there is for a defensive back, it is amazing that this guy may be on the board in round 3. If the Browns had anything to trade (I think we have a few kicking tees and ball bags left), it would be well worth it to move up to get this guy early in day two. He is going to be a star. And not the kind of star I claimed Chaun Thompson was going to be, but a bona fide NFL stud.

Corey Lynch Appalachian State 6’1’’ 202 4.58 6
Probably the most successful man named Corey since Haim and Feldmen graced the Silver screen with License to Drive, The Lost Boys, and Dream a Little Dream. Lynch proved he belonged on draft boards with an outstanding performance at the Texas vs. the Nation all star game. He showed excellent versatility, being solid in the passing game, against the run and on special teams. His combine and pro day numbers only added to the intrigue where he posted a 4.58 40, a sub 4 short shuttle and 35 inch vertical. Lynch was named Southern Conference Defensive player of the year by the coaches and players of the league. He had 111 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 11 passes defended. Lynch practically rewrote the record books in many defensive categories for Appy State, including blocked kicks (his handiwork was evident against Meeeechigan).

David Roach TCU 6’1’’ 202 4.53 5-6
The Browns have missed in the past with guys who are safeties, but play more like linebackers. Guys like Justin Hamilton, and Marquis Smith never really found there niche outside of special teams. However, neither of those two guys could run like David Roach. He was a beast at the East West shrine game, especially against the run. When he plays up in the box, he shuts down the running game. He then went on to run a 4.5 forty and jump 38 inches showing he has the speed to keep up with anyone in coverage. This recovery speed is critical for a guy who plays so aggressively to the line of scrimmage. One issue Roach must answer is a history of durability issues that left him on the sidelines for many games. Even though the Browns have a solid safety tandem, and let’s be honest, a pretty sweet offense too, Phil Savage did hint that safety was a position that was high on his draft wish list, and a guy like Roach could be a good addition to our defensive backfield.

Husain Abdulla Washington State 6’0’’ 204 4.63 6-7
As much as I think the liberal and open minded people of Cleveland will overlook the obvious cultural differences that a guy with the first name Husain may have, I am not sure the typical local 181 iron worker from Euclid is going to go out and buy an Abdullah jersey any time soon. On top of that, the last guy named Abdullah the Browns drafted (Rahim, round 2) was arguably the worst player to ever where orange and Brown (other than Terry Kirby). Getting past his name however, Abdullah is an underrated prospect who plays a great centerfield and is a playmaker, evident by the fact that he led the Cougars in interceptions and tackles as a senior. With Abdulla, you will get a versatile backup and a solid special teamer. Abdulla is also an avid golfer, although I don’t think many country clubs are accepting too many members named Husain these days.

Hello Cleveland