Let’s play: BEST CASE SCENARIO!!

Rhodes, CB at #12.

Eifert, TE at #41.

Jones, OG/C at #82.

Rambo, FS at #101.

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As of Friday AM, it’s looking like a whiff in free agency concerning the number one need for the Browns:  cornerback.  We’re also missing a free safety, a tight end ‘threat,’ and guard depth.

It could be Aqib Talib has been the target all along and that he’ll be signed today.  It could be that Kerry Rhodes makes a nice fit at safety.  The Fred Davis battle continues today and as for me, I’d welcome Dustin Keller (Dead; Keller to Dolphins.) as a consolation prize.  We see no guards on the horizon.

Regardless, one takeaway here is that the confidence displayed with the initial moves of Kruger and Bryant shows all the hopeful signs of a plan being executed.  Based on that, I will assume that the plan for cornerback, tight end, safety, and guard centers on the draft.

Sooo.. let’s play:  BEST CASE SCENARIO!!

Go.

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First step:  trade back.

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 9.08.30 AM

Football Outsiders says Jets o-line sucks.

The usual fan call for ‘trade-back’ tends not to address the ‘with whom shall we trade?’ question.  And as of a couple weeks ago, that was very much an open question.  But several events have created an environment where this becomes do-able.

  • Geno Smith looked good in his pro-day.
  • Bills cut Ryan Fitzpatrick and now have Tarvaris Jackson as their #1 QB.  While it *could* be with an eye toward reuniting HC Marrone with his QB Nassib in the second round, it could also reflect an interest in Geno.
  • Dolphins get nutty acquiring ‘playmakers’ and lose their best o-lineman.  They would seem to be targeting Joeckel/Fisher/Johnson as a replacement; after all that’s a top 10 QB they’ve got there and need to keep upright.  Add in that the back-loaded trickery employed to stock the 2013 roster still leaves them short on money to the point where signing draft picks might become a problem. 
  • Cardinals display every indication of having lost faith in Kevin Kolb.
  • Jets now rumored to be interested in Geno Smith.  (Of course, this report also says that the Jags, Raiders, Eagles are also interested.  But we’re playing best-case scenario and so dismissing these reports.)  The Jets line is horrible.

I’ll sprinkle in just a touch of reality and acknowledge that Geno could well be gone before the Browns’ 6th pick which would remove Bills, Cards from mix.  But the Dolphins could easily believe in a drop-off after the big three OTs.  The Jets could get squirrelly of it looks like Warmack and Cooper won’t last to #9.

We’re just playing here, right?

Ok then:

Browns trade back from #6 to #12 with Miami.  Complete deal sends Browns’ #6 and #68 (3rd) for Dolphins’ #12, #42 (2nd), and #82 (3rd).*

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With the #12 pick, the Browns select:  Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU.

I’m aware that everyone luvs Dee Milliner, but he won’t be there at #12 and besides, I looked back at the CB picks going back to 2010.  Applying pro-football-ref’s Approximate Value (AV) metric, and using the 2012 value, Patrick Peterson is the one homerun in the bunch.  The rest you could throw a blanket over.

2012:  After consensus Mo Claiborne (6) you have weed through Stephon Gilmore (4); Dre Kirkpatrick (0); until you get to the best CB of last year’s draft second-rounder Janoris Jenkins (8).

In 2011 it went, Patrick Peterson (13), Prince Amukamara (4), Jimmy Smith (1), Ras-I Dowling (0), Aaron Williams (3), Marcus Gilchrist (2), Brandon Harris (1).

2010:  Joe Haden (5), Kareem Jackson (8), Devin McCourty (8), Kyle Wilson (6), Patrick Robinson (6), Chris Cook (3), Javier Arenas (4).

The moral?  As ever, the moral is that no one knows anything.

Rhodes’ measurables are everything you want in a #1 CB:  6’1.5″, 210 lbs, 34″ arms, 4.43 40, 40″+ vertical.

Here’s a good clip.  As always, mute before playing.  Apologies for the soundtrack.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GELytS0ne24?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

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I’m no film breaker-downer.  Fluid hips is a term I stay away from.  When coupled with hand-size discussions, the homo-eroticism overwhelms my arrested adolescence and I just start giggling.

That being said…

I’m even not going to bother giving you the timings to skip to within the clip.  In the first 30 seconds you’ll see closing speed, ball-skills (i.e., finding the ball in the air), and willingness to hit.

Milliner never jumped off the screen when I watched Bama this year and when I watched Bama, I watched Milliner because I knew the Browns needed a CB.

I’ll call it here and now:  Rhodes is going to be better than Milliner.  Want at #12.  (Want at #6.)

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With the #41 pick, the Browns select:  Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame.

Hands.

You know how QBs always scoot up the draft boards on draft day?  Tight ends always slide down.  Last year Fleener was the only TE taken in the first two rounds and he was a special pairing for Andrew Luck.    In 2011, Kyle Rudolph was the first TE off the board:  to the Vikings at #43.  In 2010 the Bengals took Gresham in the first and then at #42 the Pats found some value with Rob Gronkowski.  Even going to 2009 you’ve got the Lions taking Pettigrew in the first and then Quinn to the Cowboys late in the 2nd round.

Will Eifert slide to #41?  Hey, it’s my BEST CASE SCENARIO!!  So I’m going for it.  However, if Eifert isn’t there, I say we go in another direction than tight end.  The #2 rated TE, Zach Ertz, just isn’t doing it for me.

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With the #82 pick, the Browns select:  Barrett Jones, OG/C, Alabama.

I could give a rat’s ass about Jones’ combine and ratings.

When I can find a center willing to tell his QB to settle the fuck down in the BCS Championship Game, he’s my guy.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=582un3oOUbk?rel=0&w=450&h=253]

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Nick Saban knows what you mean, Barrett.

Jones did 27 reps in his pro day.  He didn’t run because he’s coming off a ligament surgery on his foot.  And on which he played the last key games for Bama helping them take down their second BCS Championship.

The balls on this guy.  Want.

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With the #101 pick, the Browns select:  Bacarri Rambo, S, UGA.

Ed Reed comparisons work here.

I linked to draftbrowns.com review of Rambo last time I brought him up.  Here’s another encouraging analysis:

Ball Skills:
NFL prototype: Ed Reed, Ravens

1. Bacarri Rambo
2. Philip Thomas
3. Matt Elam
4. Jonathan Cyprien
5. Tony Jefferson
6. Kenny Vaccaro
7. T.J. McDonald
8. Eric Reid

Rambo definitely has the best ball skills of any safety in this class. He is a straight-up ball-hawk in the back end. Rambo is always around the ball and that leads to good things for his defense. He is very adept at reading the quarterback’s eyes and breaking on the ball. An overthrow in the middle of the field is dangerous with Rambo in the back end. He totaled 16 interceptions and six forced fumbles for the Bulldogs. His ball skills and ability to create turnovers are his best attribute.

If there’s anything we need, it’s ball skills.

No really.  I’m not even going to look up the Browns’ interception numbers in comparison to the rest of the league.  It’s a bag of suck.  No one denies this.

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Updated depth chart.  It’s getting there.

How bout Elvis Dumervil?

update 3/15, 430pm

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Subject to change.

So anyways… this was fun as it’s been slow since the Bryant signing.  Fully understood that this could well be obsolete by the end of the day.  But what the hell, why not?

Offer up your BEST CASE SCENARIO!! below.

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* Here’s the NFL Draft calculator I used for this.

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  • First off, I would like to say that I take umbrage with the narrative being portrayed that the Browns have “whiffed” on players since their initial four signings. The only players that I have read that the Browns were interested in besides the players they landed are Welker (wants a team who is can make it to the dance this season), Munnerlyn (I would rather we did not sign another corner under 6’0 Honey Badger included), and Fred Davis (still up in the air), Now, I might have missed a player or two but my point is still the same. There is plenty of time to fill positions at reasonable costs via free agency and the draft. As a side note, I would rather sign Sheldon Brown as a stopgap while we draft Milliner or Rhodes this year than one of the other available free agents. He is not as bad as Browns fans like to make him out to be.

    As far as moving forward, my best case scenario for the draft is flexible. I would not mind using the #6 pick to get Milliner or Warmack. I would also be happy if we move back and grab Rhodes later in the first and either a TE or FS with the second rounder we gained from said trade. The botttom line is that CB, FS, and TE need to get addressed first and foremost barring a special talent like Warmack who plays at a position of lesser but still immediate need.

    • jpftribe

      I think the whif comment was in regards to CB’s. Reports they were interested in Cason, who is now signed, and Talib still out there.

      I spent many years in Charlotte and Munnerlyn is no upgrade over Skrine. Basically a nice gunner on special teams.

      Personally, I think Sheldon is done as a Brown. Of you are going to sign a guy to a one year deal, get Jammer.

      • correct, i was specifically referring to CBs.

        d. cox, c. williams, k. lewis, s. smith, g. toler, drc, a. cason all project to start over skrine, all are 6 feet or better, all are off the board.

        talib is all that’s left. imo, we should up the ante. otherwise we’re really in a box going into the draft.

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        ps: turns out keenan lewis’ 5yr/26m/11m guaranteed contract was below market. he wanted to go home to new orleans. good on him.

        • Sorry that I was unclear. I was not referring solely to your article. I have read a few articles by reporters and several Browns forum posters (shame on me) with the general sentiment that the Browns have been “whiffing” without any kind of reasoning or substantiation and it got underneath my skin. Anyways, it could be that the Browns have the top 2-4 corners graded highly or close to one another so they feel like they will have options during the draft. Time will tell, and to be honest I did not expect this to be a team without holes after this off season. If they shore up tight end, guard and #2 cornerback with the remainder of free agency and the draft I would be OK with that- even if it means Usama Young somehow manages to keep his starting job for one more year and Norwood/Benjamin/Cooper are the choices at #3 WR.

          • if we go to war with a payroll 20% below the league mean and are offered patronizing math explanations in lieu of kerry rhodes.. i will not be happy.
            to take it a step further, i’ll view it as banner is both an idiot and an arrogant idiot.
            i’m more the halfway toward that conclusion today.

  • jpftribe

    Best case scenario, I think the Browns are trying to land Cason in FA. Let’s say they get him.

    If Warmack is there at 6, you take him. This line is now studly for many years. Look at the niners and giants OL, full of 1’s and 2’s. No accident.

    In the third I take TJ McDonald.

    Chud’s the miracle worker at TE, take a flyer with a late round pick. Maybe Nick Kasa in the fourth round.

    Big wildcard is QB. If Lombardi is truly in love with Mallett, it could change the whole draft picture. T will be interesting to see what happens with Kolb today.

    I think Smith will be off the board before No 6. I wouldn’t trade down if I could get Warmack or Cooper.

    • oh, you have a friend here w.r.t. o-line goodness. warmack would test the 3-stud on o-line rule. it would be a huge anomaly if an o-line with thomas, mack, warmack, schwartz didn’t make the playoffs (and go deep).

      however. the OG scenario _could_ bring the jets into play. as the jpg up top shows, they need help on the line and not at LT with ferguson there. when they were good, they had faneca. if they’re faced with losing out on both cooper and warmack, might they give up a 2nd? and might barrett jones be enough enough of an improvement to get the browns’ o-line to ‘stud’ level?

      net, net: you won’t hear me complain if we walk out of the draft with warmack.

      [on your second point… tj mcdonald has the stench of taylor mays on him, fair or not. not a fan here.]
      [on mallett, i think lombardi’s waiting out belichick and smart to do so. mallett won’t re-sign with the pats. do the pats want ‘something’ –4th round?– for him now or nothing when mallett leaves in 2014.]