At 35, Browns select … #KRM


Pretty sure this pic is the Circle Drill pre-2012 Spring Game where Shazier brutalizes current St. Louis Ram, Etienne Sabino.
(Separately, Kenny Guiton is going to make someone’s team, drafted or not. Go to 2:50 of clip.)

Bodie wraps up the most comprehensive preview and analysis of the Browns’ pick at 35 today that you will find anywhere, here; now.  Part one went up yesterday, the pick is now in, with pick 35 in the 2014 KRM draft, the Browns select.

Browns KRM to this point

Zarathustra and ChuckKoz have delivered the Browns Jadeveon Clowney (OLB, SoCar at #4) and Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State at #26).  While neither player would have been my pick at those slots,1 they both wrote great breakdowns of why they felt that those players were the Best Player Available and made extremely good arguments.  I agree that they could be considered the BPA at those slots and could end up being our picks.  Even better, I do not have to consider any pass rushers or quarterbacks at my pick now (as they tend to be the highest risk picks other than WR).  Thank you to both for jobs well done.

Team Needs for the Orange Hats2 

Farmer has spent the offseason swapping out players for guys who are hopefully upgrades.   He cut D’Qwell Jackson to sign Karlos Dansby to be our SILB and team leader on defense.  He let T.J. Ward walk in free agency to sign Donte Whitner to take over at SS.  Ray fixed the Davone Bess situation by signing both Nate Burleson and Andrew Hawkins, which will also allow us to bid adieu to Weeden favorite Josh Cooper(not yet though).  He let Washington get silly with Shaun Lauvao and signed a depth OG in Paul McQuistan from Seattle.  Finally, among other depth players, he cut Brandon Weeden and let O’Neil Cousins go in free agency for the collective sanity of the North Coast.3

Farmer did have three signings that addressed specific needs.   Ben Tate (starting RB), Jim Dray (blocking TE), and Chris Pressley (fullback) were positions for which our beloved team did not have good options in 2013.  I suppose I should mention Isiah Trufant as well, though I expect him to be a special team player only unless something goes horribly wrong.


More War Eagle.

However, our 2014 offseason has left us with some obvious and significant holes on our roster.  In particular, starting spots that do not have a great option as of today.

On offense, we do not know what we have in Brian Hoyer, so quarterback is an obvious need that was filled in this KRM with Derek Carr.   We could still use a better developmental QB3, but that is for a later pick (Connor Shaw in the fifth round).  We still need depth at RB as Ben Tate and Dion Lewis have not proven they can handle the full load of a NFL season, but the RB position has been devalued to the point where they are getting paid like kickers on the open market, so do not expect us to burn a high pick on one.  On the OL, I assume that the depth acquisition of Paul McQuistan and Alex Mack retention indicates that we will fill at least one OG spot internally, if not both (Greco, Pinkston, McQuistan, Faulk, Gilkey).  Receiver is an interesting position as we signed two WRs who are at best in the slot (Burleson, Hawkins), have a great flanker (Gordon backed up by recovering Benjamin), but no real option at split end (Greg Little is the only guy penciled in there with eraser in hand).

On defense, we already have a stacked DL especially if Desmond Bryant’s recovery is going as well as claimed.  With Clowney added in this KRM, we also have four capable OLBs with great potential.  Haden, Whitner, and Dansby lock up three of the remaining six starting positions on defense.  However, the issue is with those three remaining slots.  Gipson (FS),  Robertson (WILB), and Skrine (CB2) are all capable NFL players (yes, even Craig), but best served as depth rather and not starters where their flaws are more easily exposed.


Will we see more, less, or the same amount of Tashaun Gipson?

Another area of concern is the amount of players on our roster that have not been capable of staying healthy under the extreme physical demands of a NFL season.   Signees Ben Tate, Nate Burleson, Andrew Hawkins, Chris Pressley all have medical red flags associated with them.  Roster holdovers Brian Hoyer, Desmond Bryant, Dion Lewis, Jason Pinkston, and Travis Benjamin may all be asked to compete for significant roles but also are either recovering or have serious medical red flags as well.   Please note these positions may require additional depth as a result of this concern.

Final Offense Need Tally:  WR2, OG1, QB3, RB3, OT3

Final Defense Need Tally:  FS, WILB, CB2, ILB4

Here is the pro-football-focus chart, though I have people in slightly different positions and also have updated for offseason moves and the KRM:

I went ahead and updated the PFF chart.

Hey Michael, I went ahead and updated the PFF chart for us.

The Browns have been absolutely terrible since 2007 and haven’t made the playoffs since the 2002 season.  Is there any hope?

To be fair, it will mostly come down to the quarterback.  If we get that position correct, then we should be good.  As in, competing with Cincinnati for the AFC North good.  If we do what we have done the past 15 years at the position, then we will struggle.

However, there are quite a few reasons for optimism.  Our defense has a ton of talent on it and we have real depth at several key positions.  If we can fill our obvious voids, then those incumbent players become good backups instead of poor starters.  Our offense is a split end and offensive guard away from being legitimately dangerous (assuming our QB option works out).  If Hoyer is our 2014 starting QB, then we only have five starting positions to truly fill and we have three top35 picks along with a wealth of middle round picks to do it.

NFL: Preseason-Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns

Why all the fuss over a QB in the draft anyway?

Of course, if our medical concerns end up causing us to have a year full of injuries and our quarterback play does not improve from what we have been subjected to, then we will merely waste the talent that we have obtained and we will march to another top ten draft pick.

GM Ray Farmer’s lack of tendencies

Ray Farmer was a two-time all-ACC safety at Duke who was converted to LB for the Eagles and had a short playing career before it ended with a knee injury.  After his playing days, he was a scout for the Atlanta Falcons from 2002-2006 and then the Director of Professional Personnel for Scott Pioli’s Chiefs from 2006-2012.  If you want to try to gain insight into his draft tendencies from those stints, then I wish you luck.  Atlanta was very fringe heavy in the top rounds (DB, WR).  The Chiefs were middle heavy (OL, DL) with some DB as well (WRs only drafted in first round).

So, should we just grab the interview list of guys they brought in or went to see?  Well, he certainly muddies those waters by saying they are guys they might not be interested in.4


We’re way past doing a thought-ballon caption deal on this, right?

Farmer said. “definitely opportunities to talk to all parties that we may or may not be interested in.”

Hmmm, well perhaps he will be a need-based drafter?

“Every player that we look at will fit a need for us,” Farmer said. 

Ah hah!  Oh wait, I should read the rest of the quote where he basically says that anyone can be a need.  They just need to be a good player that he believes will upgrade that spot (love the bit about being a starter after Banner’s draft last year):

“I probably shouldn’t use the word need, but will fit a role. He’ll have a defined way to compete and to play in our offense and our defense. It’s really about driving competition. If we think that guy can come in and compete to be a quality starter, then, yeah, we’ll definitely be interested.”

Seems it will be tough to figure out who we are targeting and that is just how Ray wants it:

“No one really knows what we’re doing,” Farmer said. “Keeping everybody guessing is a positive.”

The only consistent piece is that his approach to the draft looks to mirror what he saw in KC and Atlanta.  Both of those Front Offices viewed draft picks as stock picks and are reported to have formulas to determine how to maximize the value.  We have no idea what Ray’s formulas may be or how good he is at working the phones, but that seems to be the strategy he will follow.

“I look at the draft as currency,” Farmer said. “A first-round pick, be it early, be it late, is probably worth five years of a  good player at a relative number and same thing down the line.”

It’s Mike Pettine, but hey, still pretty cool.5

As a defensive coach, perhaps we can start with what base defense he will run.   Or maybe not.6

“We’ll be multiple-front, multiple-coverage.”



“If he’s an outstanding player who can be productive in this league, we’ll find that home for him.”

We’re not limited in the type of football player we can take.  If there’s a guy who is an explosive athlete who can make plays for us defensively, then we’ll find a spot for him.  Fitting the system to the players — let it be the player’s system.  We won’t have guys we’ll circle on the board and say, ‘well, he’s not a fit for us schematically.((Music to Kanick’s ears.)) If he’s an outstanding player who can be productive in this league, we’ll find that home for him.”

He does give some insight into what he looks for in at least one position.

“I’d rather have smaller guys who are faster, and the best place that usually shows up as your linebacking corp. You look for guys who can run and hit guys and go sideline-to-sideline.”

But, I do find this statement about Kyle’s offenses quite accurate (and making it nearly impossible to get a good read on things, which is actually a positive).

“That was the most encouraging thing to me, that there wasn’t just one way he got it done. He did it with a quarterback like Matt Schaub, got it done with RG3. Did it with a premier wideout like Andre Johnson, then he did it with the likes of Pierre Garcon in Washington. He’s been in the top in the league in rushing statistics, also in passing statistics.” 

Narrowing the Field

Back on the Ravens pick, I mentioned how I envied that Ozzie would take the player he felt was BPA sometimes eschewing obvious needs to ensure he received the best player.  As such, I would be a hypocrite if I solely focused on team needs without first listing out the players that I feel may be BPA at this point in the draft.  The players on my list who have the best chance of becoming elite are (not factoring in associated risks and in no particular order):


Will make a team super happy in the second round.

  • Dee Ford (OLB, Auburn),
  • Kony Ealy (OLB, Mizzou),
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE, Washington),
  • Joel Bitonio (OL, Nevada),
  • Gabe Jackson (OG, MissSt),
  • Kyle Van Noy (LB, BYU), and
  • Ryan Shazier (LB, OSU).

Also, there are several players that do not have quite as high a ceiling but who are significant steps ahead of the next tier at their position (so, if you wait, then you are getting a much lesser player):

  • Jimmie Ward (S, NIU),
  • Bashaud Breeland (CB, Clemson),
  • Morgan Moses (OT, UVa),
  • Allen Robinson (WR, Penn State), and
  • Jordan Matthews (WR, Vanderbilt).

The one advantage to having as many needs as we have is that we can merge our need with BPA for this selection (as I reach for a silver lining).  That eliminates Ford, Ealy, and Seferian-Jenkins from the discussion and leaves us with nine players to discuss.  We can break things down further by comparing players at the same positions to get it down to four final choices.


Wrap. Up.
That’s all Kanick has to say to you Ryan.

Ryan Shazier vs. Kyle Van Noy

To begin this discussion, you have to understand that I believe either could be our WILB.  They are both being touted as OLB for the purposes of the NFL draft, but also both possess the quickness, reaction time, and fluidity in coverage to handle the WILB spot for our defense.  In addition, since Pettine wants to use a hybrid front, they are both the ideal guys you would like to be at WOLB when we show a 4-3 look.  Van Noy is much better at shedding oncoming blockers and also is better in coverage.  He would be my pick as I believe those to be essential skills in this role.  However, I am supposed to pick how I think the Browns would pick.  In that sense, I think they would prefer Shazier.  He is much faster and a better overall athlete who is incredibly aggressive and instinctive.  He does struggle to shed blocks, but that can be schemed and/or taught to some degree.  It is a very close call, but I believe that Mike Pettine will request the Buckeye if it comes down to these players.

Allen Robinson vs. Jordan Matthews

If NFL lineage is important, than Jordan Matthews is set.  He is a relative of GOAT WR Jerry Rice.  If college competition is important, then Jordan Matthews is set.  He is the all-time SEC leader in receptions, receiving yards, and is a two-time All-SEC player.  If measurables are important, then Jordan Matthews is set.  He is big (6’3”, 215 lbs, 10 ¾” hands), fast (4.46-40, 4.18-20-shuttle), and strong (21 rep bench).  If character is important, then Jordan Matthews is set as he has been as non-diva as you can get as a WR and says and does all the correct things by all accounts (including willingness to block).  The reason that he is a step down from the top five guys already taken is that he can struggle to release in press coverage, he doesn’t do double-moves all that well, and has bad habits with trapping the ball against his body in tight coverage.

Allen Robinson

Have we been overlooking this guy?

Oh sorry, I got distracted, was this supposed to be a comparison or a love letter?7  A comparison?  Ok, got it.

Yeah, there is also Allen Robinson who led the Big 10 in receptions and yards the past two seasons, is better than Matthews at creating separation and releasing from the LOS, is a big (but not as big) WR, a very good route-runner with the full routes due to O’Brien implementing them (head-start), and might be the better YAC8 WR of the two.  His big issue is that he ran a 4.6-40 at the combine and looks slow in games (separation due to great routes) and I am not going to believe his 4.25 pro-day reported number (c’mon Penn State, at least make it plausible).  I think he’s more likely to end up like Brian Robiskie in the NFL.9

Jimmie Ward vs. Bashaud Breeland

Breeland is the best cover corner left that isn’t a midget (5’11”), which makes him an intriguing prospect by default.  However, I am not sure that he would beat out Skrine for the CB2 job in the 2014 season and there are too many good prospects left to take a guy who may be depth.  Jimmie Ward is intriguing because he has real first round skills, can play FS, SS, and even CB in dime formations.  He has the speed and the size and the skill to be utilized all over the defensive backfield.

Joel Bitonio vs. Gabe Jackson vs. Morgan Moses

Bitonio-NEVMorgan Moses – He is an okay enough prospect, but the real reason he is even mentioned here is that the OT field drops off significantly after him.  I feel he would be a reach at #35 and that someone will make that reach in the early second or even late first round.  But, I hope that the Browns see him for what he is (a good but not great prospect) and move on.  I am also not nearly as low on Mitchell Schwartz as some fans are.

Gabe is bigger in the belly, making him the stronger, but slower player.  In fact, he was the singular slowest guy at the combine (not just in 40 time, but lateral drills, and pretty much everything).  Speed isn’t all that important for an OL, but quickness is a big key to the ZBS and he may struggle there.  However, in addition to being stronger, he also has a more refined technique.  If Gabe embraces NFL conditioning as Cordy Glenn did, then he could be an outright elite OG.  If not, then he won’t be in the NFL in 3 years.10

Bitonio, on the other hand, is the most athletic OL not going in the top ten of this draft as he was top four in all speed, quickness and jumping categories at the combine.  He is a former top-prep PF and grew up doing mixed martial arts (his father was a professional), which is likely why he has such amazing balance and is so good with his hands.  Mean SOB on the field who is also a noted leader in practice/film off the field and graduated with a degree in economics (statistic based).  Also, after the season, he decided it might help his draft stock if he learned every position on the OL, which he did by the Senior Bowl (and had a great week).  He isn’t the strongest guy, has shorter arms (so OG/OC only) and Nevada did almost exclusive 2-pt stance (though he looked fine in a 3pt in the Senior Bowl).  If he can add strength, then he is the prototypical ZBS OG and wins the OL battle here.

The Pick

So, the final four choices have come down to:


MAC meets FSU.

  • Jordan Matthews,
  • Jimmie Ward,
  • Joel Bitonio, and
  • Ryan Shazier.

All four players are extremely good players and all four could significantly improve an area of weakness on our team.

With Matthews, I am trying to balance my fear of second round WRs from yesterday’s post with the fact that he is the best WR left and has a ton of really good tools to use.  He may be what we have hoped Greg Little could become.  But, honestly, I think we are much better off right now at WR than at the other three slots and that is enough to pass on him as hard as it is to do.

Bitonio suffers a similar fate.  He is among my favorite prospects this year, but I believe the Browns think they are better off at OG than I do.  Perhaps Ray is just hiding his desire to draft OL, but he has been real quiet on it and the rumbling rumors that may or may not start in Berea have not really mentioned OG much.  With Greco, Pinkston, McQuistan, Faulk, and Gilkey, we have good depth at OG.  We could have two starters though I have my reservations about it.  But, it is my guess to what the Browns will do, so we move on.

So, it comes down to the defense.  While many fans may complain spending two of our first three picks on defense, I am a proponent of having an elite front.  We are closer on defense and have a defensive HC, so it does make some sense.  Also, it is just how this particular draft happened to fall.  Regardless, the question to me becomes which player will have the biggest impact on our defense.  Will a safety who you can move all over the field help more or a linebacker with ridiculous speed and athleticism?  Honestly, I hope this is the choice Ray Farmer has to make because I do not think there is a wrong answer.

My answer actually comes down to Karlos Dansby.  Dansby was a much, much better linebacker in Arizona when Daryl Washington was by his side.11  Dansby is not a fast player and he requires having speed paired up next to him to be truly effective.  While Karlos thrives taking on the block to shed or going out in coverage, Shazier can be the guy who knifes all over the field and attacks the QB.  When we show a 4-3 alignment, Karlos takes the MLB role and Shazier shifts to the WOLB and fits Pettine’s a call for sideline-to-sideline speed from the LBer corps.


Ok so Dansby + Shazier sounds better than Jackson + Robertson.

Final Answer:   Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

In case you weren’t yet convinced

  • Elite measurables
    • Among linebackers at combine:
    • Best vertical (42”),
    • Best Broad Jump (130”),
    • Fifth in 3-cone,
    • Eighth in shuttle run (4.21),
    • Eighth in bench (25 reps),
    • Pro-day 40 time of 4.36 (not sure I trust but he is widely known as THE fastest linebacker in the draft and it shows on film).
  • Elite field coverage


  • Strong at the point of attack


  • Great disruptor (does this look like a 2nd round pick to you?)


  • Field general / leader with great instincts (including in pass defense)


  • And, if all else fails, he’ll just suplex the RB


  • Oh, just watch the full highlight reel put together by Ryan Shazier’s agents.


I have done these multiple GM mock drafts in the past and usually when you get to the second round there are two-three guys that you want and target and hope that the other guys haven’t read about them much (or are targeting other needs).  This year is ridiculous.  I listed twelve players off the bat and know there are another four-six that I could have easily considered.  I would be happy with most of them even though I obviously have my personal preferences.  The 2009 draft is the closest in recent memory to being stacked like this (not our fault Mangini messed it up, I wanted Shady McCoy, Loadholt and Sean Smith), but it could not compete with the talent this year.  Doing this KRM exercise has really made me want to trade down with TB, Minny, Buffalo, or Tennessee and gain extra second round picks to take advantage of this wealth of talent.

Finally, many thanks to Kanick for including me on the KRM and to everyone who participated.  The thought put into these posts and the different takes on prospects was absolutely refreshing and needed in this exhausting extended lead-up to the NFL draft.  This thread of posts was my favorite non-family activity the past few weeks, which is saying a ton at the start of the MLB season.  Everyone, please take a bow for some great insights.

Yes, bows all around.  This was really extra-terrific.  I kinda want to see who the Browns take in the third.

Pick #TeamSelection
(linked to KRM post)
1TexansBlake Bortlesjpftribe
2RamsGreg RobinsonDave Kolonich
3JaguarsSammy WatkinsClevTA
4BrownsJadeveon ClowneyZarathustra
5RaidersKhalil MackPete Franklin
6FalconsJake MatthewsOXR
7BucsJohnny ManzielPeterM
8VikingsTeddy Bridgewatertrashycamaro
9BillsTaylor Lewanclay
10LionsHa’Sean Clinton-Dixbluedog93
11TitansAnthony Barrkanick
12GiantsEric EbronRod of Disaster
13RamsMike EvansMatt Borcas
14BearsAaron DonaldJRich
15SteelersDarqueze Dennard tmoore94
16CowboysLouis NixGrandRapidsRustlers
17RavensJustin GilbertMGBode
18JetsBrandin CooksZarathustra
19DolphinsZack Martintrashycamaro
20CardinalsCalvin PryorJRich
21PackersJace AmaroClevTA
22EaglesMarqise LeeGrandRapidsRustlers
23ChiefsRa'Shede Hagemanclay
24BengalsBradley RobyOXR
25ChargersKyle Fullertexinottawa
26BrownsDerek CarrChuckKoz
27SaintsOdell Beckham tmoore94
28PanthersXavier Su'a-Filojpftribe
29PatriotsTimmy Jerniganbluedog93
30NinersJason VerrettRod of Disaster
31BroncosCJ MosleyPete Franklin
32SeahawksCameron FlemingDave Kolonich
33 (2nd rd)TexansTroy NiklasMatt Borcas
34RedskinsStephon Tuittkanick
35BrownsRyan ShazierMGBode


  1. No fair!  Who would you have have taken? [back]
  2. White Hats = Good.  Black Hats = Bad.  Orange Hats = Family.  If you need proof, then just look at our entire division and realize that the Bengals have orange stripes. [back]
  3. NCAC has laid the claim to that term for Ohio for the past 30 years and that is good enough for me- [back]
  4. All quotes obtained from Ulrich’s piece here. [back]
  5. Clarification:  When Pettine’s name surfaced, I was among his most ardent supporters even over most of the bigger name coaches being discussed.  And, I am also not meaning to use this phrase in a derogatory fashion towards his daughter.  I love that she wrote it that way and they are both Orange Hats to me. [back]
  6. Pettine quotes sourced from Pokorny’s piece here. [back]
  7. Same thing happened to me when I was nixing Matthews for the Skins. [back]
  8. Still with us Mr. Cleaveland? [back]
  9. A plausible 4.47 40 is now being listed as Robinson’s pro day 40.  Pro day numbers are always suspect. [back]
  10. Jackson was definitely an elite guard in the SEC and man, I think 7-6 Missy State goes 3-10 without him.  He was that big of a difference.  End requisite Gabe Jackson endorsement. [back]
  11. This checks out.
    Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 6.06.22 PM [back]

69 Responses

  1. jimkanicki says:

    we all saw this, right?

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      I wish we could sit down and go over some video of Evans. I want to believe in him as strongly as you do.
      He lacks the elusive pre-throw ability to pick angles, (and angle toward picks for that matter.) Because of this he does not get that easy and instant separation some receivers have virtually from the snap. (Randy Moss, Lance Alworth, Paul Warfield, Cliff Branch, A J Green).
      He can catch, but he does not have what one would call “fly-paper hands”.
      Evans had a very good 40 time, but that is not as important as pure top end speed, when a receiver, or DB can keep accelerating while the ball is in the air and make a play, that is my guy.
      I want to like Evans, but he has improvisational separation and jump balls. Please tell me what you see beyond that jk.
      I am not trying to argue, I want to learn stuff.

      • jimkanicki says:

        i see the largest catch radius in the draft (by a significant amount) and a player who seems to have good hands, naturally high points his catches, and is equipped to win any and all jump balls.

        gifted and an technique rich as players may be — your guy jason verrette can never ever win when matched up against mike evans.

        as red auerbach said, ‘you cant teach height.’

        • actovegin1armstrong says:

          Thank you jk,
          I shall further ponder this pick.
          However, please remember that this is not basketball. Evans may soar into the air and grab a pass, then have a 5’6″ cover corner stick his arm in between the ball and Evan’s body. There shall be no loose ball fouls.
          Jump balls in the end zone are rarely perfectly thrown, if you threw 10 jump balls in the end zone to Evans with Verrett on him, Evans may catch one, Verrett will catch none and the rest shall fall harmlessly to the turf, or bounce around to an alert, .over-sized, (Barky), safety.
          I am however, watching more Evans stuff, because I would certainly prefer Evans to that other guy on his team, or any player on the wrong side of the ball. (Other than Jake Matthews.)

  2. Oh joy, is doing a mock draft using readers:

    What are the chances anything coherent is going to come of that?

    • jimkanicki says:

      i got a preview of the top 10:
      1. clowney, 2. manziel, 3. watkins, 4. manziel, 5. bortles, 6. carr, 7. bridgwater, 8. roby, 9. shazier, 10. manziel.

      • mgbode says:

        interesting in that they are doing it LIVE like a dress rehearsal for the real draft, but doing it with random people (whoever responded to his twitter and was randomly picked even if they have 0-posts to, so no guarantees that they are equipped to handle quick turnarounds on picks as they are doing.

        so, no real depth (Fedor is analyzing picks during wait between) and likely lots of panicky decisions. at least they are trying to mindlessly drive up the page clicks.

        • actovegin1armstrong says:

          Golly galoshes Batman!!
          I have been watching Derek Carr, when he is under any pressure, perhaps even when a rogue girl scout wants him to buy thin mints AND macaroons, he gets happy feet, not simple Steve Martin Happy Feet, he looks like that Riverdunce guy on crack, fast forwarded to get to the next part where we can all see Jean Butler.
          Just say no on Carr! And, yes on Jean Butler!

          • mgbode says:

            haha, yes. The cle-dot-com mock appears to be the Derek Carr of mock drafts.

          • jimkanicki says:

            i can only think of one qb in this draft who is specifically good under pressure and that is tajh boyd.
            (what happened there?)

          • actovegin1armstrong says:

            May we display a General Consensus, (please salute in reverence to HIMYM), that it is not a good idea to draft a QB unless Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning is available?

            RG(all of our draft choices)INJURY is not worth a first found draft pick, let alone 17 1st round picks.

            The Browns have 11 picks in this years’ draft, in a brilliant flash of decision making power, they draft 2 o-tackles (one moves to guard), a very important and large enough (5’9″), CB, then 8 picks all on the important side of the ball. 2 linebackers from this group, Kyle Van Noy, Telvin Smith, Shayne Skov, perhaps Denicos Allen as an UDFA and Roosevelt Nix as an UDFA would be a good choice as well.

            Then a pick to bolster a not as great as you think D-line.

            Louis Nix if he slides as far as I think he may, or a great run stopper Zach Kerr. 6th round?? I really like Eathyn Manumaleuna. He should be available as an UDFA, but he is one of the best d-tackles in the draft.

            If he passes his physical Vinnie Sunseri will be a steal too.
            Jerry Gates should be a solid UDFA and Marqueston Huff will be a great late round, or UDFA pick-up as well.

            I want to sneak in to Radio City Music Hall and make the Browns’ picks!

      • actovegin1armstrong says:

        “”Greetings from your friends and neighbors, you have been selected to serve in America’s fighting forces…”

  3. Warburton MacKinnon says:

    the mock was nice though

  4. Warburton MacKinnon says:

    just tired of the draft now

  5. Warburton MacKinnon says:

    i only get draft predictions and more draft predictions everywhere

  6. Warburton MacKinnon says:

    can we all agree May is too long to wait for this dammened draft?

  7. actovegin1armstrong says:

    This was plenty of fun, you created the most comprehensive coverage of the Browns’ superbowl ever. We are little more than a week away from the best football day of the year, then we can once again, wait until next year.
    Thank you jk! What do you think the chances are of Jake Matthews at 4 and Verrett or Roby at 26th?

    • jimkanicki says:

      i can take credit for the idea but the richness of content was straight from the smartest browns commentariat there is.

      i sure couldnt say what the chances are for matthews and a CB in the first. i have heard from two people who arent gossipers that they have heard evans is actually their guy at 4. so take that with a huge grain of salt but that’s the only insider-type rumor i’ve heard and i’d be pretty happy if it played out that way.

      • actovegin1armstrong says:

        I think Lee Evans is a terrific choice to augment Josh Gordan’s talent, and he is from Warrensville Heights too!
        Is he available?

        • mgbode says:

          he might even be in town! he’s sitting on a couch somewhere on Sundays just like the rest of us.

  8. zarathustra says:

    Also, thank you to everybody who participated in this–it was so very insightful–and of course to Herr Kanicki for hosting.

  9. zarathustra says:

    I too prefer van noy but also think it they would prefer the athleticism and versatility of shazier. Pettine appears to me as one who is very confident in his ability to develop players and shazier has too much potential for them to not take him. (This is why I had them taking clowney.) I think when we look back on the real draft a couple weeks from now it will be very apparent that the main focus was improving team speed. Either way, we will know soon enough.

  10. NeedsFoodBadly says:

    Good work, everyone!

  11. Bluedog93 says:

    Sob. It’s over. The mock draft is over. Whatever will we do now?

    But seriously — Mike, thanks for arranging this, running it, and inviting me to participate. It was an incredible amount of fun.

  12. The_Real_Shamrock says:

    Impressive work. I like Shazier at #35 but hate Carr at #26 and think in no way does Bortles go #1 and Clowney #4. If Clowney is there at #4 I’m entertaining any and all trade possibilities.

    • jimkanicki says:

      i know it’s unlikely that clowney falls to 4 but i didnt let anyone trade.

      however on bortles to the texans, that still works. they’re sitting with keenum and fitzpatrick at qb and hopkins+a.johnson at WRs… they gotta get those guys the ball. add in that bortles’ coming out party was at happy valley vs obrien’s nittany lions and it kind of hangs together.

      • The_Real_Shamrock says:

        I was speaking more of for a real world scenario I understand not allowing trades for a mock draft.

        As far as the Texans go I have no clue what they will do or who they will choose so it could very well be Bortles which for the Browns would be a good thing. It eliminates one of those potential QBs they could mistakenly choose at #4. In a perfect world Bortles, Manziel and Clowney go 1-3 in any order. But I that would be my perfect world which means it ain’t gonna happen.

        • bupalos says:

          you’re after watkins I suppose?

          • The_Real_Shamrock says:

            I’ve been a fan of his for awhile but truthfully I’m all over the place now. I wouldn’t even be upset if they selected an OL at #4 even. I just am hoping they don’t reach and take a QB because I’m not sold on any of the potential candidates.

          • bupalos says:

            agreed there, I’m OK with Watkins and the top 2 or 3 OL are often your best moneyball pick so I’m fine with either of the top 2 here. 4 years of actual 6-10M production for peanuts, almost never flame out. It’s as boring and reliable as picking up a $10 bill.

          • actovegin1armstrong says:

            “OL are often your best moneyball pick”
            You are a smart kid Bupa. Jake Matthews with the 4th pick.

        • jpftribe says:

          Like button please….

  13. jimkanicki says:

    i’m just gonna like button The Dispatch here on the shazier circle drill still photo up top. the youtube of that drill is great but that still photo with the coaches and players locked in is pulitzer-grade.

  14. B-bo says:

    I share the concerns with Shazier In terms of wrapping up, and I do like me some Jordan Matthews at this spot, but I think (scarlet and gray glasses aside) that this is the right move here. LB is a position I think you need to have an elite guy (and Shazier certainly has the potential) in to really excel as a team defense, and this team has gone far too long settling for decent/serviceable there.

    And yes to more second round picks. The closer we get to the draft (we will eventually get there, right?), the more I love the idea of letting Minny move up and using that ammo to take advantage of this year’s quality of depth overall.

  15. bupalos says:

    Outstanding. I came in thinking Mathews here, but I think the logic here is pretty compelling that we need a full set at LB to leverage Dansby. This would be a hell of an interesting LB corps with a lot of flexibility and would close up what is really the remaining hole on D.

  16. RGB says:

    6-2, 229…he’s going to make a fearsome safety tandem with Mingo.

    • saggy says:

      I’m rowing that boat.

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      I really love this idea, make it a triple safety set, with Barky, Shazier and pick up Telvin Smith in the 3rd or 4th round.
      The Browns secondary could make “Dwight Hicks and the Hot Licks” look like an eight grade chess club!
      Rob Ryan could make it work, bring him back too.

  17. Nick says:

    I like Shazier.

    I’m going to the Derby this weekend. Any Cheddar Bayers follow horse racing? I’d like to drop a few bills down on some ponies but I know nothing.

    • jimkanicki says:

      gauntlet thrown down to the two degenerates of the first order: Pete F and ClevTA.

      • Petefranklin says:

        There is no value in me spending any amount of time capping horse racing. There is an automatic take out of money that comes from everyone who bets, not just the losers, like sports betting. That being said, Cali Chrome is a good horse but will have to be severely held back early to prevent a late collapse. I don’t see it happening with all the early speed that has come in the recent Derbys. I will pass tomorrow and simply bet against “the publics next coming” the winner in two weeks in Baltimore. I think Cali Chrome may take the Preakness (mile and 1/8)

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      My horse crazy, degenerate brother says Cali Chrome is a very questionable favorite. Where has this horse raced? The horse named after that Elton John song is his choice.
      “Hold me closer Tony Danza” I however, have no idea about any type of gambling, but…. I would take the favorite when the sharps flocking are off the early line.

  18. jimkanicki says:

    well you kinda talked me into it. but my lingering take on shazier is a ‘knockout tackler’ who tries to hit hard but doesn’t wrap up. gave up too many broken tackles in college, will be a disappointment in pros if he doesn’t change his style.

    • mgbode says:

      An extremely valid concern and one that is extremely important that he focus on fixing. I prefer Van Noy who is much more of a technician all-around, but I will admit that he cannot compete with Shazier’s athleticism. The one saving grace of Ryan’s knock-out tackles is that his head is usually up, so he won’t get the fines in the NFL. In the end, I’m betting here that Ben Tate teaches Shazier in August that he better wrap up NFL runningbacks.

      • jimkanicki says:

        so you mentioned you would not have gone clowney and carr. assuming the available players on the board were the same who’d you have at 4 and 26?

        • mgbode says:

          ok, but be ready to not be happy with me.

          in a perfect world, I would trade down to 7 or 8, gain an extra high 2nd round pick (plus more) and take: Gilbert, Beckham, Van Noy, and Bitonio. Then, double-down on 3rd tier QBs by selecting both Murray and Shaw later in the draft as Hoyer insurance (likely using some of the “plus more” to obtain one of them).

          within the confines of the parameters of the KRM, I would have taken Bridgewater at #4, Beckham at #26, and Van Noy at #35. I like the trade-down much better than either of what actually happened in the KRM and what I would do here too without it.

          • jimkanicki says:

            whoo boy. well… at least it wouldn’t have been less popular than chuckkoz’s carr pick. 🙂

            and if clowney SHOULD fall to #4 (which really seems unlikely in real life), i should think the browns will have a dozen GMs on skype bidding against each other for the whole 15 minutes.

          • saggy says:

            they’d better. I love the trade down scenario. LOVE. But give me Kelvin Benjamin in the early second, and then I like Bitonio a lot, too (or even , with that second second-round pick you just traded for. Give me Verrett at 26, too. And, if i were picking 7th-10th, I’d prefer Evans. I would rather draft 2 WRs than 2 QBs.

          • actovegin1armstrong says:

            Saggy, love your respective moniker.
            Have you heard “Absolute Zero” Benjamin in an interview? He does not appear to “get it” and he is slow, with a marked lack of separation moves, which he barely tries to make up for with a stunning lack of acceleration.
            I am not a fan of Mike Evans, and -460 Fahrenheit Benjamin is a slower, less nimble motivationally questionable version of Evans with Roberto Duran hands.
            Nancy says “Just Say No” on Kelvin Benjamin.

          • saggy says:

            i thought it was -273? The kid is just so big and strong that i would love to throw him out there as another option. Of course, Lawyer Tillman was big and strong, too….

          • actovegin1armstrong says:

            “You say Celsius
            I say Fahrenheit
            Let’s call the whole thing off”

          • actovegin1armstrong says:

            Rather intricate mgb, the malice of forethought is appreciated!
            I just want the Browns to get Jake Matthews, Jason Verrett and Connor Shaw.
            They may trade away the other picks., or waste them on QB’s, RB’s, and cheerleaders. (They are all rather closely aligned on the physical attributes for football scale.)

          • mgbode says:

            I would not complain if we got Jake and would be very happy to pick up Shaw in a middle round.

    • mgbode says:

      also, thank you for the updated PFF chart (sure does highlight how much closer we actually might be this time). and, as always, for all of the editing, pictures, and commentary throughout. great job as usual.

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      I like Shazier, but he is a bit overvalued being such a combine sensation. He is fast, he can jump out of the gym, he is built like Tony Mandarich. All of that means very little to me, I do not have him in my top 5 for linebackers.

      • mgbode says:

        Combine Beast + Ohio State + ESPN Highlight Guy — does make me pause on the hype machine with him.

        I am interested to see your top5 LBers (and see if you include guys like Ford that might be 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB).

        • actovegin1armstrong says:

          I like Ford if he can simply “pin his ears back” and chase the QB, but I do not like him in coverage. He may be “coached up” and he is purported to have a strong work ethic, but I did not include him with my linebackers. He may not be a complete bust, but he may be reduced to a role player in the NFL.
          Top 5 linebackers? (It has changed a few times, and Shazier may barely crack in at a tie for 5th on every 4th revision.)
          1. Khalil Mack
          2. Kyle Van Noy
          3. C J Mosley
          4. Telvin Smith
          5. Shayne Skov and sometimes Skov tied with Shazier

          • mgbode says:

            thanks. so, I assume you have Clowney marked off as a DE (and I agree that’s how he should be designated even if he ends up as a bigger OLB)? What about Anthony Barr (from film – he is basically the same player as Mack. I was surprised that Khalil measured a better athlete but I have them equal in all regards including whatever position they end up)?

            I like Telvin Smith. I don’t like him as much as you do, but I do like him. I am just worried he won’t be big enough or strong enough to handle the NFL. 6’3″ and 215lbs is pretty tiny for an ILB especially if we go 3-4 most of the time. Telvin could really thrive if a team spends a year bulking him up and then giving him the WOLB in a 4-3 (TB w/ Lovie maybe?).

            Not sure why you like Skov so much though. If we needed a super-strong ILB (we don’t – that’s why we signed Dansby), then I would go Borland over Skov. Chris is a faster and better version of Shayne (my opinion, of course).

            Likewise, my top5 would be:

            1. Mack / Barr (toss-up – think they are even)
            3. CJ Mosley
            4. Kyle Van Noy
            5. Ryan Shazier

            leaving guys like Clowney, Ford, Ealy and others out (just go by 4-3 LBer descriptions for simplicity)

          • actovegin1armstrong says:

            I was an Ealy fan, then I heard bad things from a friend very close to the Mizzou program. So I watched some more of his play. He is a bit of a self absorbed sycophant, who quickly switches to just self absorbed.
            He also plays smaller than he is and can be a little slow on the uptake.

          • actovegin1armstrong says:

            In my rankings, I also include what one must give up to get said player. That is the reason Barr is not in there. Perceived value v. actual ability.

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