Gilbert and Manziel.

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Pretty terrific debut draft night for Ray Farmer last night.  Let’s review because I really want to dig into where we might go tonight.1

Justin Gilbert + Bills’ first rd/2015 + Bills’ fourth rd/2015 for Sammy Watkins + Browns’ fifth rd (#145).

Mind-blowing trade.  Not just here but the truest measure of a trade is what our rivals this.  They think this.

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Some of these guys can play.

And what does a Bills first rounder look like?

I am convinced the Browns wanted the Bills’ second (#41) this year and had to be cajoled into taking next year’s first and fourth.   Let’s say the Bills go 8-8 next year.  Here’s what this year’s 8-8 teams took:

  • Kyle Fuller
  • Ryan Shazier
  • Zack Martin
  • CJ Mosley
  • Calvin Pryor
  • Ja’Wuan James

Just amazing and this is how franchises turn around.

Gilbert:  6000/190; 4.37 40; 20 bench reps; 36 vert; 33.1 arms.

Gilbert’s McGinn report (ranked #1 among CBs):

1. JUSTIN GILBERT, Oklahoma State (6-0, 200, 4.36, 1) – Three-year starter with tremendous talent. “He’s the least productive of the (top) group but has the highest ceiling,” one scout said. “Size, speed. He’s a lot of what Johnathan Joseph was. You’ve got to project he will be better in the NFL than he was in college.” Started 39 of 51 games, finishing with 12 interceptions (15-yard average, two touchdowns) and 27 passes defensed. “You watch that guy and he like (expletive) you off and then he makes a big play, which none of these other guys do,” said a second scout. “He picks a ball off and returns it 50 yards. He’s not always tough.” Scored 14 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. “I hate guys with Marilyn Monroe bell curves,” a third scout said. “He was awful last year (2012) and this year he played a hell of a lot better. I can see his talent. That’s not the point. I’m not saying he’s a bad kid or a dumb kid. But he did the same thing in school that he does on the football field. He does not perform, and he can. He was going to get benched last year (2012). That’s how bad he was. He’s a big, long athlete that can run. I just don’t think he saw the ball real well.” From Huntsville, Texas.

So that ain’t the delightful report you’d like to see, but Pettine addressed some of this in last night’s presser.

On Gilbert’s tackling ability, Pettine: “In our system, we are not [using] a lot of a hard corner very often, where the corner is primary in run support so when a ball is going around the perimeter, the corner is the first line of defense. That’s very rare in our system. Our premium, when we look at and list the attributes of and say, ‘Here’s what we we’re looking for in a corner,’ the press-man coverage ability, the ability to eliminate a wide receiver and allow us to play 10 against 10 and do that with two guys and play nine against nine, that is a much higher premium than to be more of an outside-linebacker type. Since it’s further down the list, he was clearly our top corner because he fits our scheme. He might not have been the top corner for some other teams schematically that are more Cover 2.”

I don’t think many of us looked too hard at Gilbert for the Browns (although the KRM brought him to the attention of most who did a write-up) because his length and speed put him at the top of the CB prospects — a reach at #4 and an impossibility at #26.  Here’s a clip showing Gilbert’s cover ability.  Looks good to me.

Finally, for any lingering doubters, this was a money tweet on Gilbert.
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Johnny Manziel for  Marcus Smith + Browns third rd (#83).

The trade up isn’t horrible, but since I want Dri Archer and believe he’ll go tonight, Ray Farmer may need to be busy on the phones again tonight.

Manziel:  5116/207; 4.68 40; 9.88 hands.

I’m not the biggest fan for many of the reason noted in yesterday’s forum contents:  Pandora’s Box, circus, and mainly:  I really like Hoyer and think he can be the guy.  Will he get his chance?

But I take some comfort in that two of the sites I most respect have Manziel as the top QB.  The McGinn reports have him tops (excerpt below) and the guys at love him.2  They’re on top of their game this year and here’s what they say on Manziel:

The area that separates Manziel from most football players is in his instincts, intuitiveness, creativity, and awareness on the field.  Manziel possesses rare instincts that allow him to make plays that most other players are not capable of making.  When he uses his athletic ability to get outside of the pocket, he is extremely difficult to defend because of his elusiveness in the open field combined with his ability to anticipate where defenders will be in proximity to his receivers.  Overall, the game seems to move extremely slowly for Manziel and I believe that is the reason why he is able to make so many plays that most other players are incapable of making.

I expect Manziel to make the same type of impact on his team at the next level.

Lookit.  There’s reason to be happy even if you weren’t in the pro-Johnny camp.  Here’s Manziel’s McGinn report (ranked #1 among QBs):

For God's sake.

For God’s sake.

1. JOHNNY MANZIEL (5-11 1/2, 207, 4.65, 1) – Not only was Manziel known to one and all as “Johnny Football,” he trademarked the nickname. “He’s more talented than the guy at New Orleans (Drew Brees),” one scout said. “His arm’s not as strong as (Michael) Vick’s but he’s farther along in the passing game. He’s not very far along, but farther than Vick was. He’s better than (Doug) Flutie, faster and better than (Russell) Wilson. He reminds me a little bit of (Joe) Montana. Fluid, and even though off-balance he can get the ball out. Has big hands (9 7/8 inches) for a little guy. To me, the only thing holding him back is the off-the-field and if he’s committed to coming in on Mondays and Tuesdays.” Third-year sophomore from Kerrville, Texas. Recruited by Mike Sherman and coached by Tom Rossley as a redshirt in 2011. Replaced departed Ryan Tannehill in ’12 and blossomed, capturing the Heisman Trophy. “Nothing fazes him,” said an executive who has interviewed him. “He’s a likable guy. Not great on the (coaching) board. Doesn’t always work at it.” Scored 1,550 on the SAT and 32 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. Loves the night life and celebrity lifestyle. Asked how Manziel would fail, one scout said, “Off field. Parties. Lack of dedication to his craft. All the stuff that gets in the way. You know what I mean.” Fashioned an NFL passer rating of 111.0, completed 69% of his passes and rushed for 2,160 yards (6.3) and 30 TDs. Threw at pro day in March wearing helmet and shoulder pads, something many veteran scouts had never witnessed. “It was excellent — great PR move,” another scout said. “You know how much harder that is? I keep hearing he’s slipping. What the hell do you want? Does everyone have too much time on their hands or what?”

Here’s some Manziel clips.  Back in a few to make some guesses on what goes on tonight.

  1. There will be time to re-hash my Mike Evans pick and I guess it was a miss but at least I didn’t want Derek Carr at #4. [back]
  2. Draftbrowns is the only other site I’ve seen who’s had Evans rated than Watkins for months; they, like me, had Kyle Fuller as their top d-back; and they, like me, correctly pegged Deone Bucannon as first round talent. [back]
  • maxfnmloans

    I have a feeling Ray Farmer could get elected King of Cuyahoga County today. I was never on board with Manziel, but screw it, let’s see what happens. Also, I wanted to pick a QB early, for fear there’d be a run on QB’s before we were back up again at 26. Ray Farmer is a better poker player than I am apparently.

    Before this all started, I wanted to walk away from our first three picks with a QB, CB and WR or OG. Based on space between pick and relative remaining depth of each position, I’d say get a OG first, just because I highly doubt Gabe Jackson will be around at 71, and I think someone like Donte Moncrief or Allen Robinson might be

  • HitTheHorns

    Also, Browns have been a sharp team for quite a few years. Will definitely be a square team in 2014. Steelers week 1 essay writing itself…

  • HitTheHorns

    So Kanick, I get the impression you feel the same way I do; we didn’t want this, but now that it is here, it’s going to be kinda fun and let’s get on board.

    The Browns need to get better from 1 to 53. Simple as that. Everything Farmer did has made that possible, and will continue. Kudos.

    Gilbert should, in theory, make our front 7 infinitely better.

    Best part of this for me was Tony Grossi tweeting that in one of his 45 mocks, he picked Gilbert at 26. Then had nothing to offer after the Manziel pick. Grossi is just the worst.

  • Alex

    Also can someone please post a YouTube video on best way to convert a Tim Couch jersey in to Johnny’s? So happy my #2 jersey is coming back in to use!

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Xavier Su’a-Filo or Kyle Van Noy at 35!

    I was really high on Gilbert months ago, but then after watching more film, I preferred Jason Verrett. Verrett plays bigger than Gilbert. Verrett will hit anything that moves and Gilbert has a bit of the Matador in him. Verrett is a little bit faster too. (I do not care about your damn 40 times, I prefer the eyeball test.) Gilbert had some terrific returns though….

    • now lookit acto. you were right on gilbert: own it. and you’re about to be right on jordan matthews, own that too.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        I know, I commented before I started watching a lot of stuff.
        I was really excited about Jordan Matthews, but then I saw a lot of plays where he was losing the contact battle with guys smaller than Jason Verrett. I do however like his top end speed. Filo, or Van Noy?

    • The_Real_Shamrock

      I like Filo but I also like Lee and Matthews at WR. I want two, I’m greedy!

  • Alex

    I’m hoping for Guard, at 35, Xavier. Or if they have Marquis Lee rated higher then him. But I think priority has got to be protecting Hoyer/JFF and providing running lanes.

    • i’ll be good with that. i’m thinking though, that the difference between say Matthews and Adams is greater than between XSF and Gabe Jackson or Billy Turner. trust me, i’m an o-line guy. but upgrading greg little could make the offense dominant.

  • Fox Lechner

    I love your site. Many thanks for all the work and insight. A German Browns fan. All the best!

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