2015 Draft Notes.

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That’s the look I want.

(Note!  If you’re in NEO, you should go to Frowns’ Draft Party at Map Room.  I would if I were there.)

Hi all, let’s do some random draft notes. I haven’t researched the prospects much and I’m content that that’s fine. I.e., I really liked Justin Gilbert last year and I believe my do-not-take list included Kelvin Benjamin and Chris Borland.  Caveats:  sent.  That being said, let’s dive in.


Not a first round ass. Not for my team.

The NT smokescreen.
I do not buy all this Danny Shelton talk nor do I buy the urgent need for a “run-stopper.” Taylor. Kitchen. Hughes.  These are run-stoppers.  Even healthy Desmond Bryant is a gap stuffer though he’s not know for it. Billy Winn is a gap shooting end. We didn’t have Dansby for four(?) games; Hughes was out EIGHT games.  If you want to know why run defense was sub-par, look there. Stop looking at NT. I’ll pass on fat and slow at 12th overall at any position. Browns will too. This is smoke.

Brother Phil not sitting behind draft pick.

Brother Phil not sitting behind draft pick.

Edited to add (4/30):  I forgot that PHIL TAYLOR was out for eleven games.  That’s Hughes, Dansby, and Taylor out for 25 man-games.  That’s aging Ahytba Rubin at NT backed up by Sionne Fua for most of the second half games.  You know those back to back 200+ rush yds allowed games vs. Bengals and Panthers?  We started Rubin and Kitchen on the line.  Hell Kruger was out against the Panthers and notable run-overrunner Barky Mingo started.  ALSO… the Johnny Manziel era yielded 13 first downs total in two games versus Bengals and Panthers where the other team had over 200 yards rushing.


Anyway,,, you know what James Bond would say if you told him that a defense with Rubin at NT and Sionne Fua rotating and with Mingo on the edge and Kirksey-Robertson up the middle gave up more than 200 yards to the Bengals?  James Bond would say this:


Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes offensive linesman Brandon Scherff (68) blocks against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Consensus #1 lineman taken at #12 is ALWAYS a GREAT pick.

Notably absent from Browns pre-draft talk…
… is Brandon Scherff. If you can take the first o-lineman off the board at 12, you should probably do so. Not only is he the top rated tackle, but the “knock” on him is he might play guard. Ohh kay… and the problem with that is…? Ask a Steeler fan whether they think the first round guard pick of David DeCastro was a wasted pick. I’ve seen at least one mock draft with Scherff available at 12. If Scherff is there, it probably means the big three receivers are gone. If Scherff is there, the Browns take him.

The #1 WR is DeVante Parker.
Readily admit I haven’t poured through much any tape on other receivers. That’s because I saw all I needed to see at the 2:00 mark of this clip.  I’m taking Parker over any other receiver because he’s the athlete who also has the instinct to get the ball.  If you have to coach a guy to high point balls with hands and to out-fight d-backs, you don’t have the right professional receiver.  Parker has demonstrated that he’s a receiver in the pure sense of the word.



Vic Beasley is on the all-hype team.
I haven’t scouted him. But I did watch probably a half dozen Clemson games and each one was the same:  the announcers are armed with talking points and stats to hype Vic Beasley and he winds up being a complete non-factor in the game’s outcome. “Plays soft” was what I recall thinking. Michael Sam had good stats too. Same deal here.


Gurley did it in SEC w UGA line; Gordon in B1G w Wiscy line.

If you can get Todd Gurley at #19 you ought to.
For a RB to be worth a first round pick he needs to be ‘transcendent.’ You cannot really measure that in the combine drills or with stats. You only get that by watching.1 Gurley seems to be. (I don’t feel this way about Gordon.) Gurley is not a need pick for the Browns but an easy BPA pick at 19.

As for the rest, Jay Ajayi looks like a difference maker.  But the other names –Yeldon, Johnson, Langford — just seem like ‘decent’ prospects.  I.e,, put them behind a good line in a good offense and they’ll do ok.  Why waste a mid round pick on those types when Isaiah Crowell could be lurking as an UDFA?

Gurley’s the one RB who will make his oline better, not vice versa.  Transcendent.

QB talk.
There are two QBs who would be certain difference makers for the Browns this year and long term. One is Philip Rivers and he’s not available. The other is Colin Kaepernick and the Niners say he isn’t available but I’m not so sure,,, but let’s assume he’s not. So I’m pretty done trying to jam QBs in slots, forcing it to happen. You’re lucky if you get Aaron Rodgers.  You’re savvy if you get Tom Brady.  Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning come along once every 15 years. So my plan is to find a mature QB with leadership qualities, durability, strong arm, love of game, work ethic and surround him with a great line and good receivers.


6’3″/230 QB from winning program who led NCAA in passing. Why isn’t he rated higher than Winston and Mariota again?

I’m way past done taking ‘high ceiling’ ‘athletic’ QBs and ‘developing’ them. Vince Young, JaMarcus Russell, Josh Freeman, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton,2 Geno Smith, EJ Manuel, Robert Griffin.3 So you say Brett Hundley, I say pass.

If I have to take a QB early, I’ll go with Bryce Petty. If I’m allowed to trust my eyes and ignore draft rankings, I’ll take Bo Wallace late.  It’s the savvy play.

As for Mariota,,, we all saw the Ohio State game right?  I mean,,,, RIGHT???  Was his performance ‘transcendent?’  Because if you’re giving up three #1s for a player, he ought to be ‘transcendent.’  Leading an offense that went 2-12 on third downs in the championship game is not.


Not good if your #1 overall invites this compare.

And Jameis?  No idea but damn he was fat going into the NFL pre-draft season where you know you’re doing work with your shirt off.  All signs point to a super high school athlete and who been winning by being bigger and faster than every he plays against; all signs point to a guy who’s been treated ‘special’ because he’s a great athlete.  If that profile sounds familiar to Browns, it should.

Edge rushers??  Please stop.
Mother of God.  We’ve invested heavily in Mingo, Kruger, Bryant.  Just gave 3M to Randy Starks.  (And yet the best ‘edge rusher’ we had was signed by the best team in football.)  So knock it off with OLB talk.  Let the investment mature.  We just went three years with a top 10 pick who couldn’t break into the starting lineup; let’s not have the situation again.

  1. For the record: Trent Richardson’s dancing behind his line went on in Tuscaloosa. Remarkable combination of bad scouting and succumbing to group think on that pick. But I digress. [back]
  2. That’s right, Cam Newton.  Does not impress me. [back]
  3. Manziel might also fit in that group depending on your definition of athletic; but he doesn’t fit for me. [back]
  • jpftribe

    I like the first two picks. Big Greco fan, but having more power there and the ability to replace Schwartz or Mack is a big plus. Please allow me one more parting shot at Lombardi trading away our entire mid round when Garret Gilkey was it sitting there, heir apparent to Mack that would have created a ton of now missed opportunities in the FA market and in real games. Goes to show the mid rounds are important.

    Farmer got burned in round 2 and 3, having to trade down and reach for Orchard when they had ammo to go up and get, maybe Devin Smith? KC jumping in front of us to get Conley was a poke in the eye. Like the picks, but see the missed opportunities above…….

  • welp i’m never going to complain about two firsties in the trenches.

    • mgbode

      I hope that I at least softened your Shelton stance before the pick came up.

      • also,,, at the last moment it occurred to me that if the vikings pass on parker — and they could use a WR — they could not have better scouting on him (with bridgewater). frowns made the raji comparison. so it’s cool. if i had to rework the shelton part of my post it would be to emphasize the dubious ‘bad run defense’ claims;; i still don’t buy that. good run d, bad run d — never bad to get a talented NT and we know from recent history theyre hard to come by. that’s why it was exasperating to junk jauron’s 4-3.. we’d just live through mangini’s fruitless search for NTs.

        so yeah, i’m good. and seeing him on stage in workout shorts was icing.

  • Dave Kolonich

    My first round weigh-in: Without getting too detailed on the individual talents of Shelton and Erving – the theme last night was Ray Farmer realizing his job security is pretty fragile. After last year, no doubt Ray figured out that he needed to land some SAFE picks. And there are no safer NFL picks than OL and DL. It’s a smart strategy for him and given the Browns’ history, you can’t fault this too much. I think this affected not going for a WR or Pass Rusher (and obviously not giving up everything for Mariota).

    As for Mike’s thoughts on Taylor, I would be more agreeable if Taylor wasn’t already a fifth-year player heading into a contract year. Is this a guy the Browns want to sink money into next year – given how banged up he gets? As for Erving, there may have been OL talent to be found later in the draft, but the idea actually makes sense. You’re average at RG and RT and last year showed what happens when Mack doesn’t play at C. If Erving is truly that versatile, he’s a really smart pick. Also, if he starts – say at RG – this means Greco can go back to the role that best fits him, which is as the top backup at G and C. Plus, is Schwartz a guy you want to pay big money to in a year or two? And let’s not assume Joe Thomas plays for another 3-4 years either.

    Let’s see what happens – Farmer could basically pick guys for ANY position and it would make sense. Browns badly need depth everywhere.

    • greco is perfect as insurance. do not like him as kep piece.

      wrt to taylor, he’s good and injuries happen. since he actually is a [current] scheme fit, his case will be a litmus on finding out whether building through the draft and sustaining continuity is really something they want to do or simply horseshit they spew in pressers. sheard, skrine (even rubin) plus taylor would demonstrate that being a browns draft pick doesnt make you a brown and building through draft is just something to say when there arent any free agent bargains available.

      • Dave Kolonich

        I don’t think that’s specific to Cleveland – it’s the Madden Franchise Builder Ego of all GM’s. THEY have to draft THEIR guys to fit THEIR systems. It’s so dumb and the few guys who don’t subscribe to this regularly grab castoffs and make them into successful football players (the Patriots the gold standard and to a lesser degree, the Bengals).

    • Tron

      Funny. Last nights performance by Farmer struck me as someone very comfortable with his job security.

      • Dave Kolonich

        If he were comfortable after last year’s first round, he would have went for a QB and gambled on a skill position player. OL and DL are safe picks.

        • Tron

          Not sure where your logic is coming from. OL and DL were clearly positions of need after last season. Agree or not, Farmer does not place the greatest importance on WR. We drafted a RB last year in the 3rd round. He was not going to sell the farm for the QB’s in this years draft. Doing so would have screamed of desperation. So again, not sure where you’re coming from.

  • zarathustra

    Such a bizarre feeling….I’m ecstatic about what the browns did last night. Not trying to talk myself into anything like most years. Love both picks.
    Tonight I like J. Strong, though he might be gone by 43, tevin coleman, maxx williams and maybe perryman. Collins from LSU may be undraftable at this point, but he could be an incredible steal at 43. Also like jameson crowder and tyler lockett later.

    • saw someone giving us devin funchess in the 3rd. that sounds good. (can anyone here confirm that he really has stone hands?) someone else gave us donovan smith in the 2nd which of course would make me [insert coarse metaphor for really happy here].

      dont ask me to reconcile this with super consistent logic: i would take la’el collins; i would not take DGB.

      • mgbode

        his hands may not be made of granite, but that is only because they are made of marble. just as important, watch “how” he catches. his hands go out towards the ball instead of having his hands out and having them come in with the ball. subtle, but huge difference.

        • welp i’m not interested in WR projects when the project includes both how to catch and how to run patterns. carlton mitchell cured me of that.

      • zarathustra

        Agree on collins vs dgb. Part of it is that collins has a proven track record on the field and dgb is yet another wr project and we’ve all witnessed countless of those flop on Sundays. Also, I think Collins benefits from being an o-lineman which are stereotypically smart and not viewed as being trouble-makers, while receivers are the opposite. So illogical maybe, but we all have biases and I totally agree with this. Moreover, Collins very possibly (probably? ) isn’t guilty of anything so there’s that–though he his panicked missteps under pressure don’t necessarily speak well for him as a prospect he still is probably a steal. Can you imagine that o-line? I would think that’s meeting your 3 stud criterion and then some.
        I’ll pass on funchess I think. Lockett and crowder are the only receivers I’m interested in for the browns at this point and only in round 3. As a side note: if you were annoyed by run d media narrative the wr desperation media narrative shoud cause far more gnashing of teeth an fist clenching. Not only is it misguided in my opinion, but the fact that it is so universally trumpeted as the teams top priority by fans and media should alone be enough of a red flag to do it. I ‘ve been watching the cleveland media this time of year for a long time and there is no collective group whose advice I could possibly imagine wanting to fade more.

  • Tron

    I would like any combination of Schreff, Peat, Shelton or Gurly (except Shreff AND Peat obviously).

    I like Shelton as I think last year in Pettine’s scheme our DB’s naturally flourished while our rush took a big step back. I think it’s a mix between personnel and scheme and if Shelton plays the way he projects our D could be championship caliber.

    I like West and Crow but if, like you said, Gurly is a transcendent player I would love to grab him at 19.

    I think Schreff or Peat could both be studs and with competent QB play being a myth in Cleveland might as well ground and pound baby.

    I do think Mariota could be a stud. Seems dedicated and could learn to read NFL defenses a la Peyton Manning but que se yo? I wanted Manziel.

  • Pingback: Draft Day Prayer for Browns Fans()

  • zarathustra

    So I agree with a lot of this and some of it not so much. Not only would I not trade up for mariotta, but I sincerely wouldn’t take him with the 2nd round pick let alone one of the firsts.
    My most desired outcome tonight is let tampa name their price and trade up for jameis. I never advocate trading up–in fact almost always prefer trading back–but jameis is worth it. He’s maybe not Luck, but I don’t think he is far behind.
    That’s not going to happen though so my next desired outcome is trade back and acquire picks for next year so you have the ammo to get a qb then. Plus, more picks always makes more sense.
    If they stay put I don’t foresee many scenarios that would agitate me. I have barely followed any of it this year so don’t have many strong opinions. Scherff and Gurley would be a-ok with me. I like parker plenty, but think he is a luxury this qb-less team can’t afford. (Also, jamison crowder will be a steal in the later rounds.) Also, while you may be right about the current d-lineman none are difference makers and if the scouts believe shelton is then you take him. There are no position groups on this team that are strong enough that the front office should be passing on anybody due the current state of the roster. The run defense was awful. You are most definitely correct that dansby’s absence contributed to that, but dansby is 30-something and could be injured again. It would be irresponsible to take such a risk in such an important area based on him. Same with edge rushers.
    My most desired outcome if they stay put would be shelton and cameron erving. Again, I am blissful ignorant of most this (and as a recovering draft obsessive cannot recommend it highly enough) and will be fine with most outcomes, save for anything involving mariotta.

    • i am very down on winston. a more media savvy josh gordon. prototype early achiever entitled athlete syndrome. universal caveat applies: i could be wrong. he appears to be a leader and have ‘it’ amongst his teammates. i can overlook some late-game-trying-to-win-so-take-a-risk-whoops-missed-that-read interceptions. i cant overlook that gut when you know your entire career rides on being in great shape at the combine. that gut tells me: ‘im jameis and the rules of other people dont apply to me’ and if he’s taken #1 it will only reinforce that. whether it’s stealing crab legs or raping one? two? women, jameis dont care and jameis doesnt have to care because everyone will continue to tell him he’s awesome. ‘i could be wrong’ but usually this story doesnt end well.

  • mgbode

    Hey Mike, missed talking NFL draft with you this season. Really need to make sure we do a better job jabbing each other at it next year.

    I am down with most of what you wrote, but the big divergence is on Danny Shelton (as you likely know). I have been big on him before it was cool. He is nimble, strong, and angry. Very, very angry. He is the embodiment of what I want in a DL. I worry about that weight a bit, but when I watch him play I see him use his hands and feet to perfection. Staying in his lane, but still making plays.

    I am a big fan of having a NT whom the opposing team cannot single team. Danny will command double-teams, which will open up the rest of the line (and OLB) for easier time getting into the backfield. Building the on the strength of the lines (both) is important to both of us and I think Shelton could be huge there (pun intended).

    Here’s a fun GIF:

    And another:

    • yeah, this was the least i’ve been into the draft in year. and tbh, some days sports talk just seems so frivolous with what’s happening in the world at large.

      i guess it comes down to who is available at 12. wrt to run stuffing interior dmen here’s PFF’s top ones. now admittedly my goal was to take this list and point out that none of the are as beefy as shelton… but damon harrison and brandon williams are just about exactly the same size. and your gifs are compelling.

      BUT.. i failed to point out in the post above that, in addition to no dansby and no hughes for large parts of the the year, i forgot there was also NO PHIL TAYLOR FOR 11 GAMES. i knew i was forgetting something.

      so we had a bad run defense with old ahytba rubin playing most snaps at NT backed up by sionne fua?? and without hughes for rotation or dansby in the middle? so therefore we need a run stuffer?

      this is perfect browns media logic, you know it is.

      • mgbode

        I appreciate sports because they are frivolous to be honest. Nice to escape into the frivolity with everything else some days.

        I don’t care about the Brown’s media and what they say we need. I completely understand the desire to push back on their thoughts. Also, what is not mentioned much there is that Sheard and Kruger were among the biggest reasons for our poor rush defense as they continually got sucked inside allowing an outside sweep to go past them.

        also, part of why I like Shelton is that I much prefer Taylor at DE. Taylor seems more disruptive when he is allowed a bit more freedom that comes with those spots and he also is not the best at keeping his gap integrity (he gets a little over ambitious at times). Then, I get excited thinking about Phil, Danny, and Des lined up as our DL even if it wouldn’t happen more than a handful of games due to DL-injuries.

        • i agree about the pleasant distracting aspect of sports but somewhere there’s a line between distraction and willful denial and it feels like it’s been crossed recently. like: i actually dont give two shits about the browns new orange after seeing ISIS march 21 christians to the ocean, kneel and be decapitated. using sports to distract from such things strikes me as irresponsible and for our civilization, dangerous. even watching sports is getting triggery for me,, i mean im kinda offended by these pro athlete social soapboxes scolding us on beating our wives and telling to stop discriminating against women and to ‘lean-in’… but somehow cant muster the ‘courage’ to say something like: “DONT RIOT.” or “dont attack policemen.” stuff like that i guess is way too controversial and the fact that it is so is, in itself, shameful.

          back on subject: i’d love phil to be effective anywhere. never thought of him at DE,, cant see him 5tech but maybe let him 3tech, shelton blows up center and des wreak havoc a 5.. that could be most interesting. mainly, id like phil to have a future. i still see a good player there.

          • mgbode

            I get it. Something of note: Terrance West is in Baltimore as we speak with other athletes and celebrities organizing peace rallies.

  • RGB

    I doubt Scherff will be there, but Peat may be.

    • admittedly this was in response to the DBN fan mock where he went 15th. a generation of fan raised on grossi and rizzo and the need for ‘playmakers.’

      oh look, gurley went to ravens at 26!

      • RGB

        We have the chance, right now, to create a really exceptional OL. Thomas, Bitonio, Mack…
        Especially if Bowie recovers.
        So, I would be ok with drafting a top O-lineman, if one is available.

  • MrCleaveland

    Has the front office learned yet that CHARACTER COUNTS?

    Good teams can afford to take chances on bad attitudes, divas, morons, and druggies. We’re not a good team.

  • Sam Gold

    Good, rational stuff. Really hope this FO has the stones to be booed by the fans. I’m prepared to be disappointed.

    • i do worry they listen to grossi.

      • mgbode

        come on, no one listens to Grossi. I don’t think Tony even listens to Grossi anymore 🙂

  • Capitalgg

    Couple of my thoughts…

    On quarterbacks:
    Winston had too many red flags. In the right organization, he could turn into Roethlisberger. That org is not Cleveland.
    Every other QB in this draft needs at least 1 year to learn the NFL game. Cleveland does not have that luxury with a high draft pick. So Mariota is a no go.
    Don’t see it with Petty. Especially not playing early as inevitably will happen.
    Like Hundley for the Browns because he will be most effective QB not named Winston that can play early workout ruining him. And that is no guarantee.

    On your first round:
    I’m in. Consensus best olineman and transcendent RB? Best draft plan ever!

    On WR:
    I’m in the Amari Cooper camp. I look for WR in college that simply dominates games. Saw it with Cooper. Parker didn’t pop in the same way for me.
    Actually, like the big kid from UCF too. Not surefire #12 in my mind, but talk to me at 19.

    Ray Farmer,
    Stay. In. Your. Lane.
    Let this draft come to you. There is not enough talent at the top of the draft to make a desperate move. Get yourself a Phil Savage double.

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