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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Browns in the 6th and 7th-Gambling on Greatness

The Cleveland Browns finished up their draft with five picks in the sixth and seventh rounds and came up with some interesting picks-three of which I really like.

The favorite was their last pick,which shows the ability to be patient and could wind up being a huge victory as Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was tabbed despite a knee injury that could sideline him for 2015.
A three time all-Pac 12 player and All-American last season.
Ekpre-Olomu tore his ACL in preparations for the Ducks playoffs game vs Florida State and may not be ready to go until 2016.
That said,without the knee injury,he was a potential first rounder and the Browns may have gotten a steal for the future.
If IEO can return to health at top speed,the Browns have the largest group of young and top talented corners in this league and that goes a long way in the NFL.
These are the type of picks that I like to see in the late rounds-low risk,high reward and the chance of an impact player!

The Browns other seventh rounder was linebacker Hayes Pullard of USC,who is more of an inside player than an outside player.
The inside backers are often your high motor players that don't always have the physical stature that teams like in higher picks.
Pullard would have been fine in that spot,but I loved the open letter that he wrote to fans and media before the draft.
That is exactly the type of workhorse that our Browns need and I love giving players like that a chance....

The sixth saw another talented corner drafted as Charles Gaines of Louisville slipped from a fourth round projection to round six.
Gaines has physical gifts as one of the fastest corners in the draft,but being a former wide receiver still has some rough edges to be sanded out.

Cleveland took two tight ends in round six in Malcolm Johnson of Mississippi State and Randall Telfer of USC.
Johnson caught 10 touchdowns in his career and is also reported to be possibly a fullback or H-back rather than a full time tight end.
Telfer is more of a big run blocker (6'4 265) than a receiver and has had injury issues at USC.
Even though both players are listed as tight ends,they are really two different types of players..

I plan on a post later in the week discussing the Browns draft on the overall....

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Boxing Challenge!

It's the biggest fight in the world and with our draft coverage,I almost forgot to post our picks for tonight!
R.L.Malpica leads me 43-42 at this time.

WBA and WBC Welterweight titles 12 rds
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao

R.L:Pacquiao Unanimous Decision
TRS:Pacquiao Split Decision

Featherweights 12 rds
Vasyl Lomachenko vs Gamalier Rodriguez

Both:Lomachenko Unanimous Decision

Featherweights 10 rds
Leo Santa Cruz vs Jose Cayteno

R.L;Santa Cruz KO 4
TRS:Santa Cruz KO 3

Browns take two in round four

The Cleveland Browns had back to back picks in the middle of round four and expected to use them.
They used the first and then added an extra 6th and 7th round pick to drop a few spots with Arizona.
I liked that just for the chance to add a few more bodies.

With the first pick,Cleveland took a safety in Ibraheim Campbell of Northwestern.
I have a ton of respect for Pat Fitzgerald and his Wildcats program and despite some observers thinking that Campbell was more of a sixth rounder,I'm OK with it.
I wrote in our preview that a strong safety to groom behind Donte Whitner would be a great idea sometime during the draft and the Browns agreed.
Campbell is a physical,hard hitter and although he might not have been my top choice,he was the type of player that I was hoping to see in Cleveland by the end of today..

After the trade with the Cardinals,the Browns finally tabbed someone to catch the ball and it was an interesting player in Vince Mayle of Washington State.
Washington State under Mike Leach throws a lot,so Mayle has the stats from last season with 106 catches for just under 1,500 yards.
Mayle is reported to have dropped well into double digit passes last season,but pro-rate that with the Cougars offense and that's like a conventional offense's receiver dropping five passes.
The 6'2 Mayle has the size to be a red zone help and maybe even a little more,even if he lacks top speed.
I also liked that Mayle said he was "humbled" by being a fourth round pick and was going to channel that into hard work.
Gotta love that mentality and I see a trend with the Browns picking solid citizens and guys with high work ethic.
Josh Gordon and last season's draft are the type of thing that can do that to an organization,but I like that thinking.
I don't want to root for teams that employ women beaters,drug users and drunk drivers-I would almost rather lose than root for teams that overlook such conduct and the Browns,at least for now,seem to be moving away from that!
I'll be back later tonight with some thoughts on the new Browns from rounds six and seven!

Cleveland Browns Day 2-Pounding the football

I was hoping that the Cleveland Browns would add some receiving weapons to help their less than powerful quarterbacking situation on day two of the NFL draft and they did not even address the situation.

However,they did add an interesting talent to the offense and two more player for a team being built as a defensive bully and I cannot say I'm totally displeased.

Ray Farmer had a chance to select either Jaelen Strong,a wide receiver from Arizona State,who many had going in the first round or the top tight end in the draft in Maxx Williams of Minnesota,but instead chose to trade down eight spots with the Houston Texans and added an extra 4th and 6th rounders for the help.
Both players were still on the board at 51,but the Browns passed on both to take Nate Orchard,a pass rushing linebacker from Utah.
Nothing against Orchard,who is a fine player and will hopefully do what Barkevious Mingo was drafted to do,but I really wanted Williams,who will now haunt Cleveland for years as a member of the Ravens,who traded up to 55 and snatched him away.
The 6'3 Orchard is listed as a defensive end or outside linebacker,although in the 3-4 defense,that position could be really named "Rush End" and led college football in sacks last season against solid competition in the Pac 10.
This was a need and I like the player,but what I don't like is Ray Farmer's opinion that you don't draft guys to catch the ball and his thoughts that the Browns can get away with Dwayne Bowe as a number one wideout with Josh McCown throwing the ball.
This may not end well,the theory that is,not Orchard,who could be very good.

With Strong going to Houston in round three,I had pretty much given up on real WR help,although I liked Chris Conley of Georgia,who the Chiefs traded up in round three for just before the Browns third rounder and I want a day three shot at Maryland's Stefon Diggs,but the Browns did add a offensive skill player as the selection of Miami running back
Duke Johnson could be a winner.

Johnson,the all time top rusher in Miami history,might not be a full time back,but with his ability in the open field and as pass catcher,Johnson adds a dimension that neither Terrence West or Isaiah Crowell has.
Johnson reminds me of Darren Sproles a bit and might be similar to Sproles as the type of player that the offense flows through.
The size (5'9 205) worked in Johnson being a third rounder,but that same size is what works so well among the Browns other backs in a rotation.
The Cleveland running game could be one of those that frustrates fantasy owners,yet is very effective on the field.
Super pleased with this pick and others thought that way too as so many fans of other teams (especially Dallas) groaned with the announcement of the selection.

The evening appeared to be completed after the pick of Johnson,but the Browns then traded up for the final pick of the round (Compensation picks afterwards cannot be dealt) to add Washington State defensive tackle Xavier Cooper.
The 6'2 293 pound Cooper is noted for tremendous speed,although he needs to improve his strength.
Cooper is more a project than Nate Orchard,but should compete to be part of the defensive line rotation.
Cooper's cost was a fourth,fifth and sixth round picks to the Patriots,although Cleveland did add a seventh rounder in the swap.

The Browns have five picks in day three of today's draft-2 in round 4 (back to back at 115 and 116),2 in round 6 (189 and 195) and 1 in round 7 (219),although I wouldn't be surprised to see more dealing up and down that could include picks for the 2016 draft.
I may be back later today with some thoughts on round four's selections,depending on time and if the Browns actually keep two fourth round picks....

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cleaning out the inbox-Non Sports Edition

Time for a long overdue cleaning of the inbox and we'll be keeping this to the non-sports version for this edition..

We start with a tremendous goodbye to one of my favorite shows in the last years in Justified.
Justified was written extremely well and my favorite character Boyd Crowder (brilliantly played by Walton Goggins) might be the most multi-layered character that television has seen in years.
If you haven't tried Justified-I give it my highest endorsement!

An interesting article on the "comeback" of sorts by Dwight Yoakam by Grantland can be found here.
It's a look at the ecletic singer and actor that first came to my attention when he brought Buck Owens back to the public eye with "Streets of Bakersfield".
I didn't know Yoakam did so many movies,although I did remember his role in "Slingblade" as the abusive boyfriend that Billy Bob Thornton kills in the end.

Grantland adds another note with this one on Rattlesnake Rodeos,which seem to be a distinctly Southern thing-mainly because they are where the rattlers are!
It shows how towns derive a festival out of something that so many look at as a dangerous pest and make some money off it,which can be very good for them.

Joe Plum posted this article from NPR on animals that may go extinct because no one wants to eat them!
It mainly deals with heritage breeds that are mainly cows,pigs,etc.
It is interesting on just how the tastes of humans change what is considered top of the line in animals at various times over the years...

Finally,we wrap up with the passing of Suzanne Crough at the age of 52.
Crough was best known as the youngest member of the Partridge Family,who rarely spoke and played the tamborine.
I was always a big fan of the show and passed that along to Rachel.
Crough was the first member of the musical TV family to pass away (I didn't count Dave Madden as the manager Reuben Kincaid) and likely cost a lot of people a lot of money in the "first Partridge to pass away" pool as most people would have selected Danny Bonaduce as the odds on favorite in that role....

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Browns select Cameron Erving at 19

The Cleveland Browns didn't make the sexiest pick with the 19th pick in round one,which they obtained from the Buffalo Bills last season in the Sammy Watkins trade,but they might have made a solid one with the selection of Florida State's Cameron Erving.
The 6'6 313 pounder can play all three spots on the line and even though I think he is most likely to play right guard next season,the value of Erving comes into play with the ability to play center.
That would allow the Browns to not allow Alex Mack to to kill them in negotiations when he re-enters free agency.
Erving is built more like a lanky finesse lineman than a squat run blocker,so that has to help in his versatility along the line.
Erving's best position might be center,so even if he never plays there,his presence might help the Browns sign Alex Mack at a buyers market and if Mack really does want to leave Cleveland,Erving can slot right into his spot and do so without the rookie learning curve.

Say what you will,but Cameron Erving was the only lineman that I would have been fine with the Browns taking in round one and they grabbed him.
Considering that I didn't have first round grades on the remaining wide receivers on the board at 19,I like the pick a lot.
Now,I can hope the Browns take Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith in round two tomorrow and really upgrade their three largest positions of need.....

Browns select Danny Shelton at 12

The Cleveland Browns had two players on the board when the 12th pick arrived in the first round that I liked a lot.
I told the lovely Cherie that I would be very happy with either Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker or Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton.
That meant,of course,that the Browns would do what they normally do and take someone else.

This time,they didn't as the Browns selected Danny Shelton to address a run defense that desperately needed someone up the middle to stuff the run.
The Washington Huskie product brings a big body (339 pounds) and should immediately help a Browns defensive weakness.
Shelton is more of a run stopper than a pass rusher,but I watched a decent amount of Washington games last season and his pass rush from the defensive tackle position is a bit underrated,so with some work,Shelton does have the potential to be a three down player,which some scouts doubt.

Very happy with this addition in both quality of player and as a bonus at a position of need...
I'll be back later with the Browns other first rounder later....