Friday, April 28, 2017

2017 Draft-Cleveland Browns Day One

The Cleveland Browns excited some people on day one of the NFL Draft,disappointed others and yet some more looked at the first day as a mixed bag.

I liked the Browns sticking to their plan and taking the best player on the board with their first pick with Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett.
The big,rangy Garrett is the type of pass rusher that enters the league once every few years and in my opinion,was the unchallenged choice for the top pick.
At 6'5 270 and with the speed that teams drool over off the edge,Garrett is the disruptive presence that a Von Miller brings to the pass rush that not only will see Garrett be productive,but will see an increase in the pressure brought by Emanuel Ogbah and others.
I love the Garrett pick and even though many wanted Mitch Trubisky here,I wasn't convinced that Trubisky is an elite value quarterback and it appears that despite the Browns interest in the North Carolina passer,they weren't sold on him at number one.

With the manner that the draft fell into place,I was excited at 12.
I was hoping for Pat Mahomes there,but the Chiefs traded up to 10 and drafted the Texas Tech quarterback.
Still with several picks that I would have thought to be unlikely to be top ten choices,the Browns had several top notch players (especially on defense) available at the choice acquired from Philadelphia.
I was rooting for Ohio State safety Malik Hooker,but Alabama defensive tackle Jonathan Allen would make the Browns defensive line a monster instantly with Miles Garrett.
Tight end O.J. Howard of Alabama would have given the Browns the top player there in a deep crop and Alabama linebacker Rueben Foster had appeal as the intense linebacker that the Browns have lacked for years.
I wouldn't have scoffed at DeShaun Watson,the Clemson quarterback that broiled Ohio State in the playoffs,despite some concerns about his style of play being caught up to the defenses today.
A player such as Watson falling to the Browns was far different that trading assets to move up for him.
All of those options on the board-what to do?
Exactly what you would think the Browns would do-trade down.
Blah and the Browns dropped 13 spots to 25 and got the Houston Texans 2018 first round pick in return.
Always nice to have two number one's,but the Texans pick is likely to be in the 20's next year,which means the Browns could have a less desirable pair of picks than the current draft showed.
I would wished that the Browns could gotten something else added,such as a 3 or 4 in this draft.
That pick would prove handy by the end of the night...

Finally,at 25,Cleveland was up and all of those players were gone except Reuben Foster and I was hoping Foster or Washington safety Budda Baker.
Instead,the Browns again for all of the "analytics" and all the "new wave thinking" were the same old Browns as they bit on the most polarizing players in the draft in michigan safety Jabrill Peppers.
I didn't like Peppers,not for his michigan roots,but for the lack of steak behind the sizzle.
The hype says Peppers is a playmaker,yet ignore his one career interception,his lack of instincts at safety are blamed on michigan moving him around too much,yet that decision to move him around made him "versatile" and he'll enter the league after a recent issue at the combine as a member of the Substance Abuse Program!
Not having the instincts to play safety nor the size to play linebacker,Peppers is the epitome of a "tweener'.
I can see the Browns trying to involve him on offense and he is a dazzling punt returner,but other than a few gimmick plays,they aren't going to make him a regular part of the offensive game plan.
I just don't like this pick,although he could make it work as he has terrific athletic ability,but he's going to have learn how to play a set position and improve his weaknesses in order to do that.
It's possible,but I'd rather have a safety that played safety in Budda Baker than someone learning on the job.
One thing that never changes-the Browns asking players to do something at the highest level that they've never done before-Sigh....

One would have thought the Browns were finished as I moaned about Peppers to Ryan on Facebook as he prepared for his Packers to select and he hoped for Wisconsin's T.J. Watt.
Instead,the Browns swung a trade with Green Bay and Twitter was on fire thinking that perhaps the Browns were going after quarterback Deshone Kizer of Notre Dame or even another quarterback Davis Webb of California.
I was rooting for Reuben Foster again,but mentioned a chance of Miami tight end David Njoku as a secondary possibility.
The choice was Njoku,who brings a big target (6'4 246) with unusual speed and leaping ability for a tight end.
The upside is high for Njoku,who reminds me a little of Antonio Gates and if he can be that good-this is an excellent choice.
He may never be more than an average blocker,but physically,Njoku looks the part.
He'll need some refining,but this could be a standout with some polishing work.
Here's the issue for me-to move up just four spots from 29 to 33,the Browns,the team that values picks so much,traded the 33rd pick (1st in round 2) and 108 (the first in round 4 and the third day of the draft).
You had to figure 33 was gone,if the Browns wanted back into round one,but the Browns having to move 108 meant the Browns were out of the 4th round not only with the valuable first pick of the day (teams often love to trade for that pick as they have all night to try land a player that slipped and shouldn't be there),but completely.
The Browns preach quantity of picks and then deal themselves right out of quantity.
This is where getting a middle rounder in the trade with Houston would have went a long way.
The Browns do have three 5's and two 6's,so they could move up for the right player,but it could have been much easier.
I do like Njoku and think he could be the best tight end in the draft with development,but they paid a steep price to move up so little,especially in a stacked tight end class..

Wrapping up-
A-For Myles Garrett and managing to hold off the horde to force feed a quarterback that they really didn't think was proper value at 1.
D-For another trade down.With several elite defenders and possibly their quarterback of the future available,the Browns punted for a first rounder next year that might be lucky to be lower than 20th.
C Minus-For Jabrill Peppers,Unless the Browns have plans to use him as a Devin Hester type multi-tool player,I'm not a fan.
There was a reason that michigan moved him around so much-they didn't want to expose him at the same spot every play over the course of a game.
B-David Njoku-The price was high,but so is the talent of Njoku. A gamble,but one that could pay off.

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