Sunday, April 29, 2012

Watching the Browns Day Three

I had a bit of hesitation in watching the Cleveland Browns on the third day of the draft after a confusing and controversial second day.
In the end,I thought the Browns had a few steals,a few interesting selections and no one stood out as a real head scratcher like the day before.

Cleveland would add seven players on this day with two picks each in the fourth,sixth and seventh rounds and for the most part,I must admit I was pretty pleased.

The Browns first pick in the fourth round finally addressed the need at wide reciever and the addition of Miami's Travis Benjamin will hopefully help the less than terrific gang.Benjamin has blazing speed and can flat out fly.
The issue that concerns me the most about the Hurricane wideout is his size (5'9+) and his slight build.
Benjamin's size works against his playing outside and his less than ideal weight might make it difficult for him to get open coming out of the slot.
Benjamin does have value as a kick returner,so that might help Josh Cribbs stay a bit fresher in the return game...

Cleveland then used the fourth rounder that they obtained from Denver on day two to tab Nevada linebacker James-Michael Johnson.
Johnson is a hard tackling weight room demon that will not be a liability as far as speed wise in a group that badly needs it.
Johnson has a chance to fill the spot that Scott Fujita might vacate due to suspension and often does due to injury.
Johnson is reported to be a high motor player that could be a long term starter and will help immediately on special teams.

Round five saw the Browns add Colorado's massive Ryan Miller and this could be a player that could be a very nice pick.
The 6'7 330 lb Miller can play either guard or tackle and could push either Jason Pinkston or Shaun Lauvao for a starting position.Miller is a better pass blocker than you would think and is noted for his terrific game blocking Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009.
The versatility that Miller provides is an added bonus and this looks to be a very good addition to the line...

Cleveland took two players that I liked very much in the sixth with back to back picks.
Linebacker Emmanuel Acho of Texas is another high motor linebacker that will help on special teams at minimum.
Acho has speed off the end and could develop into a pass rusher on passing downs.
Acho's brother was a steal for the Cardinals in a recent draft and he could also be a similar steal.
Acho might need to learn to improve in coverage before being more than a situational player,but I think Acho has a decent chance to help this team down the road,if not right away.

The Browns then selected a player that that most had projected to be a day two pick in Boise State defensive tackle Billy Winn.
In fact,if the Browns had picked Winn in the third round and John Hughes in the sixth,few eyebrows would have been raised.
Winn fell due to mixed reports.Some had said Winn takes plays off,others loved his intensity.
The 6'4 Winn has excellent pass rushing skills for an interior lineman and again looks to be an excellent pick.
The questions are about consistency,not ability with Winn.

Cleveland finished off the draft with two picks in round seven.
Arizona corner Trevin Wade was once highly thought of before an bad junior season.
Wade has good hands with 12 interceptions in his Wildcat career,but the questions are about his size and speed.Wade could go either way,but well worth a later round pick...

Alabama tight end Ryan Smelley finished the draft for the Browns.
Yet another catch first tight end as the Browns now have three of those in Evan Moore,Jordan Cameron and Smelley.
Smelley also could be a fullback in passing situations and could pressure defenses further as a gimmick player as Smelley was recruited by Alabama as a quarterback.
This is a very interesting pick mainly because I do not see the Browns carrying five tight ends (Smelley,Cameron,Moore,Alex Smith and Ben Watson),so one of those five could be gone shortly from the team.

All and all,a very nice bounce back day for the Browns.
Billy Winn and Emmanuel Acho were great selections for round six and should have been long off the board.
Ryan Miller is a very intriguing lineman and I could see him as an eventual starter.
The only disappointment was only one wide receiver in the smallish Travis Benjamin,who brings deep speed but other issues and I would have liked to have seen another receiver taken with a little more size.
Pretty good day,I think...

I will be doing a draft wrapup one day next week to look at the entire body of work for the three day selection meeting...

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