As of Friday AM, it’s looking like a whiff in free agency concerning the number one need for the Browns: cornerback. We’re also missing a free safety, a tight end ‘threat,’ and guard depth.
It could be Aqib Talib has been the target all along and that he’ll be signed today. It could be that Kerry Rhodes makes a nice fit at safety. The Fred Davis battle continues today and as for me, I’d welcome
Dustin Keller (Dead; Keller to Dolphins.) as a consolation prize. We see no guards on the horizon.
Regardless, one takeaway here is that the confidence displayed with the initial moves of Kruger and Bryant shows all the hopeful signs of a plan being executed. Based on that, I will assume that the plan for cornerback, tight end, safety, and guard centers on the draft.
Sooo.. let’s play: BEST CASE SCENARIO!!
First step: trade back.
The usual fan call for ‘trade-back’ tends not to address the ‘with whom shall we trade?’ question. And as of a couple weeks ago, that was very much an open question. But several events have created an environment where this becomes do-able.
- Geno Smith looked good in his pro-day.
- Bills cut Ryan Fitzpatrick and now have Tarvaris Jackson as their #1 QB. While it *could* be with an eye toward reuniting HC Marrone with his QB Nassib in the second round, it could also reflect an interest in Geno.
- Dolphins get nutty acquiring ‘playmakers’ and lose their best o-lineman. They would seem to be targeting Joeckel/Fisher/Johnson as a replacement; after all that’s a top 10 QB they’ve got there and need to keep upright. Add in that the back-loaded trickery employed to stock the 2013 roster still leaves them short on money to the point where signing draft picks might become a problem.
- Cardinals display every indication of having lost faith in Kevin Kolb.
- Jets now rumored to be interested in Geno Smith. (Of course, this report also says that the Jags, Raiders, Eagles are also interested. But we’re playing best-case scenario and so dismissing these reports.) The Jets line is horrible.
I’ll sprinkle in just a touch of reality and acknowledge that Geno could well be gone before the Browns’ 6th pick which would remove Bills, Cards from mix. But the Dolphins could easily believe in a drop-off after the big three OTs. The Jets could get squirrelly of it looks like Warmack and Cooper won’t last to #9.
We’re just playing here, right?
Browns trade back from #6 to #12 with Miami. Complete deal sends Browns’ #6 and #68 (3rd) for Dolphins’ #12, #42 (2nd), and #82 (3rd).*
With the #12 pick, the Browns select: Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU.
I’m aware that everyone luvs Dee Milliner, but he won’t be there at #12 and besides, I looked back at the CB picks going back to 2010. Applying pro-football-ref’s Approximate Value (AV) metric, and using the 2012 value, Patrick Peterson is the one homerun in the bunch. The rest you could throw a blanket over.
2012: After consensus Mo Claiborne (6) you have weed through Stephon Gilmore (4); Dre Kirkpatrick (0); until you get to the best CB of last year’s draft second-rounder Janoris Jenkins (8).
In 2011 it went, Patrick Peterson (13), Prince Amukamara (4), Jimmy Smith (1), Ras-I Dowling (0), Aaron Williams (3), Marcus Gilchrist (2), Brandon Harris (1).
2010: Joe Haden (5), Kareem Jackson (8), Devin McCourty (8), Kyle Wilson (6), Patrick Robinson (6), Chris Cook (3), Javier Arenas (4).
The moral? As ever, the moral is that no one knows anything.
Rhodes’ measurables are everything you want in a #1 CB: 6’1.5″, 210 lbs, 34″ arms, 4.43 40, 40″+ vertical.
Here’s a good clip. As always, mute before playing. Apologies for the soundtrack.
I’m no film breaker-downer. Fluid hips is a term I stay away from. When coupled with hand-size discussions, the homo-eroticism overwhelms my arrested adolescence and I just start giggling.
That being said…
I’m even not going to bother giving you the timings to skip to within the clip. In the first 30 seconds you’ll see closing speed, ball-skills (i.e., finding the ball in the air), and willingness to hit.
Milliner never jumped off the screen when I watched Bama this year and when I watched Bama, I watched Milliner because I knew the Browns needed a CB.
I’ll call it here and now: Rhodes is going to be better than Milliner. Want at #12. (Want at #6.)
With the #41 pick, the Browns select: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame.
You know how QBs always scoot up the draft boards on draft day? Tight ends always slide down. Last year Fleener was the only TE taken in the first two rounds and he was a special pairing for Andrew Luck. In 2011, Kyle Rudolph was the first TE off the board: to the Vikings at #43. In 2010 the Bengals took Gresham in the first and then at #42 the Pats found some value with Rob Gronkowski. Even going to 2009 you’ve got the Lions taking Pettigrew in the first and then Quinn to the Cowboys late in the 2nd round.
Will Eifert slide to #41? Hey, it’s my BEST CASE SCENARIO!! So I’m going for it. However, if Eifert isn’t there, I say we go in another direction than tight end. The #2 rated TE, Zach Ertz, just isn’t doing it for me.
With the #82 pick, the Browns select: Barrett Jones, OG/C, Alabama.
I could give a rat’s ass about Jones’ combine and ratings.
When I can find a center willing to tell his QB to settle the fuck down in the BCS Championship Game, he’s my guy.
Jones did 27 reps in his pro day. He didn’t run because he’s coming off a ligament surgery on his foot. And on which he played the last key games for Bama helping them take down their second BCS Championship.
The balls on this guy. Want.
With the #101 pick, the Browns select: Bacarri Rambo, S, UGA.
NFL prototype: Ed Reed, Ravens
1. Bacarri Rambo
2. Philip Thomas
3. Matt Elam
4. Jonathan Cyprien
5. Tony Jefferson
6. Kenny Vaccaro
7. T.J. McDonald
8. Eric Reid
Rambo definitely has the best ball skills of any safety in this class. He is a straight-up ball-hawk in the back end. Rambo is always around the ball and that leads to good things for his defense. He is very adept at reading the quarterback’s eyes and breaking on the ball. An overthrow in the middle of the field is dangerous with Rambo in the back end. He totaled 16 interceptions and six forced fumbles for the Bulldogs. His ball skills and ability to create turnovers are his best attribute.
If there’s anything we need, it’s ball skills.
No really. I’m not even going to look up the Browns’ interception numbers in comparison to the rest of the league. It’s a bag of suck. No one denies this.
Updated depth chart. It’s getting there.
How bout Elvis Dumervil?
Subject to change.
So anyways… this was fun as it’s been slow since the Bryant signing. Fully understood that this could well be obsolete by the end of the day. But what the hell, why not?
Offer up your BEST CASE SCENARIO!! below.
* Here’s the NFL Draft calculator I used for this.