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Analytics? Shamalytics.

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You don’t need an advanced degree in Mathematics from MIT to read this chart.


There are 56 6’4″ and better WRs today.  Five years ago there were 31.


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The Big Data promise of Scheiner.
Turns out he’s more of a scoreboard purchaser than an applying-data-to-talent-acquisition guy.

News item:  Huge cornerback Tharold Simon drafted by Seahawks two days after arrest for “public intimidation, resisting an officer and unnecessary noise.”
Lessons:  Big cornerbacks are valuable; the best defense in the NFL knows this; the Browns do not.


After much ballyhoo about our team hiring an MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference stalwart as CEO, it’s apparent that Mr. Banner does not let the CEO in the draft war room.

Wasn’t there a whole lot of happy talk about advanced analytics helping the Browns?

Didn’t we all assume these principle would be applied to talent acquisition?

Maybe someone should have taken a harder look… because from here it looks like Scheiner’s contribution will be bigger scoreboards.

And by ignoring even the simplest set of data as shown at the top, the numbers on the scoreboard are likely to look the same as they have for decades.


What was the #1 need of the 2012 Browns?

We’ve been through this.


McFadden gonna cover some asses too.

But I’ll repeat:  our defensive backfield was bad.  Usama Young was horrible.  Sheldon Brown got injured.  Buster Skrine played hard but was exploited by tall receivers.  Say again:  Skrine was always in position; Skrine cannot cover NFL WRs because he’s too short.

There was no need to improve the strongest part of the team, but fine:  we have a one-year Defensive Coordinator who wants to run his special system and needs to acquire three free-agents and use the #6 pick to re-do the perfectly good front line.

But fine… we’re fans and you can tell us anything and we’ll believe it because we HAVE TO.  So… ok:



Fine fine fine.


So.  After ignoring at least ten free-agent CBs who were over 6’0″ tall… and we reviewed this in the Smaug’s Cave post:

Here’s a list of random 6’0″ and above CBs:

  • Derek Cox, Chargers:  4yrs/20MM/10.2 guaranteed // average: 5MM
  • Cary Williams, Eagles:  3/17/5.75g // 2013, 2.4MM; 2014, 6.4MM; 2015, 8.2MM.
  • Keenan Lewis, Saints:  5/26 // 2013, 2.2MM  (unknown full terms, hometown discount because Lewis is from New Orleans.)
  • Aqib Talib, Pats:  1 year/ 5MM.
  • Sean Smith, Chiefs:  3/16.5/7.5 guaranteed // 2013, 7.4; 2014, 7.95; 2015, 2.25.
  • Antoine Cason, Cardinals:  1/1.5.

And keeping in mind that the Browns have the most cap space of any team in the NFL…

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Click to enlarge.
Skrine beats McFadden in every area.

We waited patiently.  We expected a plan to unfold in the draft.


Needless to say, we’re horrified by the selection of 5′ 9″ cornerback Leon McFadden.

I’m not going to do a huge dissection of McFadden.  But Skrine beats him in EVERY measure-able.  Not just the 40.  In all ‘fluid hip’ agility measurements, Skrine was a top performer and blows McFadden away.

Grade:  Urine and feces on the floor of the Indy Crowne Plaza.


That’ll do for this morning.  I’ll likely circle back to this, but let me leave you with this:  Seattle is the top defense in the NFL and they have a big defensive backfield.  It’s been suggested that it takes time to change the make-up of your defensive backfield.

Take a look at Tampa:  Banks 6-2 (draft), Barron 6-1 (draft), Goldson 6-2 (FA), Revis 6-0 (trade).

It can be done.  And Tampa will tell us if Seattle is a fluke or if ‘Cant Have Too Many Passrushers’ is simply the 2013 version of Pat Shumur’s WCO.


Some good tweets were flying last night, catch them here:  “McFadden reaction” on Storify.



  1. motts says:

    How tall is Joe Hayden?
    When going against Calvin Johnson where does 2 or even 3 inches really fit in the priority of things? I think the argument of height, while compelling, is trumped by the fact that the Browns were not aggressively in the rat race with everyone else trying to pick up good players. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, figuring they would get at least two corners, someone who could compete to start at FS, and someone who could compete to start at FB. Looks like the got a corner they liked (I guess)….but what the heck? Are we suppose to feel better that they have an extra four and five next April? Maybe it is too early…but how do you build through the draft….and then not draft players?

    • jimkanicki says:

      haden is 5’11”.

      when you add together height and arm length and hand size and vertical, the sum of all four amount to a considerable difference. here’s an extreme example, and yet a realistic one that our shrimpy CBs may contend with.

      mcfadden: 69.5″ + 32.5″ + 9″ + 34.5 = 145.5.
      aj green: 76+34.5+9+34.5 = 154.

      so you’re looking at giving up 10″. mcfadden can have the most fluid hips ever and he’ll still be helpless in the red zone against a green-like receiver.

      green is special, but not an anomaly. the graph is a simple illustration of a obvious trend toward taller/longer receivers. there are 56 6’4″ and better WRs today. five years ago there were 31.

      • motts says:

        Fine point about adding other abilities besides height, now I see better why these metrics add up. Fine point about the red zone also. Safest play in football is the fade to the back pylon in the end zone. Other scouts say they projected McFadden to be not much more than a slot db, yet still an upgrade over Buster….yikes! Any free agents left?

  2. I’m not going to wade into the Cornerback Height debate, but FINALLY at least someone else acknowledged that Ray Horton is basically one and done. To think that all these changes are being made for him (Kruger, Mingo, Bryant, etc.) and he more than likely won’t be around in 2015 is sad.

    This is why yet again I feel that scheme-specific picks are the worst things the Browns can do. Give me a Phil Taylor who can fit into 2-3 defenses. It’s pathetic, but this team always unknowingly drafts for the next front office.

    (Except this year – because the Browns don’t actually have any draft picks.)

  3. Jim Ford says:

    after watching a whole 12 minutes of you tube highlights of McFadden, here is my unadulterated, completely unprofessional opinion:
    Read and react player, really good football smarts
    Small, but likes to tackle, relentless in pursuit
    Breaks out of coverage quickly, smart in zone coverage
    Played man to man, uses the sideline well
    Good coverage techniques in corner end zone

    Played in a small conference, don’t know how all this transfers to the NFL
    Good anticipation will get burned by top NFL QB’s, will jump pump fakes
    lacks downfield speed, once beat, trouble begins.

    My take:
    Somewhere between Hayden and Skrine.
    More physical and better football instincts than Skrine. Much better in run support and can play the outside.
    Still small no matter how physical he is.
    Will get fooled by elite QB’s. Interesting to see if he can adjust.
    Will be No 2 opposite Hayden, so real threat is with two elite receivers.
    Pretty damn good late 3rd round CB pick. Honey Badger wetn next, and only because his best friend is a starting CB, and he will be converted to FS.

    Agree with the lack of FA activity here. Would really have liked to see us sign Lewis, dont know what the FO was thinking here. BUT, this looks like a really solid 3rd round CB pick.

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