I’m a big believer that this
is the time of year where we all turn into Mel Kiper wannabes.
hours obsessing on web sites, we pay for “premium” user access to
repeat what we can find for free, we buy reams of draft guides just
so we know who played nickel for McNeese State after transferring from
Lackawanna Community College and has a decent shot to stick as a special
teams’ gunner as an undrafted free agent. It’s an awesome
way to make a complete jackass out of yourself.
I’ll start with myself. After
investing much time and treasure, here are just a few of the stellar
conclusions that I’ve come to in the past decade:
It’s not his fault. It isn’t
mine either. And Green Bay wasn’t stupid when they picked Tony Mandarich.
The draft ain’t nothin’
but an educated crapshoot. The very best pros at this process miss on
half of their picks, including high ones. Pat McManaman wrote
an absolutely superb piece in the Sunday, April 22nd
ABJ where among
other nuggets he dropped in was that the “bust” rate for top five
first-rounders was about 37% in recent years. What other event in pro
sports allows the arm chair follower to sit back in glorious second
guessing judgment of the pros more than the NFL Draft, except possibly
how a manager handles pitching?
I’m a huge proponent that
the following axiom is dead nuts on: it isn’t what I think. It isn’t
what you think. We don’t matter. It’s what Phil thinks. So you and
I arguing over draft prospects is as asinine as any asinine activity
there is. Dictionary definition of pointless. But since it’s
so much fun, before I predict what Phil will do, I’m going to tell
you what I’d do. Because this is my piece, I’m not doing rounds
six and seven. They never make it anyway.
What I’d Do and Why
My assumption is that in some
fashion JaMarcus Russell and Calvin Johnson go one and two. I’m not changing
my tune from weeks ago when I suggested a plan prior to the start of
free agency. I
remain consistent with my overall desired direction, but have warmed
up to Troy Smith as his projected slot has dropped like Brittany Spear’s
career. The major problem on our team is we have no identity and we
are fairly soft on offense. If I were in charge, no matter what I’d
do on draft day, I’m changing those facts come hell or high water.
I want attitude. I want toughness. I want physicality. We are The Cleveland
Browns, dammit. Marion Motley. Jim Brown. Leroy Kelly. Mike and Greg.
Mack and Byner. We are the Cleveland Browns. We run the football.
1. Adrian Peterson - RB - Oklahoma
2. Pick ‘em: Ben Grubbs,
Aaron Sears, Justin Blaylock – Get me the best interior snot bubblin’
ass kicker guard prospect on the board. Period.
3. Doug Free – OT – Northern
4. Troy Smith – QB – The
Ohio State University
5. Josh Beekman – OG
– Boston College
So there’s some out there
thinking I went overboard on the offensive line. To them I ask: so what?
In one year I’m getting one of the best guards in the draft, possibly
a guy who can swing out to tackle some day. I’m getting a good right
tackle prospect. I’m getting the best pure running back to come out
of college in quite a while, a guy who when paired with Jamal Lewis
is going to allow us to run and run and run and just hammer teams. This
style of football will define the Cleveland Browns and change us into
a physical football team. Remember that? Remember Marty?
Remember when we could run on seven in the box? Remember when we used
More than anything, this team needs an attitude enema on offense
away from matador offensive line play, rudderless confusion, and whining
skilled players to one where we just line up and dictate our will on
these SOB’s. Rayenthal, you like 250 pound JaLew coming at you 20
times a game behind young, strong, physical offensive linemen? Cool.
How about 20 more times of a young, big back with house-you speed? Get
some a dat while you get a haircut, Troy, you hippie. See A Pete run.
See his heels? Move beyatch. Get out da way. With this line and these
backs, Corky from
Life Goes On
should be able to play QB for us and we win 8 games. For this, I am
willing to sit through another Frye and DA show if we can’t trade
for a decent vet after the draft. For this, I’d be willing to watch
one cornerback get flambéed even if it loses a game or two. For
this, I’d be willing to watch our fat old defensive line melt like
lard in a cast iron skillet and hope the backups have any game to not
get run to death ourselves. To FINALLY fix the offensive line for the
first time since Kirk Ferentz was here, I’d suffer all that for one
more year before we finish the job. For attitude, for identity, for
a physical team with balls, I’d delay gratification.
I also pick up a very solid
guard prospect who one day may allow us to experiment with moving Eric
Steinbach to tackle, or simply provide the unthinkable: quality offensive
line depth. Lastly, I bring home a favorite son to take it very, very
slow while he learns the most difficult position in pro sports . Perhaps
one day a Cleveland kid can live his dream and do what we all dreamed
of while playing ball as kids whether it was on the city streets, the
suburban lawns, or the farm fields of northeast Ohio. Fahgettabout it.
We can draft defensive line depth next season, or just roll the bones
that this year’s Babba O’Reilley might not actually be a busta and
take a flier of two D linemen in rounds six and seven. What the hell?
This is an awesome mock draft. Put me in, Randy.
What I think Phil Will
Do and Why
1. Brady Quinn – QB – ND
2. Eric Wright – CB – UNLV
3. Manny Ramirez – OG –
4. David Clowney – WR - Virginia
5. Dashon Golden – DB –
Phil doesn’t expect to be
slotted this high again soon. At least until the end of the season when
we get the rationalization bit again blaming Butch and Dwight. When
you have that mindset, and there is a legitimate franchise quarterback
available, and you have Charlie Frye, conventional wisdom says you can
not pass that up. Although I’d head in another direction, I accept
this logic and this pick.
The need at corner is acute
and Eazy-E, errrr Eric Wright, offers superb value thanks to his previous
indiscretions. Phil helped Ozzie put together one of the biggest collection
of outlaws not coached by Chuck Noll and John Madden. You think this
phases him? This is our need pick, and again, it is very hard to argue
against from a slotting perspective.
Uh-oh, better do something
about that embarrassing itch. I mean offensive line. The natives are
restless. The best rated offensive guard on the board here is arguably
Manny Ramirez. Now while I’d be all for his near namesake roaming
left field again and being himself, the thought of taking an interior
offensive lineman schooled in that gimmick passing offense kills my
buzz. Therefore, I fully expect it to happe