For the second week in a row the Browns opened up their scoring with a long touchdown pass from Johnny Manziel to Travis Benjamin for 60 yards on a play action pass. It was the beginning of a comfortable win for the Brown’s as they managed to control Marcus Mariota in his third start.
Former Browns receiver JaJaun Dawson who went missing on Monday after falling from a boat on Lake Lavon, Northwest of Dallas, Texas. Dawson’s body has yet to be recovered but his body was located the next day using sonar. Dawson spent two seasons with the Browns after getting drafted in the third round by the Browns in 2000. Dawson also played for the Texans and the Colts during his time in the league.
Terrelle Pryor during his time at Oakland
The Browns announced that they have successfully claimed QB/WR Terrelle Pryor off the waivers after he was released by Cincinnati. Pryor who had until last week maintained that he was a quarterback only, has decided to change to wide receiver in an effort to stay in the league after being let go for the fifth time. Pryor who has one catch since getting drafted by Oakland in 2011, possess great size and speed to be a wide receiver at 6’4″ and 4.3s 40. The problem for Pryor though will he be able to catch up with the other receivers on the Browns roster? Pryor will have plenty of learning to do before training camp starts on the first of August. For the Browns it was a low risk flyer at a position so even if Pryor struggles they aren’t going to be stung. With such a steep learning curve the best thing for Pryor would be if the Browns or someone else kept him on their practice squad for a year.
Browns signed eight new players today and cut four more to bring their roster to the off-season maximum of 90. The players cut were WR Phil Bates, K Garret Hartley, DB Varmah Sonie and DL Christian Tupou. All but one are undrafted free agents with local boy DB Brandon Stephens from Strongsville, OH being the only second year player. The other notable signing is Rodman Noels, the brother of Philadelphia 76ers centre Nerlens Noel. Rodman who is 8 inches smaller than his brother was a three year starter at North Carolina State. The other signings were TE Emmanuel Bibbs (Iowa State), WR Paul Browning (Colorado State-Pueblo), DB Landon Feichter (Purdue), TE Kevin Haplea (Florida State), WR Darius Jennings (Virginia) and RB Luke Lundy (Ottawa).
Rodman Noels chases down Clemson quarterback DeSean Watson
1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jameis Winston QB Florida State
Easiest pick in the draft, just slotted him as the certain pick and moved on.
2 Tennessee Titans Leonard Williams DE USC
Don’t see Titans picking Mariota because of Mettenberger and because Williams is best player available. It should be noted though that I am a very big Mettenberger fan from his LSU days and could be completely wrong. Also this could be a trade but if it’s going to happen it won’t be until Tennessee is on the clock.
3 Jacksonville Jaguars Dante Fowler OLB Florida
For me it comes down to whether or not Williams is available or not. If he isn’t Fowler is a shell of a consolation prize and is probably the better fit for Gus Bradley scheme.
4 Oakland Raiders Amari Cooper WR Alabama
Oakland have the QB, now they just need toys for him to play with. While Kevin White might have a slightly higher ceiling he is a small bit of project and has only a small sample size. Cooper on the other hand was playing like a Probowler last year in Lane Kiffin’s pro style offense. Pick the safer Oakland and enjoy tens years of Amari Cooper.
5 Washington Redskins Vic Beasley OLB Clemson
Vic Beasley was considered a late first round pick before the combine in February but thanks to good numbers in Indianapolis and the stupidity of other edge rushers (Randy Gregory and Shane Ray), Beasley could be the second pass rusher taken. Washington lost the injury prone Brian Orakpo to Tennessee in free agency so Beasley would be a nice replacement. I don’t feel I can fully trust Beasley though, a bit undersized and reminds me too much of Barkevious Mingo.
6 New York Jets Marcus Mariota QB Oregon
Mariota’s draft slide ends here with the Jets realising that Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t be trusted. It does feel like a bit of a weird fit though with the quiet Mariota going to bustling New York city or New Jersey to be more accurate. More than likely he won’t still be on the board here.
7 Chicago Bears Kevin White WR West Virginia
With Brandon Marshall gone to the Jets, the Bears need a replacement and Kevin White will step right in to become Alshon Jeffrey’s partner in crime. The Bears know that it’s bad enough trying to trust Jay Cutler with weapons so I don’t think they want to imagine trying to trust him without any.
8 Atlanta Falcons Bud Dupree OLB Kentucky
Atlanta has for some time needed to get after the passer and try and have some defence to help Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and co. They hired Dan Quinn to do as much so it’s time to give him some talent. Bud Dupree has risen fast like Beasley and has some pretty freaky athleticism.
9 New York Giants Brandon Scherff G Iowa
For me makes a lot of sense, the Giants need help on their offensive line and like to draft MidWest linemen. Scherff played tackle in Iowa but will probably transition to guard in the NFL. Has brilliant technique from playing under Kirk Ferentz.
10 St. Louis Rams DeVante Parker WR Louisville
They need help as Tavon Austin has been a bust and they need some height for Nick Foles to work with as well. Parker and Bridgewater reuniting a pick later would have been nice but bad look Vikings.
11 Minnesota Vikings Marcus Peters CB Washington
I feel if Parker isn’t there then Vikings go corner I think. Zimmer was DC when the Bengals drafted cornerback for what seemed like 5 years in a row. I think the Vikings will have to overlook the fact he got kicked out of Washington to get the best cornerback in the draft.
12 Cleveland Browns Danny Shelton NT Washington
Shelton is the perfect fit to put right in the middle of Mike Pettine’s defence and allow Phil Taylor to shuffle over to DE. Shelton is a monster who said that when asked if one visit stood out, said that he loved what the Browns were doing and that he would be a perfect fit.
13 New Orleans Saints Trae Waynes CB Michigan State
Saints need help in the secondary badly because without good corners playing Rob Ryan’s aggressive 3-4 Blitz oriented defence is suicide. Trae Waynes is nice pickup here for the Saints.
14 Miami Dolphins Todd Gurley RB Georgia
The Dolphins breaks the pattern and select a running back in the first round. Dolphins are pretty close to getting over the hump and getting into the playoffs and the addition of Gurley along with the free agent signing Ndumakong Suh will make that goal a lot easier. Gurley is a top 10 player talentwise who could help to bring the best out of Ryan Tannehill.
15 San Francisco 49ers Arik Armstrong DE Oregon
Reportedly like him a lot and would be a good fit for what they like to do particularly with the other DE Justin Smith getting on a bit.
16 Houston Texans Kevin Johnson CB Wake Forest
The Texans need cornerback help if they are to get past Andrew Luck and win the AFC South. Johnson is not the heaviest in the world but is a good guy to step in.
17 San Diego Chargers Melvin Gordon RB Wisconsin
Chargers go running back to replace the oft injured Ryan Matthews who is now plying his trade in Philadelphia. Gordon will fit nicely with Rivers in Los Angeles.
18 Kansas City Chiefs Jaelen Strong WR Arizona State
They signed Jeremy Maclin but I don’t think that is enough to change the fact they didn’t have a touchdown pass to a wide receiver last year.
19 Cleveland Browns Breshad Perriman WR UCF
Perriman is rising quickly on boards and helps fill a need with Josh Gordon out again. Ray Farmer also ate with him on Sunday in Orlando.
20 Philadelphia Eagles Damrious Randall FS Arizona State
Chip Kelly will miss out on Mariota and have to settle for upgrading his pretty vanilla secondary with the athletic Damrious Randall out of Ariona State.
21 Cincinnati Bengals Dorial Green Beckham WR Oklahoma
Cincinati is one of the most complete teams and whoever they drafted will probably be a backup again next year so they have the unique opportunity to take the player who could have the highest ceiling in the draft and paired with AJ Green on the other side could push the Bengals to a Superbowl
22 Pittsburgh Steelers Landon Collins SS Alabama
Steelers legend Troy Polamalu retired after a stellar career in Pittsburgh and Landon Collins fits right into replace him. I know that Shamarko Thomas is there but Collins will be an upgrade over hime.
23 Detroit Lions Eddie Goldman DT Florida State
The Lions lost the two defensive tackles that made them so difficult to run against with Ndumakong Suh and Nick Fairly leaving in free agency. Now the have the oppurtunity to slide another player in next to the aging Haloti Ngata and have a formidable front again.
24 Arizona Cardinals Randy Gregory DE Nebraska
Randy Gregory have probelms but is too talented to pass up here for the Cardinals who could use some help running the rushing the passer to force QBs to throw to their fearsome secodary.
25 Carolina Panthers DJ Humphries T Florida
The Panthers offensive line is so bad that I’m pretty sure that I could start and be an upgrade. This might not be DJ Humphries but it will their highest rated tackle so that they aren’t relying on Michael Oher.
26 Baltimore Ravens Shane Ray OLB Missouri
The Ravens take the best player available to bolster a pass rush that will be scary next year with Terell Suggs and Elvis Dumerville. At This point any concern is negated by the talent available.
27 Dallas Cowboys Malcolm Brown DT Texas
Stephen Jones will over rule Jerry Jones and make the smart pick to bolster a pretty weak defensive front. Brown will stay in state and be a good fit for the Cowboys.
28 Denver Broncos Jake Fischer T Oregon
Broncos need a tackle and this is the best one available. Fischer was a captain at Oregon last year and will slot right in with his athleticism in Gary Kubiak’s play action based offense.
29 Indianapolis Colts Cameron Erving C/G/T Florida State
The Colts need help on the O-line and Erving can fill in just about anywhere on the line. Protecting their franchise QB has to be the the Colts number one priority.
30 Green Bay Packers Erik Kendricks LB UCLA
When you have to play your best defensive out of position, you aren’t going get far because you just robbing Peter to pay Paul. Kendricks can play in the middle and let Cley Matthews can return to terrorizing QBs.
31 New Orleans Saints Erik Flowers T Miami
Saints need to bolster their offensive line and Flowers would fit nicely in to protect Drew Brees in the Bayou.
32 New England Patriots Byron Jones CB Connecticut
The lost Darelle Revis and need some to fill and Byron Jones could be that guy with freaky athleticism. Really this is a luxury pick and Belichick will probably trade back as he always seems to and grab four players who’ll start with what he gets instead.
The play was a off tackle run to the right with undrafted rookie Isiaih Crowell picking up yards as the Browns continued to run riot against the Steelers but all of those were really only side notes as the medical staff rushed onto the field and carted Alex Mack off the field.
The Browns were at 2-2 and were after surprising many with their abilty to run the ball and be a match for anyone. At the centre of all this was Alex Mack. Mack who played with the Browns ever since he had been draft was one of the main reasons the Browns lead the league in rushing yards after 4 games with 146.4 rushing yards per game. Then just things began to take off for the Browns, Mack broke his left fibula and had to sit out the rest of the season. The Browns rushing yards fell to 90.5 and without Mack anchoring the centre of the line the Browns really struggled.
Now today the Browns announced that Mack was due to return for the April OTAs but wont be expected to return to full drills straight away but rather will be eased into drills. The Browns and Mack are more concerned with getting Mack ready for the first sunday of September rather than rushing him back.
Johnny Manziel voluntarily entered rehab last month with next set timeline for when his exit with the Browns’ coaching staff saying that it was more important for Manziel to sort out his personal life before he can focus on winning the Browns starting job. Now though we are being told that’s he has a release date in early April and should be attending the Browns’ first off season workouts on 20th of April. Which is horribly ironic (4/20) for someone who is just after leaving rehab.
Hopefully this can be a turnaround like Brett Favre rather than the beginning of the end of his career.
Last year was the most attended preseason in Browns’ History with all the national media sending reporters to Berea to report on Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon. The Browns had been asked by HBO and the NFL to be on Hard Knocks but wisely turned it down using the first year head coach clause as it was Mike Pettine’s first year with the Browns. Then former Browns website editor and now Buffalo News writer Vic Carruci reported that the Browns are the favourite to be on next season’s Hard Knocks. If no teams volunteer to be on Hard Knocks then the NFL can force a team to take part in Hard Knocks. The NFL can only force a team to participate in Hard Knocks if 1) Has not made the playoffs in the previous two seasons, 2) Does not have a new head coach, and 3) Has not appeared on Hard Knocks in the previous 10 years. The Browns are one of nine teams eligible for Hard Knocks along with the Redskins, Giants, Buccaneers, Vikings, Texans, Rams, Titans, and Jaguars.
The Browns would certainly be entertaining TV if they were selected with all of the stories surrounding Johnny Manziel and his rehab, GM Ray Farmer and Textgate, Jimmy Haslam and his fraud, and Josh Gordon and his suspension. It would blow every other Hard Knocks out of the water and could make a star out of the hard nosed Mike Pettine like it did to Rex Ryan. You’d have to wonder would it be a distraction though as this is a group of players who are potentially on the verge of something special with plenty of talent on the roster and this could be enough to disrupt the momentum that was built last season.
It was announced yesterday that Brian Hartline was coming home and had signed a two year, $6 million dollar deal with the Browns. Hartline played his college ball with Ohio State before spending six seasons with the Dolphins but was cut last month only one year into a new 5 year contract. Hartline had two consecutive 1000 yard seasons before dropping to 474 yards last season with the emergence of Jarvis Landry. Hartline is expected to be a key part of the Browns receiving corps this year with Josh Gordon suspended again. Hartline is a possession receiver who still has plenty left in the tank but is probably best suited to being a second option rather than a first option. I have always been an admirer of Hartline and look forward to seeing him as Brown but also bit wary because the last ex-Dolphins receiver the Browns got was Devone Bess and that didn’t end well.
Hartline catches a pass over Browns CB Buster Skrine
Reports this week are saying that ex-Buccaneers QB Josh McCown visited the Browns training ground in Berea on Tuesday and Wednesday and is said to be contract talks. McCown has been a backup for most his career in the NFL and is the brother of former Cleveland QB Luke McCown. McCown was let go after one dissappointing season with the Buccaneers after going 1-10 in his games he started throwing 11TDs to 14INTs. If the Browns were to sign him, I would have serious doubts about how effective he would be and with his age he could not be expected to play more than one or two years. McCown has experience with the Browns new OC John DeFilippo playing under him in 2007 and would be able to help him implement his new scheme. If he were to be signed by the Browns, the hopes would be that he would be a mentor for the Browns two sophomore QBs, Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw. If the Browns were to sign McCown it would have to be seen as a damning sign for QB Brian Hoyer as there is no realisitic way that the Browns could carry 4 QBs into next season.
After getting released by the Buccaneers on February 11th, McCown has been busy visiting Buffalo, Chicago and the New York Jets as well as the Browns. The Bills in particular are keen to bring in McCown with first round bust EJ Manuel being the only QB under contract for next year. McCown also has experience with Bills OC Greg Roman and QB coach David Lee.
Interesting note; If McCown were to be signed he would be 6 years older than QB coach Kevin O’Connell