As Cleveland fans get acquainted with the restocked roster in advance of the May 13-15 rookie minicamp, lots of interesting pieces are out there. Here are the most intriguing articles I’ve seen about the Browns in recent days.
Okay, I thought, [Corey Coleman] was not one of my top two prospects, but this guy is a playmaker with a nose for the end zone. He has speed, and speed kills in the NFL. He has some similar traits to Odell Beckham Jr., and he seems like a future Steve Smith. This guy oozes potential. I love this pick! Line him up and let him terrorize the AFC North with RG3.
After the draft, the Browns found two very different but quite talented nose tackles in Nile Lawrence-Stample and Kyle Rose. Despite having 14 picks, the team hadn’t addressed that spot … probably because they knew they could get backup candidates in free agency. Cornerback Kenya Dennis is an athletic player with potential. On offense, tight end J.P. Holtz is a solid pass-catcher. Paul James from Rutgers would have been a mid-round pick without the injury issues, so don’t be surprised if he shocks some NFL folks with his explosiveness in the preseason. Patrick Skov is a special-teamer and contributor at fullback who could stick.
“You can pick one player at No. 2 who has a 50-50 chance of being successful, or you can trade back and leave with a whole package of present and future picks,” [former Browns CEO Joe] Banner said. “And in that sense, that’s why what the Browns did was so smart, compelling and, frankly, different. The philosophy, a lot of teams have been doing for a long time. But the actual execution of it, the degree of what they got, I haven’t seen that done.”
There’s some irony in Banner’s praise of his former team. His tenure as the Browns CEO lasted just over a year, and only one draft.
Want some analytics? Football Outsiders’ annual SackSEER analysis projects second-round pick Emmanual Ogbah to have 25.6 sacks through his first five seasons, the third-best rating in this draft class. They forecast third-rounder Carl Nassib for 12.3 sacks and seventh-rounder Scooby Wright for 7.6.
Emmanuel Ogbah is a good all-around prospect, and he would be SackSEER’s favorite player in this draft if it did not adjust for projected draft position. Ogbah had consistently good production, recording double-digit sacks as both a sophomore and a junior. He also added nine passes defensed in his three-year college career, giving him an above-average passes defensed rate. Ogbah’s explosion numbers were also good — he recorded a 4.63-second 40-yard dash, a 35.5-inch vertical leap, and a 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump. Although not part of the SackSEER projection, Ogbah has nice size at 273 pounds, suggesting that he could be effective against the run and the pass. The only knock on Ogbah is his 3-cone time, which is just a bit slower than average.
The pass-rusher they didn’t rank was a fella named Joe from Wisconsin. If he becomes even half as good as the last one the Browns drafted, this will be quite a defense. Here’s the scoop on the former walk-on turned All-American.
“I’d say I am more of a calmer guy on the football field,” Schobert said, adding he expects to be used at inside and outside linebacker with the Browns. “I know my assignments and I am good schematically so I know what I can do.
“I don’t like to get too out of control. I just like to play within my limits and look at what the offense is giving me. I look for my indicators and going full speed but not out of control.”
This Grantland profile of Cody Kessler dates from last summer, but it usefully illustrates why the new Browns QB is a down-to-earth cultural fit for the pressure-packed position of playing in Cleveland. In other words, he’s the anti-Manziel.
“The way I was raised was [to be] very respectful,” Kessler says. “Your morals were always more important than how people perceived you, or how you wanted to be perceived. I’ve always been very humble. You can’t get too caught up in the success. You can have a bad game or a bad season, and having a big head will make you look foolish.”
The last of our fourth-round picks is the strong, silent type who could become the next in a long tradition of hard-hitting Browns safeties. Here’s a nice portrayal of his draft weekend.
Derrick Kindred’s mother is a hospital technician. His father drives a truck. Their homes weren’t big enough to accommodate the expected well-wishers, which is why a friend hosted the draft party.
Now, the Browns will pay Kindred almost $1 million, counting his signing bonus and his expected first-year salary.
When [agent Scott] Casterline told him what he’d be making – two days after the draft — Kindred was stunned. He had never asked about the money.
Head coach Hue Jackson touts team’s “extreme” talent at running back. Beat writer Mary Kay Cabot quotes the coach’s radio show comments, which amount to a huge vote of confidence in Duke and the Crow.
“I really think Isaiah Crowell is a really good running back. I think he’s going to have a sensational season, I really do.”
The Browns’ front-office house-cleaning apparently wasn’t done. We learned this week that VP of Fan Engagement Kevin Griffin is no longer with the organization.
@TheRealLA__ Dee Haslam is my hero
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) May 2, 2016