Last week I ran a contest inviting fans to predict up to 12 players the Browns would draft. Even though they ended up taking 14, no one got more than two names correct.
That shows just how difficult a task it is to lift the veils of secrecy or see through the smokescreens that teams use to obscure their intentions in the lead-up to this crucial competition for the best college talent.
It also reflects a few other truths. The Browns had an especially broad a set of draft needs. And their fans are most familiar with Ohio State players, whom the team entirely eschewed. Of the 28 names that entrants mentioned the most, the Browns picked only one, while eight played for Ohio State. In consolation, those interested in the historical connection between the Browns and Buckeyes may want to check out this piece I wrote (PDF) a few years ago.
Here are the Browns draftees and the percent of entrants who predicted them:
- 1st: WR Corey Coleman, 11%
- 2nd: DE Emmanuel Ogbah, 4%
- 3rd: DE Carl Nassib, 7%
- 3rd: OT Shon Coleman, 4%
- 3rd: QB Cody Kessler, 4%
- 4th: LB Joe Schobert, 0%
- 4th: WR Ricardo Louis, 4%
- 4th: S Derrick Kindred, 0%
- 4th: TE Seth DeValve, 0%
- 5th: WR Jordan Payton, 0%
- 5th: G Spencer Drango, 0%
- 5th: WR Rashard Higgins, 0%
- 5th: CB Trey Caldwell, 0%
- 7th: ILB Scooby Wright III, 18%.
Congratulations to the two winners who managed to predict more than one Browns draftee. Kevin from Racine, Minnesota got the first and last picks right, while a fellow from Houston, Texas who goes by YTRBUCKEYE correctly named Shon Coleman and Scooby Wright. They’ll receive a signed copy of Brown for the Count: A Compendium of Cleveland Browns Lists.
A few quick notes on the Browns’ surfeit of receivers and pass rushers:
The decision whether to pick up Barkevious Mingo‘s fifth-year option for 2017 just got a lot easier. The bulked-up former sixth-overall pick was not granted that extra year to the tune of more than $11 million, so he’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
LB Scott Solomon, a replacement-level veteran who flashed somewhat in the homestretch of the 2014 season, was released to clear space for the signing of up to ten undrafted free agents. Though not officially announced, their names have been added to the updated roster spreadsheet.
My bold prediction is that the Browns will lead the league in WRs and front seven defenders placed on injured reserve in the week leading up to the final cutdown this summer. It’s really the only way to stash developmental talent safe from the poaching of other teams.
I also predict that if the Browns persist in foolishly assigning the number 80, then whichever receiver wears it will be the biggest bust of the lot. I wish I were wrong.