Despite unorthodox approach, Browns front office making all the right moves

I can't lie, it seems like everyone has something to say about the Browns and the way they're approaching pro days and the draft in general. Ray Farmer has continually said that he doesn't feel the need to attend a choreographed workout designed to make a player look good. Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer says she thinks that there are valuable intangibles that the Browns brass could be missing by not showing up at the pro days. National media can't seem to get over the idea that a GM and coach have decided to abandon pro-days.

Stop it.

For years, the people who really matter on draft day have been singing the same tune; Pro day performance won't make any determination of who a team will draft. In the instance of this year's quarterback class, there's no pass rush, there's no D-linemen swatting at the ball, no coverage for the QB to read and react to. All these pro-days are really is an opportunity for top prospects to have eyes on just them instead of all the prospects at one time. Not to mention, with the firestorm of teams and media, the chances of gaining any meaningful insights about a kid are slim to none. I've never been a fan of pro days, and quite frankly, the fact that I get a live feed from Manziel or Clowney's pro-day on ESPN is ridiculous.

In addition, people seem to forget that Ray Farmer has been scouting these prospects for the last 9 months, in practice, in games and at the combine. While the Browns didn't use any of their private interviews in Indianapolis on a QB, they have assured us that they will conduct private meetings and workouts with all the QB prospects and gather information their own way. I like the approach, and in fact, I really love it. Not only is Farmer keeping everyone in the dark, including the media (which they hate), but most people aren't even sure if the Browns will take a quarterback in the first round. Without a RGIII or Andrew Luck type prospect, Cleveland might be tempted to snag the best skill player in Sammy Watkins or go the safe route and pick up a solid OL, or perhaps even build up the defense some more with Clowney or Khalil Mack. Regardless, despite the aggravation, isn't it refreshing to not have any clue what's going to happen in May?

I'll answer that for you: Yes, yes it is.

I understand we need a quarterback, Farmer, Haslam, Pettine and everyone else in a 6,000 mile radius of Cleveland all realize this as well. Just because the team's approach to finding the right one is unorthodox doesn't mean they deserve to be berated by fans and media. The job here isn't to appease the fans and the media, it's to build the best possible football team by any means necessary. The media and fan frenzy will follow if you can be successful in that task. Finding a franchise QB is an unexact science and Farmer knows his stuff when it comes to scouting players. Remember, he was assistant GM prior to the firing of Banner and Lombardi and in that time he was extremely active in getting out on the road and watching prospects play in games, practice and events such as the Senior Bowl. Farmer knows what he's doing and he knows what type of player is going to work in Cleveland. Give him a chance to build this team his way and you might just be pleasantly surprised.

It's important to note the difference in culture that Farmer and Pettine have already begun to push throughout the organization. When you have a DPOY candidate in Karlos Dansby saying that he believes in the direction of the team and he wants to do something special in Cleveland, you get an idea of just how much having a dysfunctional image was holding this team back. Donte Whitner left a Super Bowl contender to come home to Cleveland and build another one here, in his city. They have talent and they are one of the NFL's youngest teams, if the Browns can land a few key pieces, we could be talking about a serious contender in Cleveland. It seems farfetched, but you have to believe in a guy like Farmer, especially after the start to free agency and the guys he was able to bring in. Calm down, take a deep breath, and let's try to remind ourselves that the last guys didn't know what the hell they were doing, so maybe doing things differently isn't so bad after all.

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