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Day 2 Draft Recap & Shaffer Situation

On Day 2 of the Cleveland Browns draft, Phil Savage had three picks and ended up coming away with four total selections to improve upon his Day 1 masterpiece. Let's take a look at each of the players that Savage chose, as well as some other general stories surrounding the draft day weekend:

7th Rounder, Syndric Steptoe
ROUND 5 (140TH OVERALL) - Brandon McDonald, CB - MEMPHIS
Ranked as the 26th cornerback in the draft class by Scott Wright, Brandon McDonald is a cousin of quarterback Steve McNair. According to Savage, it sounds like the value in McDonald results from his experience on special teams, something the Browns always take into consideration wen drafting their players under the current regime. McDonald's timed speed isn't the greatest, as he only ran a 4.60, and he doesn't have the best bulk for a cornerback. During his final year of college, he recorded 84 tackles and four sacks. McDonald has had experience playing both cornerback and safety, and will be considered as a nickel or dime back this season.

ROUND 6 (200TH OVERALL) - Melila Purcell, DE - HAWAII
Although he was unranked by Scott Wright, Melila Purcell was a teammate of defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis, a player the Browns would have considered drafting in the third round had he been available. Savage stated that while Alama-Francis had higher value, he actually prefers Purcell in a 3-4 scheme over him. At 6'4" and 289 pounds, he has high energy off the snap and was able to our-muscle blockers in college. His speed isn't the greatest though, which hindered his ability to finish his pursuit of opposing players.

ROUND 7 (213TH OVERALL) - Chase Pittman, DE - LSU
Ranked as the 18th defensive end by Scott Wright, Chase Pittman plays the run well and knows how to get physical decent production. He is not very quick or athletic, which forces him to rely more on his strength. Savage mentioned that Pittman's brother, playing for the University of Texas at the time, was killed in a car accident. Pittman originally signed on with Texas in honor of his brother, but couldn't handle it emotionally and eventually transferred to LSU. Savage understands that Pittman will need to be developed.

ROUND 7 (234TH OVERALL) - Syndric Steptoe, WR/KR - ARIZONA
Ranked as the 32nd wide receiver by Scott Wright, it seems like the Browns are interested in Steptoe's ability to return punts. His timed speed is only 4.59, but he has been praised for having quickness, similar to Dennis Northcutt. Steptoe, with a solid training camp, will probably be the type of guy that does everything possible on special teams. It also shows that the coaches are likely not confident that Joshua Cribbs can handle punt returning duties this season, as we drafted several people that specialize with that skill.

Now, here are some notes surrounding the draft weekend:

  • Ravens Get Smith: How many months ago did I call it: the Baltimore Ravens would draft quarterback Troy Smith. Not that it means I regret not drafting him or anything, because I'm pretty sure we got the better bargain in some guy named Brady Quinn. However, I'm sure people that are fans of both Ohio State and the Browns suddenly don't care a whole lot compared to the point they did before the BCS Championship. Back then, fans were begging the Browns to draft him in the second round.
  • No Deal: That's the message that Savage told other teams regarding quarterback Charlie Frye, when they asked about a possible trade involving him. Savage wants Quinn, Frye, Derek Anderson, and Ken Dorsey to all compete for the job, with the best man winning. Although I think Quinn will start the season, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Frye be named as our opening day starter. If Romeo Crennel sees Quinn having trouble picking up the system to begin the season, he may lean towards Frye in an attempt to salvage his job with "the best chance of winning." Also, let's not forget the situation that happened a few years ago between Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers.
  • Shaffer Shakeup: When I heard the trade rumors regarding offensive tackle Kevin Shaffer, I was wondering what the organization was thinking. However, not it appears as though Shaffer's agent wants to ask the Browns for permission to seek a trade, particularly to the New York Giants (which fell through). The reasoning is likely due to the fact that the Browns will start first-round pick Joe Thomas at left tackle, meaning Shaffer would have to adjust to the opposite side of the line. With teams in need of a left tackle, the trade talks involving Shaffer are expected to stay around through training camp. I hope that Shaffer eventually decides to stay with Cleveland, because I like the depth that we currently have.
  • Wanting Quinn Sooner: Apparently, it seems as if Savage wanted Quinn sooner than he actually got him. Savage reportedly offered a deal to ten teams, with one of them being the Green Bay Packers. Those deals were turned down.
Finally, through various sources online, particularly the wonderful people at the OBR Forums, here are free agent players that the Browns have signed thus far that weren't drafted:
  • RB Curtis Brown - Brigham Young: Was the Cougar's all-time leading rusher, and also caught a lot of passes.
  • RB Tyrone Moss - Miami: Injuries and suspensions have limited his playing time, but he was ranked as the 24th running back by Scott Wright.
  • RB Jerome Jackson - Michigan: Boo those Wolverines. He was a reserve running back for them.
  • FB Bryson Davis - Mississippi State: He is a big blocker that doesn't run the ball very often.
  • FB Deriontae Taylor - Louisville: Was actually a linebacker and running back in college.
  • WR Willy Idlette - Wake Forest: Also has punt returning experience. He had 37 catches for 511 yards last year.
  • TE Lawrence Tilly - Mississippi: Purely a blocking tight end, since he only had 3 catches last year.
  • OL Brent Pousson - McNeese State: Started three years at left guard and left tackle in college.
  • OL Scott Stephenson - He has some experience at center, which will be where he tries to win a job here.
  • OL Rick Drushal - Wooster: Played left tackle for a small school.
  • DE Dustin Hertel - DePauw: Isn't big enough to play DE in the NFL, so will try out as a linebacker.
  • LB Funtaine Hunter - Vanderbilt: Ran an impressive 4.43, and may be considered as a defensive back. Highly-rated undrafted player.
  • LB Mike Alston - Toledo: One of the best pass rushers in the MAC.
  • PK Jon Peattie - Miami: He has his inconsistencies, but he has the leg for 50- and 55-yard field goals.
We'll have more information as it comes along.