"The Sunday Five" is a loosely-titled piece where I talk about five NFL- or Browns-related topics related to this past week. In this week's edition, we take a look at the conference call that the Browns and the commish had with season ticket holders and other privileged individuals. The source of my comments stems from this recap, which was written by the ABJ's Nate Ulrich.
General manager Tom Heckert said that the team's draft board was pretty much set. Our draft board is still in progress here at Dawgs By Nature, but as it stands now we could probably cover our first two draft picks. We can get a slight idea as to who is on the Browns' draft board by looking at our draft tracker, which keeps record of all the reported players the team has been in contact with. That list does not rank players by Heckert's preference though; that's what you wait until draft day for.
Based on what Heckert said, the team can bring 30 players to the facility. Some of the prospects the Browns met with did not travel to Berea; members of the Browns' staff visited them instead. That means there are probably quite a few other candidates the team has met with who have not been reported on yet. That should only be a concern for second-round picks though; as far as the first-round goes, Heckert says, "If (there's) somebody that we're probably gonna think about taking at No. 6, it's pretty much safe to say we've had him in here."
Heckert had a few other general comments about the draft: he will draft based on the best available position. He understands the team has a need at defensive line with the switch to the 4-3, but he is not letting that force him into taking a defensive lineman with the sixth overall pick. He also did not rule out taking prospects with an injury history if he felt they were good enough, citing the selection of Montario Hardesty in the second round last year. One thing that is very important in prospects? Character. That effectively rules out a Cameron Newton, eh?
Shurmur spoke of the confidence he has in Colt McCoy and the fact that he does not want the offense to be afraid to take chances and know when to gamble. As a team that has been criticized for being too conservative in the past, I hope Shurmur makes good on his word. The Rams seemed to be a bit conservative at times, but Shurmur might not have had complete control over that and he was also working with a first-year quarterback. McCoy isn't exactly beyond the level of a rookie yet, but there needs to be some aggressiveness in our West Coast offense for it to work.
Lastly, Roger Goodell says the league is continuing as if the season will go on as planned. Just as a preseason schedule was released earlier in the week, the regular season schedule is expected to be out within a week or two. When ticket packages go on sale though, I can't imagine fans racing to buy tickets with a lockout looming, even if they are guaranteed refunds.