"The Sunday Five" is a loosely-titled piece where I talk about five NFL- or Browns-related topics related to this past week. In today's edition, with the draft less than two weeks away, we take a look at a few of the prospects the Browns met with this past week, the regular season schedule being released, and more.
There were five new players added to the "visits/workouts" column of yesterday's NFL Draft Tracker for the Cleveland Browns. That included three offensive linemen and two defensive linemen. The offensive linemen were OG Cordy Glenn (1st rounder), OT
One of the players the Browns haven't brought in for a private visit/workout is Riley Reiff. That seems like a bit of a surprise for me. They have brought in Matt Kalil, a guy who would be available if Justin Blackmon gets taken by the Vikings at No. 3 overall. They have also brought in guys like Jonathan Martin, Mike Adams, and Glenn, who could be available at No. 22 overall. Reiff definitely falls somewhere in between those picks, probably around the No. 10 mark. He would seem like a candidate for the Browns if they traded down into that range, but, again, he hasn't been brought in. That never precludes a team from taking a player, though -- they never brought in Jabaal Sheard last year but were high enough on him to want him.
Reports are surfacing that the NFL regular season schedule is going to be released at 7:00 PM EST on Tuesday. With the addition of Thursday night games across the entire season, we'll see exactly how many prime time games that Cleveland has this year. As much as a homer as I would like to be, from the outside looking in, Cleveland has to be one of the least attractive teams in football to feature in prime time. That means no Sunday Night Football games. My guess is that the league will try to have every team features in at least two prime time games, so I'll predict one Thursday nighter and one Monday nighter. We've seen the Steelers and Ravens face the Browns in so many prime time games, but how about seeing the Battle of Ohio in prime time for once? I'd be nice to see a prime time game against Kansas City too, given the connections (Romeo Crennel, Brian Daboll, and Peyton Hillis).
For as much as the Browns can improve during the draft, the Bengals have a great opportunity to improve too with a pair of first-round picks. Cincinnati was also busy with a pair of noteworthy moves this past week. They signed free agent cornerback Terrence Newman, who struggled in Dallas last year. They also traded linebacker Keith Rivers to the New York Giants for a fifth-round draft choice. The Bengals have been a team that has made plenty of trades over the past two years, so it also wouldn't be a surprise to see them make a surprise push for some player in two weeks.
A few notes from Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer this week:
I like to talk draft with Dan Shonka of Ourlads.com because he was a former Division I college assistant coach, and then worked in the player personnel department for the Chiefs, Redskins and Eagles before taking over the scouting service in 2004. I asked him at Ryan Tannehill, and he almost moaned: "I can't believe how he's moving up some draft boards."
(Thumbs up). I don't necessarily agree with what Pluto said about our running back situation:
Maybe the Browns will draft a back low, and hope that they can put together a backfield out of Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya. That's just hard to believe.
Pluto believe that if the Browns don't take Morris Claiborne, they'll take Trent Richardson. Maybe. I just think it's hard to believe the team would let go of Hillis for cheap, given the team's situation at wide receiver, without having an internal confidence that they can "get by" with a rotation of the three backs on their roster.