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DBN Big Board 2014

Rank the top 5 prospects for the Cleveland Browns

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Board

Every NFL team has a ranking system for draft eligible players. They might rank all of the eligible players from best to worst. They might rank the players at each position. Or they might use some sort of grading system (90=first rounder, 80=second rounder, etc).

The bottom line is that somehow teams develop a plan for the draft beforehand so that they don't have to do much in the pressure-packed environment of the draft. The Big Board is a team's plan, and the DBN Big Board is our plan for the Browns' draft.

note: If you participated last year or the year before and have a good grip on what we are trying to do, feel free to skip to the "Instructions" section.

Potential Considerations


This is a mostly self explanatory term. "Needs" are positions where teams should draft new players because the players they already have just don't cut it.Every team has needs, but the questions with regard to need are:

  1. What, exactly, are the Browns' needs?
  2. How badly do we need new players at each of those positions?
  3. How much of a boost should players get because they play a position of need?


For me, value comes down to three things:

  1. How big of an impact can a player at a given position have on the game? Some personnel people believe that the closer a player plays to the ball the more impact they can have. Phil Savage publicly held the belief that QBs, RBs, WRs, CBs, pass rushers and LTs are impact positions, other GMs might have different lists. Having good players at some positions (quarterback) simply makes for a better team than having them at others (fullback).
  2. How rare are good players at a given position? Will good player at this position come around twice every draft? Once a year? Once every couple of years? Can we wait until later in the draft for a solid player at this position?
  3. How much better are the elite NFL players at a given position than average or below average ones? There might not be a huge disparity in the talent of punters, for example. Even a great NFL punter is only slightly better than a bad NFL punter. But the difference between the Peyton Manning and Brandon Weeden is huge. Therefore quarterbacks are more valuable than punters.


This is where "character" can factor in, positively or negatively. Additionally, some guys simply have an "it" factor while others do not.

Need, value, and intangibles may or may not matter to you with regard to the draft. Whether or not they matter and exactly how much they matter should be reflected in your rankings.


Rank the top five players in the draft for the Browns. Take talent, need, value, and intangibles into account--if you think these things should be taken into account at all. This is simply a wish list of players you'd like us to draft.

If you always want the best player available, just rank them as you see them from best to worst, 1-5. If you could take any player in the draft with the Browns' pick, who would that be? Rank him first. Now, if that guy was gone and everyone else was available who would you pick? Rank him second (and so on).

(for example, I think it would be unwise to draft an offensive tackle early because we have Joe Thomas. BUT at some point, it would be dumb to not draft a guy like Greg Robinson if he were still available. The point where I would rank Robinson on my big board would be exactly that point.)

This is not a mock draft.

Do not predict what will happen

Do not consider other teams, their needs, or what they may or may not do

Do not worry about who is available or will be available during the actual draft.

Compiling the board

Players will be given points based on our votes, and the 5 players with the most points will be taken out of the pool of available players and ranked on the DBN big board. I will add the next 5 "best players available" players (according to Mocking the Draft's rankings) to the voteable pool of players. New polls will happen every two days or so until the draft, and we'll compile the DBN community big board 5 players at a time.

If there are players you think I should include in the voting pool--especially if they aren't coming up in MtD's rankings, let me know and I will put them in for the next poll.

Rufio's Example

This is who I am voting for and why. Don't let it influence you, just use it as an example of what we're trying to do.

  1. Johnny Manziel. If we had the first pick in the draft, this is who I would take. If the Texans, Rams, and Jaguars passed on him I would run the pick up.
  2. Teddy Bridgewater. He might not be a once in a generation prospect, but he's the kind of cool operator who could be a Dalton/Eli/Cutler-level franchise QB and would add a lot of Ws out of merely being competent. If Manziel was gone and I was on the clock, I'd take Teddy over everyone left.
  3. Jadeveon Clowney. He's a freak. We need a game changer going after the QB and we don't have one yet. Clowney is where talent meets impact but not necessarily need depending on how you feel about Mingo. But he's too talented for me to drop below #3. If my QBs are gone and I am on the clock, I pick Clowney.
  4. Khalil Mack. Another fantastic pass rusher. Again, talent + impact but maybe not need. For me, this represents the worst-case scenario for the Browns barring a trade: the QBs and Clowney are gone, so I take Mack.
  5. Greg Robinson. Talent + impact (as a left tackle) but definitely not need. But Robinson is too good and I am too skeptical of the next tier of guys for it to be someone else here. Note that I wouldn't pick him at 4 (because I would take one of Johnny, Teddy, Jadeveon, or Khalil) but if we traded down I would consider him. If he was miraculously on the board when it was our turn to draft again, he would be my first choice there.

I hope this makes sense for everyone, and if not please ask questions in the comments. Please vote only once:

Thanks for voting. The poll has closed. Results of the Top 1-5 are Here