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Cleveland Browns 2019 NFL Draft Preview Roundtable

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Our analysts discuss every draft-related topic related to the Cleveland Browns.

NFL: NFL Draft-City Views Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

To help preview the Cleveland BrownsNFL Draft every year, the staff here at Dawgs By Nature puts together a roundtable discussion covering as many draft-related topics as possible within a short period of time.

The participants include myself, Matt Wood, rufio, Thomas Moore, Josh Finney, Dan Lalich, Mike Hoag, and Barry Shuck. I also doubled as the moderator for the majority of the questions, so the tone of most questions are coming from my perspective.


Q (Chris): “Browns fans are in a unique position this year where they don’t have a first-round pick. Do you want to see the Browns stay put at No. 49 overall, or is there a player you want them to trade up for in the first round?”

Barry Shuck: “The Browns will have plenty to choose from if they stick at number 49. Safeties Taylor Rapp and Nasir Adderley, cornerbacks Julian Love and maybe even Justin Layne, OTs Greg Little and Kaleb McGary, linebacker Blake Cashman and maybe even TE Irv Smith, Jr. All of these are positions of need. One of the most intriguing guys in the entire draft may also be sitting there with Mississippi State DT Jeffery Simmons. At one point, the conversation was would he be available when Cleveland’s turn came up at number 17? Now with the injury, he could very well be there in the second-round at 49. Taking him here would be reminiscent of the Cowboys getting injured Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith in the second-round knowing he would sit for a season, and then came back as a defensive stud.”

rufio: “I like a lot of the things that GM John Dorsey is doing. He’s upgrading the roster left and right, and he recognizes that we have a window before we have to extend Myles and Baker (especially Baker) when we can really load the roster without losing long-term franchise cornerstones.

There are two things that concern me with Dorsey. One is adding guys with character question marks to the roster, which is it’s own issue. The other is his ability to develop and follow a sustainable long-term strategy. There was always going to be a shift from the asset acquisition mode we were in under Sashi Brown, and from a competitive standpoint what Sashi was doing wasn’t sustainable either (the purpose of this whole thing is to win games, not merely acquire assets). Dorsey is spending cap room to create competition (and someone loses the competition for playing time, like Tyrod Taylor and Carlos Hyde did), and maybe that is his way of doing what Sashi did through the draft: create more chances for yourself, so when you only bat .500 the team is still good.

Anyway, I’m starting to get slightly nervous about the long-term plan and Dorsey’s ability to put his emotions aside and do something that might not feel great now but will be great down the road. So I’d like to see an efficient use of draft picks, which means staying put or trading into next year’s draft. Dorsey’s already added an elite outside WR in his prime and two pretty good pass rushers on defense. We’ll be ok at safety, too. He doesn’t need to do a lot more right now.”

Dan Lalich: “I’m just going to mostly echo Jesse. This roster isn’t in a position where there are obvious gaping holes that need to be filled. It’s also not a roster in need of impact players. The front office has invested a lot of resources already, and that has resulted in a well-rounded playoff quality team. It’s time to switch from building to maintaining, and that means not giving up more of the future to target single players in the draft. They don’t need to hit any more home runs, they just need to keep everything on track.”

Chris Pokorny: “I have complete peace of mind feeling like the Browns spent their first-round pick on Odell Beckham, so staying at No. 49 is fine with me. To be honest, because of how far away the first round is, I haven’t put much serious thought into the possibility of Cleveland landing a first-round prospect. It is evident the front office feels that way too. When you look at our post about tracking the Browns’ draft interests, there are hardly any first-round players on there. The first-rounders you do see on that list were due to interest the team showed when they still had the 17th overall pick.

Thomas Moore: “I’m OK with the Browns staying at No. 49 as, outside of a quarterback, there really is never one player that a team ‘has to get’ when it comes to the draft.

However, I’m not sure that general manager John Dorsey thinks the same way. The Browns have eight draft picks and there is little to no chance that eight draft picks will make the final roster this fall. The one player that Dorsey seems fixated on is Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, so if Simmons starts to fall to the bottom of the first round or the top of the second round, he is player that I could see Dorsey going after.”

rufio: “Man, Simmons might be worth it. He’s the guy I could see falling who might be worth the move up, depending on what we’d give up of course. He’s a top 5 talent if healthy.

And he’d be a nice sign that we are not all about the present moment: he won’t contribute till halfway through the season at the earliest and he won’t be full strength till next year. He’s had a checkered past though, which does scare me off a little....I’m glad I don’t have to make these decisions.”

Dan Lalich: “Speaking of those eight picks, this might be a really good year to just roll those over into future drafts. Maybe turn a couple of those late round picks into slightly earlier picks in 2020. That way when the dust settles on this season and we have a clearer picture of what the team needs are under the new coaching staff they will have a little more to work with.”

Thomas Moore: “That works, too. It will be a bit surprising if the Browns actually select eight players this weekend, as opposed to using some of those draft picks in trades.”

rufio: “I love trading up a round in to next year’s draft. Especially with those late picks. You never miss the 4th-5th round pick in my opinion.”


Q (Chris): “Let’s talk about RB Duke Johnson for a second. Even if you aren’t looking to trade him, what is a trade that you would accept if it came up during the draft? Would you take a 3rd round pick for him? What do you think his value will be in that regard?”

Dan Lalich: “I wouldn’t take a third round pick for Duke. I understand the relationship there is strained, but Kitchens is getting paid the big bucks to take care of that kind of thing. Right now, Duke Johnson is still really good and he’s still on the Browns. On the other hand, I think a third round pick is probably what other GMs would value him at right now. He isn’t on a cheap contract, and his ability to be an every down player isn’t certain, but he’s one of the best third down backs in football. He’s probably worth more to the Browns right now than he would be to another team. I would be shocked if he’s on the Browns in 2020 though.”

Chris Pokorny: “This is one of those questions where I feel like I can take a bipolar approach. I have no desire to trade Duke Johnson, and I see him as a huge asset for our offense. However, his utilization last year, except for a few games, even under Freddie Kitchens, was quite small. So, while I think Johnson is such a good receiving threat, I have to ask myself, ‘Are we going to use him?’ If they don’t intend to use him that much, then it makes sense to get what you can for him in a trade.

I hate the thought of dumping him, so I would not budge unless a team was desperate enough to give up a third-rounder.”

Thomas Moore: “It would be nice for the Browns to receive a third-round pick for the Duke, but given that the Chicago Bears only received a sixth-round selection for Jordan Howard, it’s hard to see the Browns getting much more than that. They really should just keep Duke on the roster - especially given that Kareem Hunt is out for the first half of the season - and then deal with the situation after the season is over.”

rufio: “I’d take a third round pick. I think Duke was the only decent player on some really bad teams and that some Browns fans overvalue him because of what he meant to those teams. I don’t think he is a standout NFL talent at his position, and his position is one where decent players are abundant. RB careers don’t last long, either.

With that said, I don’t think we could get a third round pick for him and I don’t think I would trade him. But I think we will try to trade him.”

Matt Wood: “If you can get a second- or a third-round for Duke, you should do it. I think Duke is a fantastic player but let’s be honest, with Chubb and Hunt the RB depth chart is pretty thick. And RB is the easiest position to fill. You could use that 2nd or 3rd round pick for other positions of bigger need and then replace Duke later on in the draft or even with an UDFA. They won’t be as good as Duke right away, but they don’t have to be. That’s the upside of having positional depth.

That being said, I doubt he gets more than a 5th round pick which is why I would keep him for now.”

Josh Finney: “I’d be less gloomy if the pick was a third, but I’m with Matt; I don’t think you get anything more than a conditional 4th, and for a team with playoff aspirations, I don’t want to be a banged knee away from trusting Darius Hillary (who I actually like) for 15 snaps a game. Duke is good in a variety of roles; I’m sorry he wants to be a full time WR, but he’s very elusive and makes the Browns more scheme independent. In short; I don’t want to trade any quality players, regardless of depth.”

Mike Hoag: “I have always really liked Duke Johnson’s skill-set. It’s hard to say what it would take to trade him away, but he is clearly not happy with his role in Cleveland. Plus, it does not appear that he’ll get what he wants from the Browns. Rightly or wrongly, I would hold onto him until the trade deadline. Maybe Kitchens’ new offensive staff will find ways to get him involved that Kitchens himself was not able to achieve to satisfy him (do not ask about him moving to wide receiver again this season, or I have it on good authority from Chris that you will be jettisoned into deep space). Trading him now, while teams know he’s disgruntled, seems like a miscalculation that won’t bring back the most return value in a trade. But maybe that is what’s best for the team and the player.

Johnson also signed an extension last summer, so teams won’t be dissuaded from acquiring him. The return value, if he is traded this week, ultimately depends on Dorsey’s view of the draft class. Why trade an asset low, for another asset that is presently worth less than it will be in 365 days? I am not going to pretend to be a (very stable) genius economist, but that seems pretty dumb on its face. I’m just going to stop here because I forgot that I do not want the team to trade him. And I’m tired. I’m perpetually tired. What happened to my metabolism? I’m turning 34 in May? This is sad. Really sad. But not as sad as the Browns giving up on finding a role for a talented player like Duke Johnson.”

Barry Shuck: “Regardless of what Dorsey said in his pre-draft presser, once Kareem Hunt comes back Dorsey will already have a planned trade partner for Duke. It is no coincidence that the trade deadline and Hunt’s return are the same week. I would expect a fourth or fifth-round pick for Johnson. Not that he isn’t worth more, but you have to understand that every team’s GM knows that Dorsey cannot keep all three running backs if for no other reason but financially. And with that knowledge, the other GMs will low-ball the Browns and ultimately Dorsey will have no other choice than take the best offer. Duke is an excellent receiver and blocker and really needs a system that will play him more, so it will end up good news for both parties. But I really do not expect Dorsey to move him until after the Week 8 game because he is quality depth and one play from being the starter until Hunt is available.”


Q (Chris): “What are the Browns’ Top 3 positions of need and why?”

Dan Lalich: “I think they still need secondary help whether it’s at safety or corner. I also think the offensive line is a bit of a question mark, and they could probably use some rotational pass rushers on the edge. I’m probably less worried about the linebackers than others.”

Thomas Moore: “Positions of need are all mostly on the defensive side of the ball - depth along the defensive line, another starter at cornerback and some more help at linebacker. Just look at the tape and the stats from last year to see why. I’m also not sold on the idea that the Browns are set at the tackle position - especially left tackle. It’s a pleasant fantasy to believe the Greg Robinson “found himself” after just eight games last season, but anyone would look better after watching Desmond Harrison for eight weeks, and eight games should not outweigh the previous four years of his poor performances.”

rufio: “In my eyes the Browns top 3 positions of need are offensive tackle (specifically left tackle), linebacker, and safety. We filled major needs by adding Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson (who we need to be more excited about), and we patched the hole at safety with Morgan Burnett. We can add guys in the secondary who will be ok but not great through free agency, too. We could also use depth/competition at 3 technique, DE, LB, OG/C, and in the secondary.

We are kind of in a weird spot. A very weird spot for Browns fans, at least. The guys who are going to come in and start day 1 are going to need to be elite, impact player type of guys. Even at tackle, your average rookie isn’t going to come in and be better than Robinson or Hubbard. I think there are two guys in this draft who clearly have the potential to be franchise LTs, and they are Jonah Williams and Andre Dillard. Dillard is more physically talented with longer arms, a bigger frame, and more quickness. But Williams is far more polished and has enough athleticism to be a blind side protector for years. Neither guy will be available unless we make a huge trade up, which would be a mistake in my opinion.

At LB, I like Schobert but I don’t think he will ever be an elite player who is viewed as a franchise cornerstone for a Super Bowl contending team. I like Kirksey as a person but I’m not sure about him on the field. I like the potential that Avery brings to the table, and I am excited to see how he does in a more structured system with pattern matching and “rat in the hole” styles of coverage, and defensive coaches who have been around the likes of Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechley. With that said, I think we are looking for a difference-maker at the position. Someone who can be that Kuechley type of force all over the field, in on every play. That’s hard to find in the second round and beyond.

I like what Damarious Randall brings to the table, and I’d like to find another guy to pair with him. Ideally a versatile guy who has lots of range to play deep centerfield, but also can come up into the box to cover TEs and backs and slot WRs and who can stop the run well enough. I’d say this is our most realistic opportunity to draft a starter in the second round based on who might be available.”

Matt Wood: “Pass rushers, pass blockers and pass defenders. You can never have enough depth at DL, especially at DE. The Browns need to continue to add pass rushers so they can get after the QB when Baker stakes them to 21 point leads. Pass blocking is an easy one to know because Robinson could turn back into a pumpkin, Hubbard is serviceable but they can both be easily upgraded with some smart scouting and drafting.”

Josh Finney: “The Browns biggest draft needs, in order, are OT, iDL, and S. I think there’s almost no chance Greg Robinson is on the roster next year, and Chris Hubbard is below average.

Behind Ogunjobi and Richardson, the Browns have zero depth inside, and it was a problem last year when Larry was off the field. I want to develop a guy in the middle on day 3.

Safety is pretty obvious; they don’t have have a backup free safety on the roster, and Burnett is a distinct downgrade from Peppers.”

Mike Hoag: “Top 3 Positions of Need:

DB: Teams can never have enough secondary talent. I would find a corner and safety as quickly as possible, and it appears there are a going to be good options on Day 2. Although corner may not be top of the priority list, we have seen what multiple injuries can do to that group. I’m also not incredibly confident in any of the backups in the Browns’ current group. While I am not as studied (at all) on this year’s class, I am very familiar with Julian Love after watching him closely at Notre Dame over the past two seasons. Love has the skills but not necessarily the tools, although he looked the part.

OLB: Pass rusher is not really a big concern for me because Genard Avery and Chris Smith can move to rush end spots in passing situations. But a true 4-3 outside backer is one position where this team has a glaring hole. Avery surprised somewhat as a rookie while splitting time at rush end and in coverage last season, but he has work to do as he steps into a bigger role in 2019. I’d be surprised if anyone can name the last time a linebacker trio survived an entire season without missing chunks of the year. That said, the depth behind the starters, and uncertainty about Avery makes this position a significant priority.

iDL: Creating interior pressure, not just absorbing blocks, is key at this position. Ogunjobi and Richardson are more than satisfactory starting options, but the depth players behind them do not meet that reality. Maybe Coley can regain some of the promise he showed in 2017, but it wasn’t there last season and seems like a false memory. Please find some more interior penetrators, Dorse.”

Barry Shuck: “The Browns need quality depth. It is strange to write something like this since for so long they were in need of just about everything. Cornerback and safety would have to be One/Two for depth. Denzel Ward is the Pro Bowler and T.J. Carrie is a good DB so they are set, but need someone to come in especially on nickel and dime situations. Of course, Jabrill Peppers is gone at SS, but Dorsey was able to wrangle away Eric Murray from the Chiefs to compete with Jermaine Whitehead to take Pepper’s place instead of waiting for the draft to take care of the opening. At FS, Demarious Randall finally was placed in his natural position and led the club in interceptions (4) last year and is an excellent tackler. It will be interesting to see how backups Phillip Gaines and Juston Burris will be this year at the corners and hopefully can contribute more.

Linebacker is a need, but so is a backup swing OT. Most clubs now only keep seven offensive linemen, so a guy who can play guard and either tackle is needed as quality backup material.”

Chris Pokorny: “I was the person who suggested the three positions of need for the DBN FanPulse poll that you see below: strong safety, linebacker, and defensive tackle. The first two positions come with the voids related to trading Jabrill Peppers to the Giants and cutting Jamie Collins. As far as defensive tackle goes, that is due to depth. Ogunjobi and Richardson can hold down the fort as starters, but we can’t expect them to play 100% of the snaps. I think we’re still weak for those rotational players, so I like adding someone who can contribute there.”


Q (Chris): “Rufio wanted to bring up a fun hypothetical, considering we had the first overall pick in 2017 and 2018. If Cleveland had the first overall pick this year, who would you all take?”

Mike Hoag: “Tough call and good question, Jesse. Probably Quinnen Williams for me.”

Josh Finney: “I presume I’m going to get rotten fruit thrown at me for suggesting I’d trade back a few spots for extra picks (preferably a high second I can package with thirds for an OT) and still take Ed Oliver?”

Thomas Moore: “Most likely Quinnen Williams or Ed Oliver. But if Browns could find a team that is in love with Kyler Murray, a trade back with a nice haul of extra picks would be nice. Then pick the highest-rated player you have at a position of need along the defense. (Too much of a cop out?)”

Mike Hoag: “Not a cop out! That is probably what I would do, too, and probably how Dorsey would approach it. But I viewed rufio’s question as if we had to make the pick there.”

Thomas Moore: “Yeah, I’m kind of hedging my bets between what I would do and what I think The Infallible One would do. But unless there is a Myles Garrett-like disrupter to take at No. 1, then trade down a bit and keep adding to the defense.”

Josh Finney: “Quinnen and Oliver are the best players for the Browns, in my opinion, but this is a deep draft for iDL (maybe historically deep) and I just can’t see the value there at No. 1 for them, especially with teams thirsty for Kyler and Bosa up there.”

Matt Wood: “First overall for the Browns? I’m taking Bosa no questions asked. He along with Garrett for the next 5 years? Whoooooooooo damn!!!”

Chris Pokorny: “I’m with Matt — give me Nick Bosa. I loved the thought of having Myles Garrett and Khalil Mack last year before the Bears pulled that acquisition off, but Garrett and Bosa would get me going too.”


Q (Chris): “Some are concerned with the QB depth if Baker Mayfield goes down. Is there a mid- to late-round prospect you’d like to see the Browns draft at quarterback?”

Dan Lalich: “I’m generally of the belief that if Mayfield goes down we’re screwed anyway. That said, it doesn’t hurt to keep looking for quarterbacks in the later rounds, just ask the Patriots. I don’t have anyone in particular in mind.”

Matt Wood: “The Browns should be taking a QB late every single year. Like Dan mentioned there is no downside here. I like Brett Rypien. He obviously has some NFL blood in him and I think he would understand his role as a development type guy. He is accurate and has a ton of experience. And if he flashes a bit in preseason maybe the Browns flip him in three years for a higher pick.”

Barry Shuck: “There is not a single NFL club that has two starting QBs on their roster. Teams cannot afford to have Steve Young backup Joe Montana anymore and stash another starting quarterback. It would interesting to see if Drew Stanton can lead as good a team as the 2019 Browns to victories, even as a game manager. The recently signed AAF refugee Garrett Gilbert is not of starting caliber in this league and in fact, in the AAF is the only place he found success on the field professionally. If the Browns thought for one second that Stanton could not come in and become a viable starter, they would have retained Tyrod Taylor. Now, if they wish to keep a third QB on the active roster they should look at Tyree Jackson of Buffalo in the third or fourth-round, or perhaps Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham in the fifth-round.”

rufio: “I agree with Dan: if Baker goes down we’re in a bad spot. But I’d love to draft QBs in the mid/late rounds and Matt Cassell/Ryan Mallett/Brian Hoyer/Jimmy Garrappolo/Jacoby Brissett them away like the Patriots do (seriously, how do people still fall for that?).

If we want to emulate Baker’s playstyle, Trace ‘Sober Johnny Manziel’ McSorely would do the best job. As an Ohio State fan I was legitimately afraid of his playmaking ability with both his arm and legs. He doesn’t have ideal size, but he’s a gamer. And as an added bonus someone already gave him the nickname Sober Johnny Manziel. I’m only half joking. Completely seriously, Gardiner Minshew might make more sense as a backup. He almost transferred to Alabama to be a backup, but instead went to learn an Air Raid offense under Mike Leach and go on to become the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He led the FBS in completions, attempts, and yards per game. He was top 5 in completion %, TDs, and threw 38 TDs to 9 INTs. He should be familiar with most of the passing concepts if not the terminology of Todd Monken, and is reportedly a guy his teammates rally around. Scouts question his arm strength, but that’s a perfect reason to grab him late, put him in the weight room, and then hype him next preseason.”

Josh Finney: “JIMMY G IS STILL GOOD AND WAS DRAFTED FOR A DIFF REASON HOW DARE YOU!”

rufio: “Lol maybe, but some random dude off the street came in for the 49ers and looked decent, how good do you have to be to look above average in that offense? The best ability is avail.”

Thomas Moore: “That’s why I’m surprised the Cardinals are not contemplating the same plan. Draft Murray and let Rosen sit for a year or two while everyone forgets how average he is, then turn him into something from a quarterback desperate team.

As for the Browns, they are doomed if Mayfield goes down with injury. If they are looking for a possible prospect as a backup, I’ll borrow from Tony Grossi of all people and go with Garner Minshew from Washington State.”

rufio: “I mean, is that not what the Cardinals are doing to an extent? But instead of buying low with a 3rd-5th round pick and selling for more than that, they are trying to turn Rosen from a sunk cost into something that mitigates their past mistakes. And that they might be able to make a deal happen immediately, it legitimately seems like teams are interested.

For the record, I do not read anything Tony Grossi writes.”

Thomas Moore: “Yes and no. Trading Rosen while the stink of his rookie year might not net as much in return as letting him sit on the bench for a 1-2 years and then people will start to forget that he might not be very good and start to talk themselves into him being worthy of more than the Cardinals will likely get in the next few days. And that’s if they even take Murray.”

Dan Lalich: “I think if he sits his value will just continue to drop. If he is ever going to have more value than he has right now, he needs to play.”

Josh Finney: “Agree with Dan on that 100%, and the only ache there is that every team in the league knows that Arizona is desperate. Buyers market. In my opinion, it’s why he’s a Cardinal, still.”

rufio: “The Pats have put themselves in a much different (better) position, and the Cardinals don’t really have the opportunity to do what the Pats have done. They are doing the best they can with the hand they dealt themselves. People bought into half of those guys because they had to sit behind Tom Brady. The Patriots could say “of course we don’t like him as much as the best QB of all time, but we still like him a lot.” They could take guys who were talented and then develop them in a “culture of winning” and sell them as finished products; they learned from the best and could take that to your franchise. And people got to see those guys throwing the same passes Tom Brady threw in the same offense, usually when the Patriots were up by a ton in the 4th quarter and the other team had lost hope. It is/was the best showcase possible.

The Cardinals are trying to sell Rosen as being good, but also have to deal with the fact that they are going to pass on the defensive talent at the top of the draft to select Rosen’s replacement (after only one year). The Cardinals also “bought high” by selecting Rosen with a first rounder. They don’t have the opportunity to pick a guy low and have that turn into higher picks, there’s almost nowhere to go but down for Rosen’s stock. Playing like a second round pick was exciting to see from guys like Hoyer or Mallett, people could see the development from a late rounder into something decent and imagine that ascent continuing until the guy was a franchise player. Playing like a second round pick for Rosen is a disappointment, a regression, and people naturally extrapolate that into Rosen being a bad player. If Rosen doesn’t play and play well, it is hard to see him being as valuable as he is right now.”

Thomas Moore: “Just continue to be so very happy that Dorsey wasn’t the sucker at the table who picked Rosen last year.”

Josh Finney: “I don’t think Rosen is bad. I think that situation he was In was awful, and he was a rookie. Heaven help us if Rosen ends up on the Pats or the Steelers via late round picks.”

Mike Hoag: “I’m here for the overreactions to QBs’ rookie seasons. Rosen is a bust! Didn’t like him as a prospect, personally. I wrote this last year for our Roundtable:

‘I’ll start with the the two quarterbacks I would not like to see taken by the Browns: Rosen and Jackson. I prefer Mayfield and Allen, and am still lukewarm on Darnold.’

As much as I’d like to take an early victory lap, it’s really absurd he’s getting that treatment with such a limited sample size. The takes must go on. Really glad Dorsey didn’t Browns it and take Allen as it sounded like (to me) he was going to.

Back to the topic of a quarterback for the Browns this year, I have a weird thing for Eric Dungey. Ryan Finley is promising, too. Haven’t checked rankings much but I do not thing Dungey is on many people’s radars, so I’ll count him as a quarterback target and a sleeper. Whammy.”

Matt Wood: “I think the most important thing for rookie QB’s is the situation they are placed in. Truly special QB’s can overcome things, but teams can make things easier. I think the Browns did that for Mayfield. But much like Tim Couch, Rosen was asked to be the entire franchise for the Cardinals right away. Not to mention. Their offensive gameplan was horrific (look at how they misused David Johnson!).

I think Rosen can easily be good, but I don’t see it happening in Arizona. If he goes somewhere like NE or Pittsburgh I like his chances.”

Josh Finney: “I think Freddie Kitchens* did that for Baker. I think Hue and Todd did everything they could to make things a pain in the ass for Baker, same as they did for Tyrod and DeShone. Otherwise, I agree.”


Q (Chris): “Who are some late-round sleepers in general you’d love to see in a Browns uniform?”

Dan Lalich: “As far as late-round sleepers, I like Lil’Jordan Humphrey a lot. This is based almost solely on me being a Texas fan and watching him play every week. But generally speaking I do think taking a receiver on day three could make sense. They wouldn’t need to contribute right away, obviously, but looking 2-3 years down the line it’s not hard to see Jarvis Landry becoming a cap casualty and it would be good to have an experienced internal candidate for that spot.”

Matt Wood: “I like Jamal Davis II from Akron and it isn’t just the local angle. He has a ton of physical talent and has bounced around position wise in college. Hell he has bounced around from schools as well going from Pittsburgh to Akron. I think he has a ton of upside since he hasn’t settled in anywhere. I’m not completely sure where he plays, but I like the idea of grabbing a “toolsy” pass rush guy and letting him develop for a season. My favorite guy is Hunter Renfrow. I get all the jokes but damn if that dude didn’t make almost every big play for the Clemson Tigers the past 15 years. I LOVE the idea of dropping him in as a slot WR for the Browns. He will make 30 catches a season and 29 of them will be for 3rd down conversions. There is NO way we look back in 4 years and find that there are 10 better WR’s in this draft than him. Don’t overthink it.”

rufio: “I like both of the receivers thrown out already. I’d say that if we again look to the Patriots two types of players who are likely to be undervalued are passing game RBs with good speed and slot WRs, especially if they are “quicker than fast” guys (literally, not as the white guy stereotype). Big WRs who run fast in a straight line and put up great 40 times are likely to be overdrafted. Short guys who do well in the short shuttle or 3 cone are not likely to get hype.

This is going to sound like I am a huge homer, but I think no fewer than three Ohio State guys are going to make great sleepers:

Mike Jordan has probably the best chance to get drafted early (2nd round), but there is a real chance he could drop to the 3rd or 4th round, where he’d be a steal. The worst thing I can say about him is that he plays guard. He was the first OSU lineman to start as a true freshman since Orlando Pace, was a hard worker, and is a big, physical guy. He doesn’t have the athleticism to play on the edge, but he can move to C (which is not his natural position, but he was still an All-American there) or either guard spot. He’s strong and has very good technique, and a lot of experience. Don’t overthink it, just draft him and solidify a guard spot for 5 years.

Mike Weber is probably a 3rd-4th rounder as well. He’ll get (wrongfully) pushed down in the draft because he had to split time with JK Dobbins and his stats fell off and (rightfully) because of injury history. He also went from being one of the main options on offense when Ohio State ran the ball a lot under JT Barrett, to being a fourth option when Dwayne Haskins was throwing the ball a lot. But he’s a physical back who makes a lot of yards after contact, will do the dirty work blocking, can catch the ball reliably, and has never been under 5.5 per carry despite some defenses selling out to stop Buckeye runs. By the way, he wan a 4.47 which was tied for the third fastest 40 time by RBs at the combine this year. Physicality and vision get underrated in RBs and speed gets overrated this time of year (example: Nick Chubb).

Kendall Sheffield is the last Buckeye that doesn’t get enough hype. He’s a physical corner, and built like an action figure. He was poised to have a great combine but partially tore a pec in the bench press. He needs more work on finding the football when he is face guarding the receiver, but he’s athletic in small areas and he set the Ohio State record for the 60m dash while running for the track team on the side. You’re not going to find a more physically talented guy at the point in the draft where he’ll be selected.”

Thomas Moore: “As for late-round guys to look for, cornerback Jimmy Moreland from James Madison and defensive tackle Trysten Hill from Central Florida.”

Mike Hoag: “I have looked at some safeties this week, and Evan Worthington from Colorado looks like someone I would seriously consider targeting on Day 3.”

Barry Shuck: “DE John Cominsky (Round 4) of small school Charleston is quick and would be a great special teams demon until he can come in on situational plays and develop his raw skills. Florida State DT Demarcus Christmas (Round 7) is a wide body whose specialty is run stopper and two-gap plugger. K Cole Tracy (Round 6/7) of LSU never missed a PAT in 2018 and was 29 of 33 (87.9 percentage) with a long of 54 yards. Someone is going to get a good tackle with OT Trey Pipkins (Round 5/6) from another small college, Sioux Falls. Can play both sides of the center and at both guard and tackle, something that is required in today’s NFL. Also in Round 5 look for FS Sheldrick Johnson from Miami. Boston College. Isn’t the fastest in the defensive backfield, but will come up and lay a player out and has a wide coverage range.”


Q (Chris): “This one comes from the DBN Community: who is the one player you most want the Browns to draft that we have a reasonable chance to get at No. 49?”

Thomas Moore: “In order of preference, cornerback Justin Layne, cornerback Rock Ya-Sin or cornerback Amani Oruwariye.”

Dan Lalich: “I’ll just repeat that the player I most want the Browns to draft is Lil’Jordan Humphrey because I love his name and I’m a shameless homer. We definitely shouldn’t take him at 49 though.”

rufio: “I don’t know who is realistically going to be available at 49. I’m going to say Jeffery Simmons with one caveat: if he is still there because of his ACL, we take him. If he is there because of character concerns, don’t. We already have a few risky character guys on the team and I think there is a fine line between acceptable risk and recklessness, and we’re right on that line.

It might not be reasonable to expect Simmons to be there, so I’ll say Justin Layne or Nassir Adderly. I like a lot of safeties in the 2nd/3rd round.”

Matt Wood: “I don’t think Simmons drops that far, but someone will drop for medical reasons, off the field issues, etc. I like the Browns taking chances on players like this right now. The window is here. Is it Sweat with his heart issues? But if no one drops, take a chance on someone with upside. If that’s Savage I’m cool with it. Don’t play it safe.”

Barry Shuck: “There are several players in the defensive backfield that should be available with the 49th pick: S Taylor Rapp, CB Julian Love and CB Justin Layne. Of these, I would take Love for immediate depth.”


Q (Chris): “Word popped up yesterday that teams might be interested in trading for LB Joe Schobert. What are your thoughts on that?”

Thomas Moore: “Not a fan of the idea of trading Schobert. The Browns are already thin at linebacker and Schobert is a good player. Dorsey might be working hard to get “his players,” but you can’t get rid of everyone - especially if it is at a position that you currently don’t have a backup option.”

Dan Lalich: “We also definitely shouldn’t trade Joe Schobert. We can all disagree on whether he’s a pro-bowl quality player or a decent starter or whatever, but right now he’s one of two clearly solid linebackers on the roster. The Browns are in a really strong position where they don’t have any obvious gaping holes, there’s no reason to trade Schobert and create one.”

rufio: “I don’t think we should trade Schobert, mostly because I don’t think we’ll be able to get back someone better or a pick that will end up being better. I’d say I am lower on Schobert than most Browns fans. I like Schobert as a solid ‘middle class’ player, and I don’t think he is a star. But he’s able to contribute on a winning team, and and you can’t sustainably have a team full of stars. He’s smart and plays hard and is pretty decent at what he does, and he can play on all 3 downs. That’s good enough for now at the very least.”

Barry Shuck: “With the 49th pick, the Browns will have a shot of Alabama’s Mack Wilson or Blake Cashman from Minnesota. At number 80 should be sitting is Notre Dame’s Drue Tranquill. But why? Only to replace the departed Jamie Collins but certainly not Schobert. You don’t get rid of your star quarterback on either side of the ball. You just don’t. He is only 25 so in the prime of his athletic life, had 103 tackles last season plus an INT and two forced fumbles, and is the leader of the defense. The front four in front of him are going to dominate the running game and need able bodies to drop back in coverage and speed to the ball. That is Schobert. Of course teams are interested in trading for him - who doesn’t need a tackling machine in the center of their defense?”

Matt Wood: “For all the good that Dorsey has done, his trading of Sashi players is frustrating. The Browns are just starting to get some depth, why dump players that are good? Schobert is fantastic in coverage and is a guy that the Browns should be building around, not letting walk. If someone wants to give up a one, then do it. But dumping him to dump him seems silly.”

Chris Pokorny: “I’m not on board with dumping Joe Schobert. He isn’t a dominant player, but is at least a stable presence, and I feel like if you dump him, you’re creating quite a risky vulnerability on defense with having a new outside linebacker, new middle linebacker, and new strong safety. Also, I can’t imagine a team giving anything of significance with regard to compensation for Schobert, so the pick wouldn’t even help us get more than a special teams player.”


Thanks to everybody who participated and took the time to read!