By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
A few pre-draft thoughts before the Browns re-enact the movie Draft Day …
* We’ve confirmed that former Browns CEO Joe Banner commissioned an analytics study on the 2014 quarterback draft class and it concluded that Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater had the best chance of NFL success. The story was first reported by Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports.com. 1. I assigned Bridgewater to the Browns at No. 26 in my final mock draft before learning of that study. I have heard GM Ray Farmer staunchly and sincerely defend Bridgewater after his poor pro day. I believe Bridgewater's intangible attributes fall in line with the team's new mantra of "play like a Brown." 2.The problem with analytics is they don’t look into the soul of a player and can’t measure a player’s heart. Football is a people business. To reduce it to raw data is counter-productive, in my opinion.
* LaCanfora also is keeping alive the trade rumor involving the Browns and Redskins backup Kirk Cousins. I simply can’t understand the infatuation with Cousins. If Kyle Shanahan needs a quarterback familiar with his offense to run it, then he’s not much of a teacher and coach. Cousins was taken by the Redskins in the fourth round the year they ransomed their future by trading away three No. 1 picks and No. 2 for the ability to draft Robert Griffin 3. At the time, some hailed the move as “brilliant.” The word in Washington was that Kyle, not his father, Mike, who was the head coach at the time, really liked Cousins. Turns out, of course, that Cousins has won one game in his short career – against the Browns in Pat Shurmur’s turning-point game. Now after a coaching change, the Redskins need to replenish their roster and are desperate for draft picks. It would be ironic if the Browns helped bail them out because the Redskins out-bid the Browns for RG3.
* Judging from reaction I’ve received and heard, Browns fans refuse to accept that the Browns may have no interest in Johnny Manziel. Throughout the day, they’ve held out hope that my report – and those of national insiders – that the Browns will not draft Manziel is merely a smokescreen. I will say this: If the Browns take Manziel, I will be the most shocked person in the world.
* Browns coach Mike Pettine and defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil had dinner Wednesday night with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. The restaurant: Johnny’s Bar. And that, I believe, is the last association we’ll hear of the Browns and Johnny.
* I still believe a trade down from No. 4 is the preferred option for the Browns. But I’m not positive they would make the trade with Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack on the board.
* I think they would make the trade with Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins on the board.
* If the Browns are unable to trade down from No. 4, I think they would ramp up efforts to trade up from No. 26. If there is national rumbling during the night of the Browns angling to move up, the automatic assumption will be they are targeting a quarterback. I still believe the target would be a cornerback.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Use the hashtage #HeyTony on Twitter or email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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