Joe Bo’s Draft Preview: Where Will The Quarterbacks Go?
NFL Draft Will Have Usual Surprises, But What About the Browns?
By Joe Bodolai © 2010 All rights reserved
Browns fans will remember all the cutaways of Brady Quinn sitting in the green room waiting for his name to be called until he was surprisingly picked by the Browns with the 22nd pick of the first round. Browns fans may also forget how they felt when Tim Couch was announced as the number one pick of the 1999 draft.
Boos and cheers will greet some picks and “expert analysis” by the likes of Mel “Bulletproof Hair” Kiper and Todd McShay will fill the airwaves and internet.
Most experts feel that the Rams will make Sam Bradford the number one pick. I watched his workout and he was crisp and clean. He demonstrated flawless technique, quick accurate release, good arm strength and footwork. Tim Tebow should study it. The workout, however, was very controlled and was right in his wheelhouse.
Colt McCoy also put on a show, demonstrating all the same skills as Bradford. His workout, however, was much more challenging with more versatility demanded of him. He worked well under center, making seven and three step drops cleanly, rolling out and showing he can throw in play action. McCoy’s skill set would be ideal for a West Coast offense with a little play action or option “is he gonna run?” flavor.
Both quarterbacks proved there is no need for concern over their injured shoulders.
I watched Tony Pike several times this season with Cincinnati, including the amazing game in the snow with Pitt. Pike is an NFL style quarterback, but his passes seem to lack the zip of Bradford, McCoy, and Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan. Pike reminds me of Todd Boeckman, Ohio State’s tackling dummy for USC’s pass rushers. Pike also seems slow afoot and is not a running threat as is McCoy, who actually was Texas’ leading rusher.
I also got to see LeFevour put on a show several times last season. His arm strength and accuracy are superb and he will make a great later round pick for some team, perhaps even the Browns. This guy after round four is a huge get. Central Michigan is not a national presence so this is why he is a hidden talent.
Jimmy Clausen did not impress me, as he played in Charlie Weis’s quarterback-friendly offense. This has a tendency of overvaluing his quarterbacks and perhaps may partially explain Quinn’s struggles. The Browns do not seem high on him either, but, remember, smoke screens are part of the gamesmanship ondraft day. Experts say Clausen will go to the Redskins at four, but should he not, he could fall like Quinn did but I pray the Browns just watch him fly downward at number seven and maybe even passed by McCoy.
Tim Tebow’s mechanics are subject of much scrutiny and deservedly so. As far as being an NFL quarterback, he did not learn anything about proper mechanics at Florida. He still holds the ball too low, has to wind up to throw, and in the NFL the speed of the defenses will eat him up. This is not to say some team will take a gamble, and I feel it will be a team with versatile unconventional offenses suchas Miami or New Orleans. New Orleans, picking at 32, may just find a way to use Tebow’s skills in Sean Payton’s world.
So, should the Browns take a quarterback in the first round? In my opinion, no. It is important to upgrade on both sides of the ball. There is no point in taking a highly rated prospect to hold a clipboard watching a dysfunctional offense. Just ask Brady Quinn.
Round three could be an interesting situation for the Browns. Should McCoy last until then he would be worth a gamble, but he will likely go in late round one or two. I would consider him in round two depending on who’s left, but LeFevour may actually go later and would be a great gamble in round four or five. Remember, Tom Brady was a sixth round pick and that kinda worked out. Round three is a great place to fill needs, and usually quarterback is not one of them.
The wild card in all this, of course, is the wacky world of draft day trades. The Browns have eleven picks and have hinted they may want more. Holmgren and Heckert are serious when they say “rebuilding”. They’re starting with the foundation, not remodeling.
There are some very good players that may be available to the Browns at number seven. Likely Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Eric Berry, Derrick Morgan will be gone, but perhaps DE and fierce pass rusher Jason Pierre Paul of South Florida will be available. This would be a solid pick, as would Florida CB Joe Haden, the name mentioned most going to the Browns in mock drafts. Safety Earl Thomas of Texas will also likely be there, but a CB or DE would be a better choice at this high pick. There are also some good OTs but the Browns did well by Joe Thomas and as much as he could use some help, adding Alex Mack was a positive. Now the defense needs some anchors, especially if Shaun Rogers is traded, which seems like a distinct possibility not based on anything I know, just what I have read.
One intriguing player is Alabama’s defensive leader LB Rolando McClain, who really was an on-field coach with the Crimson Tide. He was impressive recognizing formations and barking out assignments to his teammates. The Browns, however, seem to have addressed this position with the acquisition of one of my favourite players, Scott Fujita from New Orleans. They are also rumoured to be targeting an Eagles linebacker in a trade. This is smart since a solid linebacking corps would allow the d-line and d-backs to take a year or two to be in place, which is why I feel DE and CB will be the higher picks for the Browns.
So what do I predict for the Browns in the first round? A trade. They will not trade out of the first round unless something unforeseen happens, but they may trade down to mid first round or surprise us by trading up to get a player they have targeted. This is a pretty deep draft, especially on defense, and picking later in the round should be fine. On the other hand, I predict somebody is going to trade up to number two to get the beast that is Ndamukong Suh, who tossed Colt McCoy around like a rag doll in the Texas-Nebraska game.
Get ready for some very interesting Paul Tagliabue podium visits; this is going to be fun.