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With NFL free agency well underway, the Cleveland Browns look to build a team to take them from worst to first. If they’re able to do this, it would launch general manager John Dorsey into the history books as the guy who returned the Browns to their former glory. With free agency now over a week old and the draft rapidly approaching, the “Dawg Pound” is wondering who will be wearing the orange and brown in Cleveland. Let’s open up the mailbag and see what fans have on their mind.
What is the comparison between Saquon Barkley and Derrius Guice? Is there really such a drop-off in talent passing on Barkley to maybe get Guice later? – Aaron, Kansas City, MO
Hey Aaron, so this is a common question amongst the fans because they can’t see themselves drafting a running back in the first round, especially in the top five. So statistically, Barkley is head over heels, a much better running back than Guise, both in terms of rushing as well as receiving. That’s also not mentioning that Barkley can block as well.
That’s why even before the combine, he was considered the best back in draft and why Guice was seen as a late first to second round talent. Some scouts view Guice as more of an elusive running back with a furious running style, which often makes for a shorter career to the point where he’s compared to Marshawn Lynch. When compared to Barkley, he’s viewed as more elusive than strong and an every down back who scouts compare to Barry Sanders.
If were to take that comparison seriously, it seems that if he’s available at four, the Browns should draft him. It’s been made no secret that Sam Darnold is more than likely the first overall pick but Barkley is being viewed as one of the only every down type backs in this draft. After him, most scouts see good backs that could have good careers but not great. In fact, the NFL Draft Tracker on NFL.Com has Barkley graded as a 7.7 out of ten, which is viewed as All-Pro potential, while the next two, Guice and Ronald Jones from USC are 6.2’s, which is viewed as chance to be a good NFL starter.
What are the realistic possibilities for the secondary at this point? Is Fitz still in play or is the focus shifted towards more pure corners and keeping Damarious Randall at safety? Also, can you touch on Jabrill Peppers’ status with his move to box? Will he be used more as a situational player or is he looking to simply be the other safety? – Aaron, Apple Valley, CA
Thank you Aaron, so Minkah Fitzpatrick is definitely still in play, however not as a free safety. The current plan is to have Darmarious Randall play there, however he is viewed a cornerback as well so the Browns could ultimately decide to draft him as such. That said though, the Browns have been looking at other cornerbacks this free agency such as Trumaine Johnson before he signed with the Jets, as well as E.J. Gaines, so it may not materialize into Fitzpatrick landing here.
As for moving Jabrill Peppers into the strong safety spot, it would make more sense. The strong safety’s job is to play on the strong side which they usually have the speed to make up ground in the pass game as well as hit hard on run plays.
This is more what he did in college when he was splitting time between safety and linebacker. The free safety normally is used mainly as a defense’s last line of defense against the pass, meaning they need to be really good at coverage. He won’t be a situation player, he’ll just have a different role.
Eric, we go quarterback at one, who do we take at four? – James, Struthers, OH
Hey James, so it’s almost looking like a sure thing that the Browns go quarterback at one, so this is a good question. It depends on what happens after the other two picks. One suggestion I saw was the pecking order is defensive end Bradley Chubb leading the pack, followed by trading down to the Buffalo Bills, with Fitzpatrick, cornerback Denzel Ward, and Barkley also getting mentioned. That said, if Barkley is there, watch for the Browns to snag him, as their secondary need has been improved on from last year.
With the New York Giants trading Jason Pierre Paul, that opens up the possibility of them taking Chubb. At this point, as much as it would annoy fans, I’d trade down. The Bills need a quarterback, this is probably the heaviest quarterback draft we’ve seen in years.
The biggest thing is you may also be getting Joe Thomas’ heir if you trade down, by snagging tackle Mike McGlinchey without reaching and you can still take Ward potentially. Teams are skeptical to pick a defensive back in the top ten usually, so we could see the Browns grab both and then go wide receiver in the second round.
Long answer, shortened: I think they trade with the Bills and try to get McGlinchey, if they don’t, Barkley if he’s still there.
What if they went two best player available on Defense #1 and #4. Say Chubb\Fitz or James? Defense would be solid then no? – Michael, Pennsville, NJ
Mike, it would make for a solid defense, it really would, however I don’t see this happening. Last year, the defense was in the top half of the NFL. The reason the team didn’t win a game is they didn’t put points on the board.
At this point, it’s been identified by the front office that the first pick is going to be an offensive player, more than likely a quarterback.The #4 pick, they could go Chubb to ultimately go with a front seven that is lethal. I don’t see them drafting another defensive back.
Why hasn’t much been said about Josh Rosen to Cleveland, he’s been said to have the best arm after all? – Joey, Parma, OH
Hey Joe, where are you going with that argument in your hand? A little Jimi Hendrix humor for you classic rock fans. Anyways, there’s a couple reasons why not many people have talked about Rosen, and it’s not because of the alleged comment he made (which he has since denied).
The first thing is that he lacks durability. It’s said that he’s put on some weight, which is good however he’s also sustained multiple injuries going as far back as high school. Considering that the Browns offensive line isn’t good, he wouldn’t last in the division as the other teams are notorious for taking out other players and putting them on the shelf.
He also lacks athleticism, which again, can lead to durability problems. If you can’t at least move a little bit around and outside the pocket, teams will get to you and put you down. Some experts are calling him Trent Green, others Jay Cutler. He can do well in this league, but he needs to be some place that plays more to a pocket passers strengths, which unfortunately, is not here.