A few times throughout the year, I ask my fellow dawgbones.com members to submit their questions concerning various topics. With the NFL draft coming closer, I thought this would be an appropriate time for another edition of “Ask Wunkle”. Let’s see what’s in the mail bag today.
Ice from Orlando, Florida submits our first question:
I’d like to get your opinion on which scenario would get us stronger players in this draft:
1) going WR in the first, then going DL in the second or
2) going DL in the first, then going WR in the second
Here’s the catch 22 for Cleveland. When it comes to the WR position, there’s AJ Green and Julio Jones at the top of the food chain. After that, the talent level appears to drop off significantly. D-line is one of the most top-heavy areas in this draft – particularly at DE. So you have to ask yourself, “Which of the over the first three rounds would benefit the Browns most: AJ Green, Marvin Austin and Sam Acho; the lineup of Robert Quinn, Torrey Smith and Jarvis Jenkins or the lineup of Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin and either Greg Little or Austin Pettis?” Depending on what the five teams ahead of Cleveland do will ultimately determine which route the Browns take. The good news is that Tom Heckert knows what type of players they need to run the West Coast Offense and what type of players they need to run the cover two defense. That said, I think that getting the WR first might be the best of the three scenarios I presented.
Sloppy Jay from Charlotte, North Carolina is next with:
I want your honest opinion on Robert Quinn. Primarily because there are a few guys whose opinion I respect who are adamant on his disappearing act against formidable competition. Mayock, on the other hand, thinks he is an elite prospect. His measurables are amazing, but the limited film says otherwise. His stats are loaded up against inferior competition. I feel this kid, at least physically, is right in Heckert’s wheelhouse. So I think he’s a very probable selection at #6.
Robert Quinn is an intimidating physical specimen and a tremendous pass rusher. My greatest concern with his play on the field is his ability to defend the run – particularly when the play is right at him. He doesn’t disengage well when the opposing OT gets a hat on him. This isn’t an incurable fault, but it will take a concerted effort from Quinn and his D-line coach. The upside for Quinn could be the highest of any DE in this draft. He’s a legitimate possibility for the Browns at sixth, especially if AJ Green is already off the board.
Dawson’s Touchbacks from parts unknown wants to know:
Last years draft had tons of surprises in it . . . Our biggest in my opinion was Hardesty, who has potential, but had a fragile college career and a tough injury last season. IMO, he is less reliable and, as proven last year that Hillis cannot carry the ball by himself for an entire season, how do you address this in the draft; especially since it appears the more and more I look at it we are going with our first 2 picks DL and WR? Also, do you see any solid name QB’s late in the draft that may be overlooked? We know Big Mike likes to draft QB’s and it wouldn’t surprise me.
Well, Dawson, fortunately the draft is fairly deep at the RB position. Not necessarily that there are any superstars in the making, but there are a number of backs who will be taken from the fourth round and beyond that will make NFL rosters and contribute. Such names include Dion Lewis, Johnny White, Bilal Powell, Derrick Locke, Roy Helu Jr., Taiwan Jones, Jamie Harper, Da’Rel Scott, Anthony Allen and Mario Fannin to name a few. As far as the QB position goes . . . I like Greg McElroy from Alabama, Tyler “TJ” Yates from North Carolina, Nathan Enderle from Idaho and Jerrod Johnson from Texas A&M as developmental projects that can be taken later in the draft.
Tommy-B from Corning, NY writes:
If we don’t draft Green #6 or even another crazy scenario where we could trade down and draft Julio Jones, would there be another receiver in the second round with measurables, etc, that would actually exceed MoMass and Robiskie’s? Is Green and Jones’s ability really that much greater from the rest of the pack? Or maybe… gems, gems, gems.
While Green and Jones are considered the top of the WR food chain; there are other receivers in this draft that have some skills, but aren’t as highly touted. Torrey Smith, Randall Cobb and Leonard Hankerson all have big play capabilities. Greg Little is a physical receiver with some size that would work well in a West Coast system. Both Edmond Gates (Abilene Christian) and Ricardo Lockette (Fort Valley State) turned a lot of heads at the combine when they were clocked at 4.37 in the forty. Jerrell Jernigan is small, but has upside potential to be the next Steve Smith (Carolina). South Carolina’s Tori Gurley has the size to be a match-up problem against smaller corners and still ran a forty in the 4.5’s; plus he can make the big play. The big thing with Green and Jones is that they’re immediate impact players, and the rest may take some time to get geared up for the pro game.
MDP Sack Attack from Columbus, OH chimes in with:
Many draftniks have Patrick Peterson rated as the best overall prospect in the draft. Personally, I think that Prince Amukamara’s superior instincts and top-notch ability to read defenses, combined with Peterson seeming to have “stiff hips” at times, makes the young man from Nebraska more likely to be a future star in the NFL. Am I crazy? Or are people getting too caught up in the “measurables” with Peterson?
I have Peterson as the highest rated player in this draft. What places Peterson ahead of Amukamara are his ball skills and his physicality. Granted, Amukamara is a physical cornerback; but Peterson has the added bulk that allows him to be even more physical. Peterson is also faster than Amukamara – albeit marginally. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Amukamara is among the best corners to come out in the past five years. Both can play either corner or safety, so you’re getting versatility with either player. Perhaps people are getting carried away with Peterson’s measurables, but it hard not to.
DawgSoldier from Medina, OH submitted:
Who is the best pass rusher out of this draft class? I think it is Kerrigan….do you? Where do the Brows address 4-3 RDE & LDE?
3rd – 4th round RT prospects that have good feet and knee bend. Lee Ziemba of Auburn and Clint Boling of Georgia are 2 guys I like in that neighborhood. What are your thoughts?
Do you think the Browns will move Ward to SS and draft a FS or vice versa? Also where do you think they address the other safety position i.e. what round?
Let’s go rapid fire for DawgSoldier . . . Robert Quinn is arguably the best pass rusher and Cameron Jordan may be the best against both the run and the pass. I like Sam Acho in the third round, as my mock draft has indicated for a RDE. LDE may come from free agency. I think the Browns are pretty high on a few O-linemen . . . Ben Ijalana from Villanova, Will Rackley from Lehigh, James Carpenter from Alabama, as well as the two you mentioned. If an OT projected to go in the first somehow slides to the second, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Browns take him – especially if his name is Gabe Carimi. As for your question concerning the safety positions . . . It’s quite plausible that Sheldon Brown will move from cornerback to the safety position not currently occupied by Ward and the Browns draft one or two corners.
Dawg E Dawg from Toledo calls in with:
What’s your opinion on Colin Kaepernick? I read a short article about him a few months ago, and figured that, based on his size and college numbers, he would generate a lot of buzz as the draft got closer. Sure enough, he’s gone from almost unknown to as high as a 2nd rounder by some projections. I’m always skeptical of guys that shoot up the draft boards in the off-season, and Kaepernick has me curious.
Colin Kaepernick is an exceptional athlete with a rifle for an arm. His mechanics are too long and drawn out, so he needs some serious work there. If his coaches can compact his delivery without sacrificing arm strength or accuracy, he has a chance to be a solid NFL quarterback in a few years. He is a project, though, and he’ll be drafted accordingly – my guess is somewhere between the third and fifth round.
Connbrownfan from (where else?) Connecticut asks:
What affect do you see our new coaching staff having on our Draft? From some well-commented-on interviews a couple months ago, it seems that Heckert did some strange things with the roster at the behest of Mangini. Will Heckert stay the course and build the team that he and Holmgren envision, or will he let himself get unduly influenced by all the experienced folks coming in?
Who is stupider, our Congress for allowing us to get to the edge of a Governmental Shutdown, or the NFL owners/players for allowing a strike to happen?
And finally; Ginger or Mary Ann?
I see Heckert acquiring players that are much like the players he helped the Eagles acquire during his tenure at Philadelphia, so he already knows the mold from which to choose both offensively and defensively.
In the greater scheme of things, I’d have to give the “edge” to our own Federal Government for a number of reasons – too numerous to mention in this format. But I will say this . . . Many people perceive the NFL to be the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs which no one can kill. Greed and stupidity can kill just about anything . . . and you can’t fix stupid.
Ginger represents all the cosmetic beauty without any real substance that is the Hollywood scene. Mary Ann represents all that is good about America . . . honest, down to earth, hard working and old with fashioned values . . . plus she’s hot. Mary Ann is my pick, and it’s no contest.
Our last question is from Runyon27 of Raleigh, NC ; and he wants to know:
I am all for drafting the BPA in the early rounds. Do you think that should be the overriding philosophy in say rounds 4-7? Also, I see this year the potential for teams to draft heavier on needs due to the labor situation, and maybe overreach on some picks. Do you think the Browns might fall into this trap?
If there is no free agency before the draft, it’s a very real possibility that at least some teams will focus on need more than BPA throughout the draft. No two NFL draft boards are exactly the same, so all we can hope for is that the Browns will be able to stay true to their board – regardless of what the other teams around them are doing. Tom Heckert is experienced at drafting personnel for the offensive and defensive schemes that the Browns will be running under the current coaching staff, and he’s a very good evaluator of football talent. I think that cooler heads will prevail in Berea on draft day until President Holmgren decides it’s time to draft a quarterback . . . though I suspect that won’t happen until somewhere between rounds five and seven.
Well, that does it for another edition of “Ask Wunkle”. Thanks to all our dawgbones.com members who submitted their questions. They always keep me on my toes because I never know what to expect when they have the proverbial blank check in front of them. I also want to thank dawgbones.com founder, owner, operator, administrator, chief cook and bottle washer Jim Giles for making all this madness possible.
Author: Bill Wunkle – Senior NFL Draft Analyst