The college football spring practices are beginning and Ohio State is already getting national attention. The Buckeyes will have to be an offensive minded team and ride the backs of Troy Smith and Ted Ginn Jr. to have success this year. The normally defensive minded Coach Jim Tressel with have to loosen the reigns and take some chances on offense to make a run at the title. The first challenge will be early in Texas, a chance for Ohio State to knock off the National Champions.
Phil Savage and the Browns have made a large splash in the free agent market in the last week. They’ve shelled out over $100 million on the likes of LeCharles Bentley, Ted Washington, Willie McGinest, and Joe Jurevicious. One of the biggest Browns offseasons in recent memory, it’s these big names that have grabbed the headlines, and rightfully so. But with the NFL draft approaching next month, it is Savage’s minor moves that have been overlooked and could prove extremely beneficial for the Browns.
They recently traded safety Chris Crocker, netting a fourth round pick in return. Crocker proved to be expendable with Sean Jones and Brodney Pool waiting in the wings at the safety spot. Last season during training camp, the Browns sent wide receiver Andre Davis to the Patriots for a fifth rounder. And with LeCharles Bentley on board, center Jeff Faine may be on his way out soon, possibly giving us another draft pick via trade. So as it stands now, the Browns have nine picks in April’s draft, one in each round and two in the fourth and fifth.
With the high number of mid-round picks the Browns hold, it will give the team some strong flexibility. If they choose to keep the picks, they will be able to stockpile players with the hopes of filling holes and giving the Browns depth. And with Phil Savage’s scouting ability and eye for talent, the Browns would have a greater chance of perhaps grabbing a few diamonds in the rough. Some past fourth and fifth rounders who have emerged in the NFL recently include Nathan Vasher, Domanick Davis, Alex Brown, Randy McMichael, Larry Foote, Rudi Johnson, and Andra Davis.
On the other hand, they could choose to package all or some of those middle picks to move up in the first round (where they have the 12th pick) or even get an extra pick in the second or third. Whatever route Savage and the Browns choose to take come draft day, they unquestionably have a luxury and a lot options to work with.
Classic take from the best columnist in sports:
Here’s the question – does Flip Murray change this analysis?
The Cavs were down big against the Lakers, but Flip Murray caught fire in the fourth quarter as the Cavs won a thriller. He consistently drove to the basket and carried the Cavs to a much-needed win.
Murray has been a savior for the Cavs. Danny Ferry deserves major kudos for that trade.
The Cleveland Cavaliers need to go at least .500 for the last 16 games to pretty much assure themselves of the fourth seed and home court for the NBA playoffs. The Cavs are battling the Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards for the fourth, fifth and six spots. This year it will be critical to finish strong and secure home court. The last few weeks Cleveland has looked shaky, reminding us of last years collapse.
The Cleveland Browns are still making quiet moves to strengthen the offensive line for next year. The signing of Darnell Dinkins, a tight end that is known for blocking, is a good sign that Phil Savage is still putting his finishing touches on this team. This is another strong indication that Cleveland will be focusing on the defense for this year’s draft.
The Ohio State Buckeyes won a tough battle against a very competitive Davidson team in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes are use to the rough style of basketball that is played in the Big Ten.
The referees called a tight game and some Davidson players accused Ohio State of trash talking. This is good news for the Buckeyes. Their next opponent, Georgetown, plays a very similar game and never lacks confident when they take the court. Terrance Dials and the rest of the Bucks will need a physical effort on both ends of the court to reach the Sweet Sixteen this year.
The Browns are probably finished with major free agent signings, but Phil Savage is still busy. With Sean Jones and Brodney Pool on the roster, swapping Chris Crocker for another draft pick makes sense.
Also, according to Tony Grossi in his chat wrap, LeCharles Bentley will definitely start at center, and the Browns are trying to trade center Jeff Faine, hoping for a fourth-rounder.
The Browns already have an extra fifth-round pick from the trade of WR Andre Davis, so they might be in a great position with extra picks, which can be used to trade up if the possibility arrises.
Update – The deal has been completed, contingent on Crocker passing a physical.
If you’re playing like crap and on a losing streak, there’s nothing like the Portland Trailblazers coming to town to help ease your woes. The Cavs took advantage of the situation and managed a much-needed win.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Buckeyes survived a scare and defeated Davidson, 70-62.
They’ll need a better effort to beat Georgetown on Sunday.