Some Browns fans are disappointed that the Browns didn’t get more help at wide receiver in the draft, but I’m pretty high on the Travis Benjamin pick. I wanted a receiver with speed, and Benjamin is a legitimate burner, with speed in the 4.3 ballpark.
Check out the video highlights above. The kid isn’t just a slot receiver, as he makes plenty of plays on the outside.
The issue with Benjamin is size, as he’s 5′ 10″ and 172 pounds, but that’s pretty much the exact same size as DeSean Jackson, the stud wide receiver in Philly that Tom Heckert drafted in the second round.
With Brandon Weeden, we now have a quarterback that can throw the deep ball, so defensive coordinators will need to pay attention when a speed demon like Benjamin is on the field. I love the idea of Weeden hitting Benjamin on a slant when the defense blitzes. Nobody would catch him!
Pat Shurmer seemed truly excited when discussing Benjamin and the potential of using him with his speed. We’ll see how he does, but I’m excited about this pick.
Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden throws the football in the first quarter against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri on October 22, 2011. Oklahoma State won the game 45-24. UPI/Bill Greenblatt
It’s hard not to get excited about Brandon Weeden’s potential as the new quarterback in Cleveland, especially after reading profiles like this one.
Is the Colt McCoy era over in Cleveland? The Browns drafted Brandon Weeden last night with the 22nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, so now they have a quarterback that they see as “the guy” in Cleveland. Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmer made that clear with their comments last night, and then they went even further as they suggested they could be trading Colt McCoy.
Let’s deal with Brandon Weeden first. Some Browns fans are concerned about his age, but most scouts agreed that Brandon Weeden has first round talent. He has a great arm and he has the size at 6′ 4″ to play quarterback in the NFL. He’s a gunslinger, which is the opposite of Colt McCoy. Will he need to work hard and develop, given that he’s mostly played in the spread offense in the lame Big 12? Of course? But the kid is a player, and you can be sure that the handicappers on the sports betting sites will be giving the Browns more respect this season. I was hoping the Browns would grab him in the draft, and while they may have reached at bit at #22, they got the guy they wanted.
All of this is important because Colt McCoy was a huge disappointment last year. Yes, he had to learn a new system without an offseason, and for that reason he probably deserved another chance. But the Browns couldn’t afford to wait, mostly because Colt’s size and arm strength were obvious limitations. Watching Colt get thrown around like a rag doll didn’t inspire much confidence when we face the Steelers and Ravens.
More problematic, however, has been Colt’s reactions to adversity. Now I know the whole concussion fiasco was not his fault, but his father didn’t make things easier with his comments, and Colt never came out to discuss it during the offseason to diffuse the situation. Then yesterday, after the Browns selected Weeden, either Colt or someone from his camp leaked to Adam Schefter that the Browns told him to his face that they would not be drafting a quarterback in the first round. I know he may be upset, but why try to embarrass the organization? Then they put out word that Colt hasn’t requested a trade.
There’s a bit of a pattern here. Remember past year when reports came out about how Brian Daboll was mistreating Colt? Most of the public reaction was to have sympathy for McCoy. Was this intentional? Is Colt acting like a prima donna?
On one level I don’t care. But I wonder about keeping a guy like this around. It may be time for him to go.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson holds up a Cleveland jersey and stands next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the Cleveland Browns select him as the #3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 26, 2012. UPI /John Angelillo
After the first two quarterbacks, there was one great player in the NFL Draft, and the Browns made sure they got him by trading up from #4 to #3 to grab Trent Richardson. There are conflicting reports about whether Minnesota really had other offers on the table, but the Browns paid a small price for certainty, which makes sense when you have a stud like Richardson.
I also love the selection of Brandon Weeden. It sounds like the Browns would have nabbed Kendall Wright at #22 had he been there and then traded up to get Weeden, but they obviously decided to pull the trigger and not risk losing Weeden once Wright was gone.
I was willing to give Colt McCoy another year, as he faced serious challenges last year with a new system, no offseason, the Hillis drama and problems on the O-line. But that said, we desperately needed to upgrade the quarterback position. Now we have a guy with size and a big arm.
I’m tired of seeing the Browns get pushed around by teams like the Steelers and Ravens, and now we have a badass running back along with a big quarterback with a big arm.
It also looks like many of the players the Browns would be considering at #22 will be available around pick #37, with several wide receivers and offensive linemen. My preference right now is Stephen Hill, as he adds more size and serious speed at wide receiver. With Richardson running the ball, and with a Weeden/Hill threat for deep passes, defensive coordinators will have serious issues to face when game planning against the Browns.
If Hill isn’t there, there are plenty of other good options. Let’s see how day 2 goes . . .
Analysis: Richardson is simply a home run at No. 4. You rarely say that about a running back taken so high, but he has such a high floor as a prospect — the only downside is injury, and that’s such a perpetual issue, one that extends far beyond the running back position if you’re looking close. Glenn is a versatile player who Cleveland will move to right tackle. He can be dominant as a run-blocker and has great initial pop, and with his presence, Joe Thomas on the left side and Richardson in the backfield, Cleveland has to feel pretty confident in an upgrade for the ground attack. Weeden is capable of pushing Colt McCoy right away (he’s a few years older) and could be a steal. So he’s older — if the Browns get 6-8 good years from him, will anybody really care? Bentley is a nice piece at corner, where the team can use some help, even though I consider this a pretty good secondary.
Here’s a video of every throw Ryan Tannehill made against Oklahoma. He makes a terrible throw for an interception at around the 1:10 mark and then rolls out and makes a nice throw on the run for a touchdown after the 3-minute mark.
He definitely has talent, but is he worth a top ten pick, let alone the #4 pick? I’ll trust Mike Holmgren here, but I still prefer Trent Richardson at #4 or a trade down.
Peter King talks about the Browns in his recent column about the NFL Draft:
2. The Browns are the pivot point of the first round at No. 4. You have the big quarterbacks going 1-2, and then Minnesota is praying it can stir up interest at No. 3. Not going to happen, according to the teams I’ve talked to, because there isn’t enough love for another of these five prospects — tackle Matt Kalil, running back Trent Richardson, cornerback Morris Claiborne, wideout Justin Blackmon or quarterback Ryan Tannehill to move up to three. Or four.
If the Vikings stay where they are, it’s most likely they go for the long-term protector of second-year QB Christian Ponder instead of a desperately needed cover man like Claiborne. Then, Cleveland. I heard different things over the weekend from people I trust. GM Tom Heckert loves Blackmon and that would be his pick; president Mike Holmgren is still trying to decide with finality if Tannehill is the franchise quarterback worth taking here. The safest pick? Richardson, at a need position, even though receiver is a bigger need.
The Browns are obviously keeping all their options open and I suspect that they haven’t finalized their decision. Everything King said makes sense, but any or all of it could be misinformation floated by the Browns in order to influence other teams in the draft so the Browns can get the trade they want or the player they want at #4. If they want Richardson, for example, they might be worried about Tampa Bay trading up to #3 with the Vikings to get him.
Barring a trade, I still prefer Trent Richardson at #4, then hopefully the best wide receiver at #22 and then Brandon Weeden at #37. As King notes, everything may hinge on how Mike Holmgren feels about the quarterbacks. I’m not pulling for the Browns to get Ryan Tannehill, but if Holmgren thinks he can be a franchise quarterback, then they have to consider taking him.