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Browns, Brady Quinn Show Proof of Life in Chargers Loss

December 7, 2009

They lost again, yes. At least Brady Quinn and the offense played reasonably well against a good defense. This was a positive stride the fans could actually see. You could even believe that with D'Qwell Jackson, Eric Barton, Shaun Rogers, Kenyon Coleman, and Brodney Pool the Browns may win that game. The offense's second good game in three weeks actually gives hope that there is somewhere to go from here. This team does not need to be completely blown up. In fact, I have come up with yet another fearless plan for the Browns 2010 draft. I believe it will help move the Browns forward on the right track. Please indulge me...

1) With that super high first round pick, draft Ndamukong Suh. I have been a major proponent of grabbing one if the two game changing safeties, Eric Berry or Taylor Mays. After watching Suh a few times in the last few weeks, including in the Big 12 Title game, I am convinced he is the guy. He may even live up to the absurd contract he will receive as a the first, second, or third pick. He projects as either a 4-3 tackle or a 3-4 end. He is a monster with a motor. Draft Suh and Cleveland's starting defensive line next season is Shaun Rogers, Suh, and Kenyone Coleman/Robaire Smith. (Why no Corey Williams? I'll get there later.) That a unit that can eat runners alive and pressure the quarterback. Suh will be a 3-4 end capable of getting 10 sacks. Both Rogers and Suh will demand at least a double team on every play. That will open things up for Kamerion Wimbley and whoever else plays the other outside linebacker spot next season. (I'm a fan of Matt Roth). The improved pass rush helps our weak secondary and the entire defense is majorly upgraded. Oh, but the offense has been the bigger culprit this season? Funny you mention that. I have an idea...

2) Trade back into the first round and draft C.J. Spiller. This is probably the toughest of my proposals to pull off. I also think it is the most critical. Adding a game breaking back can instantly add wins to your total (See: Peterson, Adrian; Johnson, Chris; Forte, Matt [rookie year only]). Spiller will probably go in the top half of the first round. The Browns will need to give up value to get up there. They can probably do it with 2011 1st and 3rd, but I don't want to do that. Here is what I'm thinking would be an ideal scenario. Trade the 2011 2nd and 5th and Corey Williams to Carolina. The Panthers don't need a back and won't be interested in Spiller. They do need defensive tackle help and they will have to tack a quarterback high in the near future. Since a top pick in either 2010 or 2011 at the latest is already going to be reserved for a quarterback, the Panthers need to stockpile picks. I think they could end up picking in the 11-15 range. They may not be in love with any quarterbacks available there. They don't need a running back. The trade could be done. Maybe it's going to take more. Maybe two 2nds (2010 and 2011) or maybe next years 2nd and 3rd, or even next year's first. If the price is anywhere shy of ridiculous, make the trade. Get Spiller. You can then either trade the rights to Jerome Harrison (restricted free agent I believe) for another pick, or let him walk. You come to camp with Spiller, James Davis, and Chris Jennings as your backs. That's not bad. That's a lot of young powerful runners. Of course, the Browns need a lot more than a running back on offense. Allow me to continue.

3) Take your very high 2nd round pick and invest in the right side of your offensive line. A great line can keep an offense competitive even if the skill players suck. As I have said before, the Browns are three-fifths of the way there. The investment in offensive skill players (Massaquoi, Robiskie, Quinn, Spiller[proposed]) dictates a need to make sure they are protected. Spiller is the perfect running back for this Browns team, if you have a road grader on the right side. Spiller is a speedster. On the left you have Joe Thomas and Eric Steinbach. Both are hyper athletic and quick for their positions. You can pull them on quick tosses to the left, or pull them right and send Spiller that way. They key is, you need a big nasty tackle to hold down the right side of the line. You may be able to get away with Rex Hadnot/Porkchop Womack/Free Agent Guard X on the right side if the tackle position is strong. Traditionally teams reach for left tackles in round one. There is no reason a top right tackle can't be had early in round two. Bruce Campbell (6'6" 312, Maryland) and Bryan Bulaga (6'6" 311, Iowa) could both be available here.

What if they aren't? Plan B. Look to take a good right tackle in round three (you have two picks there). Possibilities include Selvish Capers (6'4" 293, West Virgina), Tony Washington (6'6" 300, Abilene Christian), Kyle Calloway (6'6" 318, Iowa), and one of my personal favorites and I think a big time sleeper Ciron Black (perhaps a reach in the 3rd, 6'4" 327, LSU). As it is, my advocacy for round three is best defensive back available and best tight end/wide receiver available. If you switch it up and a good tackle isn't available at the top of the second round, at least not one worth the pick, take the best available defensive back or wide receiver/tight end. Possibilities include: Patrick Robinson CB/FSU, Golden Tate WR/ND, Arrelious Benn WR/Illinois, Javier Arenas CB/Alabama, Rob Gronkowski TE/Arizona, Nate Allen S/USF, Brandon LaFell WR/LSU, Chad Jones S/LSU, and the potential of a surprise fall of a talented player (see Rey Maualuga 2009).

Where does this put the 2010 Browns? Well, you would have a discount quarterback who has at least shown flashes in Brady Quinn. A strong offensive line with Thomas, Steinbach, Mack, Womack/Hadnot/Free Agent X, and a highly picked right tackle. Your running game should be solid with a game breaker in Spiller plus bigger backs James Davis and Chris Jennings. A receiving corps of Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey, Josh Cribbs, and a potential 2nd or 3rd round pick should be solid. Spiller's game breaking ability will also help Quinn, who loves to check down. If he checks down to Spiller he has a guy who can make the first defender miss with some consistency and turn some of those 1-yard dump offs into 15-yard gains.

On defense you have one of the meanest and toughest defensive lines in football with a healthy Shaun Rogers and ubertalent Ndamukong Suh. These guys keep blockers off of Kam Wimbley, Jackson, Roth, Trusnik, Bowens, Barton and whoever else may play linebacker. The better run defense and improved pass rush only makes coverage easier. Hopefully some help opposite Eric Wright can be found at corner either with an early round pick or a solid free agent. The defense could be okay.

Right there you have the makings of a team that can at least compete every week. If you can find a way to get Spiller without giving up your 2011 first rounder you can either A) use that on a quarterback if you decide Quinn isn't working out after giving him a full season with decent weapons, or B) if Quinn does look like the guy draft a play making linebacker or defensive back.

Do I think the Browns can/will do all of this? No. No I don't But I can wish can't I? My favorite team is 1-11. Wishing is all I have.

Jack Bacevice

1 comment:

  1. Great article. I am a big fan of using the high draft pick on Suh. There is no reason to panic and draft down. Think about that line!

    I think i Gerhart is there in the 2nd, you take him. I think the speed is with Harrison and the Browns need a bruiser. But I do like taking a RT in the 2nd, but could be served just as well in the 3rd.

    It's always fun to look forward to next season.