Saturday, April 28, 2007

What. The. Fuck.

This doesn't feel right. The first day of the NFL draft has ended and I'm not completely pissed off.

For the past couple days weeks months, we've been debating who the Browns should take with the 3rd pick in the 2007 NFL draft. Some wanted Brady Quinn, others wanted Adrian Peterson, there were rumors of trading up for LSU's JaMarcus Russell and there was scant little heard about Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas.

I wanted the Browns to draft Thomas. Badly. Mel Kiper Jr. ranked him as the second best prospect behind Calvin Johnson. The Browns needed to fix the line, Thomas was highly touted; I figured it was a no brainer. I've seen what a bad offensive line can do to a young QB (*cough* Tim Couch) and I didn't want the Browns to use their 1st pick on a QB and throw him to the wolves. I know how that works out. Not again.

But everything was pointing towards Quinn. The mock drafts were nearly unanimous; all but one expert had the Browns taking Quinn (and he had them grabbing Peterson).

Draft day was finally here and the fist two picks came and went without any real surprises (I love that the Lions took Calvin Johnson. Loves it) and the Browns were up. I was dreading this moment, silently preparing myself for a future that involved rooting for a Cleveland offense that relied on a Notre Dame QB, a Michigan WR, a Miami TE and a former Raven running the ball (plus, since the Browns never address the line, Quinn was going to get hurt. Because Browns quarterbacks always get hurt).

Then something weird happened: the Browns made a safe pick. They went conservative. They address the offensive line. On the first day of the draft. And he didn't play center. The Browns drafted Joe Thomas!

Now, I'll be honest with you, at this point I didn't care who else they picked- they grabbed the best lineman in the draft. Unless they decided to pick another receiver in the second round, I was going to end the draft very very pleased.

Then Brady Quinn drops a few spots. And falls some more. Miami takes Ted Ginn. Suddenly I'm throwing out trade scenarios and wondering how hard the Browns are trying to trade up.

Quinn falls all the way to 22 and the Cowboys are on the clock and they're taking their sweet time. Kansas City is next and Quinn wouldn't last past them.

ESPN announces a trade. Cleveland moved up! They're taking Quinn!

Now let's be clear, I wanted no part of Quinn at 3. I thought he'd get killed behind that offensive offensive line (ha!) and he would basically amount to a wasted draft pick. But at 22? With Joe Thomas already on board? You mean the Browns can draft a guy at 22 who they almost drafted at 3? Really? Sign me up. Somehow Brady Quinn made the trip from douchebag to godsend simply by dropping 19 slots.

I feel weird. It's like the Browns had picks 3 and 3a. This isn't how Cleveland sports are supposed to work. Where's the anger? Where's the confusion? What the fuck happened?

The Browns got a franchise left tackle AND quarterback. The sun was shining. Larry Hughes isn't injured and no one on the Browns has a staph infection. The Cavs took a 3-0 series lead over the Wizards. Saturday really was one of the best days in recent Cleveland sports history (though it wasn't completely perfect. The Tribe did play a game under protest. Of course they did).

I went into the draft dreading the Browns drafting Brady Quinn. Now? I'm actually glad he's in Cleveland.

Like I told you, this doesn't feel right.


Graham said...

I wouldn't say they got a franchise quarterback and lineman, because, at least not yet. Thomas may not end up being a dominant lineman, and Quinn certainly isn't a lock to be a Pro-Bowler. Both could be and I hope so, but this is a major roll of the dice by Savage. Its either gonna be the best thing he's ever done, or a massive mistake.

"Vinny and the Hornless Rhino" blog bring up a good point I believe: Wouldn't it have been better to draft Quinn, then pick up a Justin Blalock in the second round, hold onto the the rest of your picks this year (you'd still get Eric Wright), and still have your 2008 first round pick?

Unless both Thomas is a perennial pro-bowler and Quinn is a franchise quarterback the Browns haven't had since Kosar, this is going to be a mistake. What's the chance of that? I say the odds aren't good.

BTW, as you've probably heard, the cops found 136 hits of ecstasy in Wright and his roommate's apartment, and Wright had other very serious sexual assault charges. He wasn't convicted, but yeeeesh, he's got some issues.

After today, I was shocked by how risky these picks are. Savage probably deserves some credit for being bold, but if it doesn't work out he sets the franchise back years. It comes off as a little knee-jerk and very desperate in my eyes.

Ben said...

About the trade of next years first round pick... if they think that Quinn is better than any of the QBs next season, I don't really have a problem with it.

As for the trading of picks for Eric Wright... I'm kind of surprised. I know Wright was a coulda/shoulda type player. If had stayed out of trouble off of the field, he would've been a first rounder.

This will go down as Phil Savage's signature draft. If Quinn and Thomas both work out, he's set the franchise up for years to come. If they miss, he's set the franchise back quite a bit.

I will say, I do like the boldness (and we all know I like the Thomas pick).

Mike said...

God Loves Cleveland Sports!!

BW said...

How bout this weekend for Cleveland sports Benny? Needless to say, Im pretty happy. Indians have won 7 of 8, Cavs on the verge of a sweep, and the Browns have a great draft. Regarding Grahams post, I dont really understand how anyone can be negative about this. The entire draft is more or less a crapshoot. Im not sure its a roll of the dice considering we got THREE 1st round talents by only giving up next years 1st round pick (a draft which is going to be historically thin, except for running back).

Joe Thomas is not the next Tony Mandarich. Unlike Tony, Thomas played in a conventional pro-style offense which made PJ Hill one of the most productive freshman running backs in recent years, in the BIG TEN. His footwork and technique is phenominal, the only knock on him is brute strength because he only got 28 bench reps at the combine. He will blow that number out of the water 1-2 years into an NFL strength and nutrition regiment.

About Quinn: no I do not like Notre Dame and pure numbers dont mean everything, but he ran a conventional offense under Weis so that will help his learning curve. That and I truly think he is an upgrade over Frye and Anderson. Granted Frye didnt have an o-line to protect him, he still had happy feet and made a lot of bad decisions when he did have time. Derek Anderson played kinda good towards the end of the season/mop-up time, but so did Kelly Holcolm, Bruce Gradkowski, Matt Schaub, Billy Volek, and David Garrard.

Wright was unbelievable at UNLV. Sure character is an issue , but the guy, like me and Ben discussed today, would have been a 1st round pick. If hes there, you take him. To me this was as dumb as Daymeion Hughes of Cal dropping because he had a sub-par 40 time at one workout or Troy Smith dropping to the 5th round because he had one bad game. Hughes will be a well above average CB in the NFL, bank on it. Check Wrights numbers when he was a redshirt freshman at USC, Malcolm Jenkins like (even more dynamic). If he is a bad apple, so be it. Punks come into the league every single year and dont end up going Pacman or Chris Henry.

Overall, this draft was absolutely the best the Browns could have done based on what was available. How is picking Thomas instead of Blalock desperate? What alternative would the Browns have other than the picks they took? There was no one in Wright's space (or in later rounds) that would have filled a need for the Browns. Based solely on VALUE, they just filled in 3 key needs. Thats what the draft is about: Prospective ability vs value and we likely got a lot of the former and a ton of the latter.

LargeBill said...

We will either be celebrating this draft in years to come or cursing it after seeing the Cowboys use the extra pick for someone great next year. There are no sure things. Savage showed he has brass ones and took a risk. If Wimbley and Jackson continue to develop then we hopefully won't need to score 30 points a game with a rookie QB. Quinn's development will be helped a lot if he doesn't act like he has to win games. I didn't want him a # 3 either but now that we have him, I'm reassessing. We beat him up for the bowl game record, but a number of his losses should be shared by the weak ND defense.