Ask The Insiders

We dive into the ATI forum for the latest discussions on the 2011 NFL Draft.

Below are a compiled list of questions from OBR insiders and answers from Browns reporter Lane Adkins and draft analyst Brent Sobleski.

More questions and answers can be found in The OBR's exclusive Ask the Insiders forum.

Please note all copy [sic]'d.

And now, for an Ask The Insiders: Draft Special.


Sobo, you are on the clock

fletch416: With all of the recent draft board machinations, what do you figure? It is typcial that after all of the gossip, work-outs, interviews, the combine, and detective work, draft boards change.  Big Boards are always fluid.

If you are on the clock and this is available for the Browns, what is your pick?




Insiders' Answer: Despite all the pandering on websites and TV shows; draft boards don't shift dramatically at this time of year. What you see with people covering it is simply becoming more informed and attune with what NFL teams are saying, hence why you see their boards be more fluid late in the process.

What this time of year does for the teams is simply solidify those previous rankings based on interviews, medicals, and workouts. They might shift slightly, but nothing drastic as a result. (unless a bad medical appears and then someone is taken off the board, for example).

If it were me at this juncture after battling back and forth on this decision for awhile...

First thing I do is call Dallas and see exactly how much they want Peterson. I believe a tradedown is in the team's best interest while still getting a Julio Jones, Cam Jordan, J.J. Watt, or Ryan Kerrigan.

If that doesn't pan out, I take Green. I have him as the 2nd highest rated player on my board. As I've recently done an article, WR is a slightly safer pick compared to DE's (surprisingly), and then you factor in all the other baggage with Quinn.

BUT, I will say this. IF Peterson is on the board (and I don't expect him to be), I have a sneaking suspicion that Heckert will draft him..


Peterson best in draft

amwardwell: Sobo - From your analysis of Heckert's Drafts do you feel he'd rather take a need at 6 over arguably the best player in the draft?  Peterson, many have the opinion, is the best athlete in the draft.  We have a greater need at D line, but the bust potential is greater, as you pointed out in a article last week.  If Peterson is the best athlete in the draft does that make him the best player available and a likely candidate for us at 6?

Let's say Peterson is our guy at 6,  how does Heckert fill our two other biggest needs, WR and Dline?  Draft or Free agency, or both?

Insiders' Answer: No. I believe Heckert is a talent evaluator who values top talent.

I personally don't have Peterson as my top prospect, because I don't think he's a pure CB prospect. His hips are a little stiff and I've said so for months. But he also has the ability to transition to safety if need be. That's neither here nor there at the moment. He's still a top talent based on raw skill despite my issues.

I think I believe (pulling a Peter King) that Green and Peterson will be the team's top two targets at no.6. Guys like Miller and Dareus won't be there, and I think the team would rather land a safer top talent then take that plunge into the unknown with some of the defensive linemen.

So if Green is off the board and Peterson becomes the pick, it's quite logical in my mind. Then you look probably Dline in round 2 because of the potential talent there.

I know we haven't seen anything with FA yet, but it will eventually come into play (we hope). Things are going to be addressed there as well.

There are too many holes on this team currently to think that all will be addressed purely in the draft with the first three selections.

As a result, I expect Heckert to sit back and see who falls to him..


Sobo - Your mock



1.     Carolina – Da'Quan Bowers, DE Clemson

2.     Denver – Patrick Peterson, CB LSU

3.     Buffalo – Cameron Newton, QB Auburn

4.     Cincinnati – Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri

5.     Arizona – Von Miller, LB Texas A&M

6.     Cleveland – Marcell Dareus, DE Alabama

Sobo, just wondering if you think Cleveland will actually pick Dareus at #6, or if you hope he's the one they pick, or maybe both??

Insiders' Answer: A lot is going to depend on how the top five plays out in front of Cleveland.

Dareus is becoming the favorite to go to Denver at two. He's a very talented player, and there are those (including myself) that have him no.1 overall in the entire draft class.

He has to be in the conversation simply because he is one of the top players this year, and outside of Rubin there is no one else along the teams converted defensive line..


Sobo - DL draft questions (part one)

DawgBacker26: 1) Aldon Smith - His frame worries me. He looks really thin. Is it just me seeing that or is he scarily frail?

2) Adrian Clayborn - As I see more 34 teams at the bottom half of the draft, I see Clayborn slipping out of Rd 1. Thoughts?

3) DaQuan Bowers - With this injury that he is downplaying, how big of a free fall are you expecing on him? I have seen some, Mayock & Lombardi to name a few, have him at least falling out of the top 10, but never really giving a specified pick or generalized section of the first round, or even falling to the 2nd??? What are your thoughts? How bad is his injury?

4) Lastly, OL. Do you see Sherrod & either Solder or Carimi falling a touch into the 2nd? If someone like Carimi who is being projected as a 10 year starter/monster specifically at RT a player that the Browns could/would look at in Rd 2?

Insiders' Answer:

1. Smith is actually 264 pounds. He's not tiny by any means, he's just very long; and that's part of the attraction when it comes to his potential. That type of length and athleticism off the edge can't be taught. Plus you have to remember, he is entering the draft as a redshirt soph; so he's going to grow into that frame pretty easily. I did ask him at the combine about this exact issue, and he said teams know he's young and he will add 10-15 pounds in the first year or two.

2. Clayborn may be too talent to fall. I've had instances where i slid him out of round 1, but I think teams are banking on him doing the little things this year and the high production as a junior more so than him being a true sack master this year.

3. With Bowers, I have him ranked just outside of my top ten, and I had  him there before the injury. I get worried about how he can and will disappear for long stretches of times during games. With that said, I did try to contact his agent and got nada. I think his natural talent is almost as high as anyone in this class, but you have to worry about the degree of injury.  He's still likely a top talent talent on potential alone.

4. Sherrod could potentially fall out of round 1, because he's the least physically talented of the bunch. I've never been a fan of Solder, but if you are a team very late in round 1 that doesnt' have to push him into the starting lineup immediately, then he can pay big dividends down the road. Carimi is pretty much locked up in round 1. The only thing I think could hold him back is his attitude and family life.


Sobo - DL draft questions (part two)

DawgBacker26: 1) A. Smith - So, I went to Youtube to watch more of him because my question was something I was really just noticing of late. So, the first couple things I found, they were wearing the all black uniforms. Then, I see some close up clips in their white uniforms & he doesn't look as thin at that point. In all honesty, most the clips that NFL Network has been showing are of him in the all black uniform & it really makes him look like a crack addict in a football uniform, lol.

2) I am of the impression that Corey Liuget & Clayborn will be 2 guys who likely slip, as well as M. Wilkerson. Another question for you..... Do you think that Wilkerson can also play 4-3 end as well as DT? Someone made a comparison of him to Trevor Pryce the other day & it really seems to fit pretty good. Thoughts?

3) That is the scary thing about almost every DL slated to go top 15 is that many of them only have 1 year of production. Fairley, Watt, Quinn, Jordan, Smith (though his worst year was this one after the injury), Bowers, Clayborn (bad Senior season), & a few others! I really wouldn't be surprised if Bowers did a Brady Quinn free fall with the talent guys like Jordan, Watt, & Kerrigan have.

Specifically for the Browns, I want them to trade down & take Kerrigan or Smith in the 17-20 range.

4) Your probably right. Unfortunately, our luck will have Carimi in urine & tar colors. I think Solder & Costanzo are busts. I really like Carimi, Smith, Ijalana, & Will Rackley.

Insiders' Answer: 1. Yes, black is slimming. I try to wear it all the time.

2. Wilkerson is a tailor-made 5 technique, and I've been touting his talent well before the season began. I scouted him last year and his best fit is in a 34 because he is big enough, strong enough, and powerful enough to be a great read and react end. Temple, though, played a four man front. He started at both tackle and end. Although, if he were to stay in a four man front, he'd be best served at tackle. BTW, Luiget has great fit and very athletic. I'd take both before Clayborn, but that's me.

3. I prefer Cleveland traded down and take a talent like Kerrigan or Jordan or A.Smith or whomever. Not necessarily because I think all three are very good fits (because they are), but because the team also needs an extra pick or two to address depth concerns.  Personally, I take the guy with a high motor and better production every day of the week. Clay Matthews has a great motor. And I think people are taking that factor much more to heart.

4. Pittsburgh is apparently very high on Carimi and Pouncey. They are the two I've heard the most chatter about. Solder is a bust waiting to happen, but he has a huge upside. Castonzo is better than I expected when I watched him up close. Ijalana is much better than people give credit, but he has the injury issue. Rackley needs to get bigger and stronger. And there are quite a few more we can discuss down the road when it comes to mid or late rounders. Although the Oline class isn't as good as we've seen in recent years past the initial surge. And I didn't even mention my favorite all along, Tyron Smith.


Is Bowers off the board?

brownwarrior: He flunked his workout... and nobody was there anyway. Seems like he's fallen pretty severely and a lot of teams have already made up their mind.

Do you think he's more 12-25 now, Sobo, as some are saying? Peter King thinks he could go to Tampa Bay.

Insiders' Answer: Funny part is that I've had Bowers personally rated 11-20 basically all season. My concerns was that he disappeared on film, and that was an issue even when he was in the conversation as no.1 overall.  Then you factor in the knee injury, that may or may not really hurt his first step off the line this year. Throw in only one year of production, and it's not a winning combination at this point. The severity of where and when he falls will pertain to his second medical evaluation in Indianapolis this week.


Cam Jordan at 6?

strain456: I remember reading that Jauron likes to have bigger DE's in his scheme. I read Cam Jordan has had great workouts this off-season. Is Cam, who's bigger than Quinn, a good value at 6 or is that a reach. Is Cam looked at as a playmaker or just a solid DE.

Insiders' Answer:

Cam's former teammate, Tyson Alualu, is a very good comparison here. Not because they were on the same team a year ago; but because NFL teams tend to value each higher behind the scenes than the general public does.

Jordan is a fringe top ten prospect for most of the teams.  He could easily sneak into the backend of the top 10. He has the ability to do so.

In regards to Cleveland, I think he does have an outside shot of being the selection based, potentially, on how the board falls in front of them.  In fact, I said at the Combine that he is the one guy just listening to that I get that vibe they would fall in love with him.

I wrote about Jauron's preferences for DE's at Chicago right after the hire, and some people have ran with it to an extreme. That was his preference then, but that's a long time ago. He spent his last few years in Philly where the defensive lineman were of very different pedigree. A pedigree which is entrenched into Heckert's very fiber. Something he already addressed at the Combine.  So don't write off any type of body styles as what this team may or may not like along the Dline.

What concerns me about a talent like Jordan, or J.J. Watt (as another example) is that they present versatility, but can our new defensive staff become creative enough to take full advantage of those type of talents? They can be 2-down DE's in the 43, then bump inside to pass rush. They can play all over the line.

So what all this tells me is that Jordan could be the darkhorse selection, but the team may be better served to sit at 6 and see who falls; then take the best talent available..


Hypothetical - Green, Jones trading down

fletch416: .Let's say the Browns aren't sold on Green, but do want to go WR. When the pick is theirs, they have the leverage, would they gamble and trade back 2-5 spots and grab Julio there, or would they pick him early at 6?

I know it is silly season.  Information of bad interview, poor work ethic, and skills that won't transfer are being bandied about recently regarding AJ Green..

Insiders' Answer: Everything I've seen on film regarding Green, and I just watched some, make me believe he's the best receiver in the class. Yes Julio Jones is very talented physically, and the numbers are amazingly close statistically, but Green had more impact at times within the offense than Julio did.  He has better hands, and he's more smooth running routes.

I think the discussion of trading back is very legitimate by the front office. This is a very good year to do so, particularly if they are eyeing defensive line talent. If they are looking to get that marquee receiver, they might not be able to move back further than 10 at this juncture.


If Peterson or Green is the pick...

buckeyebill: Are you confident Heckert can get two starting Dlineman later in the draft? If so who might they be? Thanks as always.?

Insiders' Answer: Confident? No.

Possibly? Yes.

It depends on how the board falls.

I absolutely believe there will be talents available in round 2 that can start from day one, whether it be: Paea, Austin, Ballard, Taylor, Nevis, Reed, Houston or Sheard. Now each of those guys *could* be there. I expect, at the very least, for 3 or 4 to definitely be there while others could go as early as late round 1.

In round three, it's a little more suspect. Because there are talents that could easily go late round 2, but also have a chance of being there round three. Some need develop or will be talented rotational types. Names like Jarvis Jenkins, Kenrick Ellis, Allen Bailey, Terrell McClain and even Jurell Casey or Lawrence Guy.

I have plus and minuses on every name listed above to give reasons why they may or may not be there. But it shows that the talent doesn't run out after round 1. What it simply tells me, is that you don't have those elite rush or tackle talents. But very solid ones can still be acquired..


Offensive tackle

redright: Who are your top rated offensive tackles that would fit the Browns?

Where do  you see them going in the draft?

What do you like about their game that suits them to our offense?

I see OT as a great need and hope we do something about it in the draft, so I am asking your thoughts on how we address this need..

Insiders' Answer: Top rated or where I actually expect the Browns to select a tackle, at the earliest?

The only tackle I can truly see the team jumping on prior to round 3 is Gabe Carimi if he slides, which I doubt. But they have brought him in for a workout, so there is interest there.

Then you look at the guys who can be RT's around round 3 and beyond, some potentially good fits...

Marcus Gilbert, Florida

Orlando Franklin, Miami

James Brewer, Indiana

Joseph Barksdale, LSU

Chris Hairston, Clemson

Derek Newton, Arkansas State

Jah Reid, Central Florida

Each of those guys will go anywhere from round 2 to round 5 or 6.

Each are big and powerful with some upside. Guys like Gilbert, Franklin, and Barksdale will move from left tackle to right tackle (although Franklin and Barksdale were RT's as juniors).

There is a lot of potential within that lot as traditional RT prospects..

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