Q: The Browns have not been able to draft a quarterback that has been anything but below average since Bernie Kosar. As draft pick after draft pick has failed, the Browns continue to draft quarterbacks and provide them little support. In the upcoming draft, the Browns again may be in position to draft another quarterback, would you select a quarterback or another position to help this team rise out of the doldrums.
LA: If there is a QB sitting there that the organization really is sold on, then by all means, go for the player and move forward from there.
Over the years, the Browns have not done overly well in the draft. With general manager calling the shots over the past two drafts, the Browns have done a better job in securing talent and this must continue for this team to rise from the depths of the AFC North.
Needing help at WR, RB, RT, LB, DE and DB, there is plenty of room for improvement. Though, adding difference-makers at QB, WR and RB would help add a presence of threat to an offense which struggled mightily a season ago.
Q: With the Browns holding the fourth pick in the draft, the 22nd selection and multiple other round selections, do you believe the Browns have the ammunition to move up to the first pick and land quarterback Andrew Luck? If they can't secure Luck, would it be wise to trade up and select Griffin? In either case, which of the young quarterbacks fit into the Browns system better?
LA: I believe the Browns have the ammunition to trade up to number-one if they are willing to pay the ransom, which will be multiple first and second round selections.
I don't believe the Browns have any interest in making a deal which will take away the draft selections they have worked to accumulate in the attempt to add quality and depth to the roster.
Neither player has really played in a WCO type scheme. Luck has taken snaps under center throughout his collegiate career, has done so with success and has learned to make reads. Griffin on the other-hand hasn't played under center and hasn't had to read the entire field (generally ½).
If you are looking for a player more WCO ready, then Luck would gain the edge based on his playing background. Now, if you are looking at the physical and athleticism make-up, then Griffin is a dynamic that cannot be dismissed.
I sense at this early stage, the Browns are in the wait and see mode. I know with certainty they have spent significant time scouting the QB's and the interest is genuine.
With the majority of their draft-board determined, the staff now has the opportunity to look deep into the draft class to find those players which may have had something occur within their playing career that hasn't elevated them to a lofty status.
Q: Knowing running back Peyton Hillis is an injury waiting to happen. After bailing on the Browns a couple times last season, why would the team show interest in signing him again, as has been rumored by the Plain Dealer? Isn't there an option in the draft the team could draft to fill the role and save the money?
LA: Is there an interest in signing Hillis? Sure, but at their price. The Browns have had no discussions with Hillis' agent since the first half of the 2011 season and neither side is jumping to dial the other up. Not to say Hillis couldn't or won't return for the 2012 season, but at the present time, negotiating isn't a priority to either side.
During the Hillis situation last season, neither the player nor the team did a good job in dealing with his contract, injury and personal issues. It does appear the relationship between the player and organization is better than it was during most of the season.
A season ending sit-down between Hillis and head coach Pat Shurmur helped, but to what point is the unknown. If we don't see either party talking following the Super Bowl, the likelihood of working something out becomes less an option.
The draft presents an opportunity to gain a prospect, nurture the player in the system and maintain his rights for years. While appealing to the eye, the RB position in the draft has proven to be a crap-shoot. While the organization like RB Trent Richardson, it's extremely unlikely the organization will look at a RB with the fourth overall selection in the draft.
Now, David Wilson from Virginia Tech is a player which fits the bill and the Browns have displayed interest.
Q: The Browns offense has been poor for years and last season was about as bad as it gets. It looks to me that if the Browns got a good right tackle, the rest of the line would be good and the running game and quarterback play would improve. How likely is it for the Browns to draft a lineman with the 4th pick and who would the selection be?
My thinking is, if the Browns looked in that direction, a trade down would be most beneficial for the Browns. They would be in position to select a lineman and gain an additional draft pick in the deal.
I believe the Browns are open to nearly anything in this draft and wouldn't discount a move which appears to be the unexpected or unnecessary to the naked eye.
A right tackle would help the Browns, though I don't easily agree that solidifying this spot would simply turn the QB and RB spots into those of difference-makers.
Q: I am wondering which players you see as the better talent coming out in the draft. Which player would you select if the opportunity presented itself?
A) Kalil or Reiff
B) Blackmon or Floyd
C) Richardson or Wilson
D) RG3 or Luck
At number four, which player is likeliest for the Browns and do you see a trade-up in the works to secure any specific player?
LA: I'll rate each if it were for the fourth overall selection in the draft, with some subtle thoughts.
A) Kalil by a hair. I would easily go with either and be happy for the next ten-years.
B) Blackmon. I believe Blackmon can be an extremely productive WR in the WCO, though he will have to work on his route-running.
C) If it were at number-four, I like Richardson, a bit later in the first round I am looking at Wilson. I don't see a RB as the move for the Browns at #4, and I do know the Browns have scouted Wilson thoroughly.
D) Luck is the pure QB prospect. Griffin III is a dynamic, a great athlete and has the potential to be special at the next level. Whereas Luck is the type of QB where you can say, he can and will run an offense and make plays, in Griffin III, one could say he has those special qualities that you'll see him be the play and the bigger chance of mediocrity.
Luck is the consistent presence type, where Griffin III is that explosive talent.