BEREA—Andrew Berry sat down with the writers who cover the Browns on a daily basis on Friday morning.
Berry, who’s just 28 years old, oversees the scouting department.
When reminded how young he is for the position, Berry said he is constantly reminded of his youth.
“I’ve probably had over 100 texts since I’ve got the job assuring me that I would age quickly in the role,” Berry said with a smile.
From Sashi Brown down to Hue Jackson, the Browns have said they have committed totally to building through the draft. Currently, the Browns have 12 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft which begins next Thursday.
Berry said he is not intimidated by the fact that he is the man in charge of scouting and putting together the pool of players that the Browns will look to to turn their team around.
“I wouldn’t say it’s daunting at all,” Berry said. “Quite honestly, the transition has been very natural. We have a great talented, knowledgable and experienced scouting staff. As a group,we feel very comfortable where we are.”
Berry admitted there’s no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to the draft, but he knows for the Browns to be successful, his department is going to have to be right many times more than they’re wrong, especially when they traded down from the second overall pick earlier this week to acquire more draft choices.
“The draft is not an exact science,” Berry said. “Every team is striving to be more accurate. that’s more the way I would characterize it. we want to be one of the best teams drafting in the NFL and that’s the way we are going to stock the roster.”
Berry said he had three interviews at the Senior Bowl before deciding to leave the Colts and accept the position with the Browns. Being on the job less than four months, he has had to immerse himself in learning the Browns roster.
“How can you scout other players if you don’t know the players on our roster,” Berry said. “We can’t accurately scout the rest of the league if we don’t know our own roster.”
Berry said although he is deemed to set the draft board, he said it is a group decision among he, Brown, Jackson and Paul DePodesta.
“It is collaborative,” he said. “We all have a role and it is a group decision.”
Berry said although analytics is important in what the Browns are doing, Berry said most of the decisions will be football driven.
“The first thing as an organization any resource or any avenue that will help us make better decisions we’re gong to explore,” he said. “The root of our decisions will certainly be hard core football decisions, but analytics will be supplemental to the football decisions.”
Berry wouldn’t speculate on how long it would take the Browns to turn things around.
“The reality of the decision is we are going to try to improve incrementally day-by-day,” Berry said. “I’m certainly optimistic with the group we have put together and I feel great about our process and I feel very confident that we will make good decisions that will turn this situation around.”
In the 30 minute session with Berry, he didn’t divulge any specific information that would shed light on what the Browns will do in the draft next week. However, he was asked if the organization had a philosophy against drafting running backs high in the draft, sounding as though the Browns wouldn’t be against drafting Ezekiel Elliot if he were available.
“I don’t know if we have a hard philosophy for any position,” Berry said. “I like guys that score touchdowns. Do you like guys that score touchdowns?. Ultimately, we want to add talent to every position.”
Berry was asked what he would’ve done if things wouldn’t have worked out getting an entry level job with the Colts when he left Harvard.
“Originally, I was going to trade equity derivatives on Wall Street.”
Now, Berry is looking at trading and acquiring draft choices for the Browns.