Draftwatch: The Winslow Factor

It wasn't a big surprise when the Browns announced the Miami Hurricane OC Rob Chudzinski was hired yesterday. We had his name on the front page of this site for the past week - but the title of Tight Ends coach was a minor surprise. Site visitors put two and two together immediately and asked the question: Does this mean that Kellen Winslow is coming to C-town? Lane and Mike answer that question, and others, in these latest excerpts from <I>Ask the Insiders</I>.

Hamster: How did Larry Zierlein survive? With all of the problems in regard to our line what has he accomplished to warrant keeping him when others were let go?

Lane Adkins: Larry Zierlein is not looked at by the organization as being the issue with an offensive line, void of top-end talent and depth.
The offensive line will get a face-lift this off-season, this is a priority of the organization.

Mike McLain: Was it Larry Zierlein's fault that there were times when the starters he had to work with included Enoch DeMar, Melvin Fowler and Joaquin Gonzalez. You need to see what he can do with better players.

BigHag: Can we read anything into the hiring of Chudzinski to coach tight ends about interest in Kellen Winslow II?

Lane Adkins: I wouldn't read anything directly into it, but the Browns are going to make the tight-end a larger part of the offense in the 2004 season according to what I have been told.

Mike McLain: I agree with Lane. I don't think Butch has to have his arm twisted to like Miami players. We all know he likes all Hurricanes.

Metcalf2K5: I read something on this site saying the Browns aren't visibly excited. I can't remember what else it stated, so I don't know how true as far as maybe "direct from the source" that info was. Can anyone shed some light? I know the draft is far off, but do you think the Browns aren't interested in Winslow? Do you know why? Is there a certain way the are leaning as far as position? Are they going to treat this as a best player available scenario?

Lane Adkins: I am of the belief it is far too early to become enamored with any specific player due to team need. With free agency, team needs could change in a heartbeat and considering a reasonable percentage of teams draft players and positions by need, you never know what the deal is going to be come April.

On Kellen Winslow Jr.......I have heard his position is not the highest rated position of need as established by the Browns, but I also know this organization does not have an issue with Winslow's ability.

Looking at the majority of the Browns drafts since 1999, I see a trend that the organization does not follow the belief of selecting the best player available........or maybe their best player available theory is much different than some other teams with a solid draft track record.

Mike McLain: From what I know, the Browns think their three biggest needs are offensive line (plural), safety (preferably strong) and tight end.

That tells me that the list of favorites for the first pick would be: 1. Robert Gallery, 2. Maybe Shane Andrews, 3. Sean Taylor, 4. Kellen Winslow.

I heard that interest in Winslow isn't as high as you might think because he isn't considered a strong blocker. Then again, Butch can put up smoke screens with the best of them.

I wouldn't be surprised if Winslow is the pick, assuming the other three are gone (which is possible)


Redright: Could it be that BD & staff are too intent on finding a gem instead of a player? Chaun Thompson & Crocker were reaches, but had good numbers and looked good. Could this be a problem with believing that good looking players can be developed into great players as a College coach would develop a high school standout? Could BD be failing in recognizing the Pro game and time limit is different than college?

Lane Adkins: Davis and Garcia have been intent on finding guys they believe are athletic players that they can mold into players which fit the mold of a player they like.

The personnel belief here is that they will select talent which they can bring along that will pay dividends to the team in years two, three, four, and five.

For the majority of players that will come in under the watch of Davis, they will learn and play special team. Contributing on this team is almost essential to Davis and does have its advantages.

The Davis approach is to further and continued develop of a player, basing much on his and his staff's ability to get some potentially more gifted athlete to a higher level, at times over a kid that was productive as a college player, but does not fit into a high athletic value type selection.

One of the problems under the Davis watch has been the lack of production from high draft selections, when players were available that we much more highly regarded.

This is a critical time for this Browns organization and they cannot afford draft blunders on higher, first-day selections.

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