Will the Browns Gamble on Gamble?

Many Browns fans know by now that Mel Kiper's initial mock draft has the Browns taking Chris Gamble at #8. What do our Insiders think about that possibility? Plus, takes on Internet rumors about the Browns trading up, Ben Roethlisberger, Shawn Andrews, Kellen Winslow, and a potential find lurking in the Browns secondary. Here are some recent highlights from BerniesInsiders.com's exclusive <I>Ask the Insiders</I> forum.

bowwowwowyippyyoyippyyay: Lane, which happens first? (Internet draft writer) DJ Boyer's rumor comes to fruition:

"It might be too early to speculate about something like this but it seems like the Browns interest in Roethlisberger is even hotter than first reported. So hot in fact that the Browns are toying with the idea or may have already talked to the Raiders about moving into the #2 spot in the first round. If this happens expect the Raiders to try and land Shawn Andrews at tackle and the deal from Cleveland would most likely involve a player like Tim Couch or Quincy Morgan."

...or pigs fly out of your a$$, grow gills, dive to the bottom of the Marianna Trench, and dig to the center of the earth where they find a frosty & frozen over hell?

Lane Adkins: There is absolutely no hiding the fact the Browns have an interest in Roethlisberger, as well as Phillip Rivers and J.P. Losman. I don't see the Browns trading up for a quarterback, other issues within the roster appear to be more important to the decision making guys. The belief is they can win with an above average quarterback. I don't believe selecting another quarterback early in the first round is the way Davis wants to put this team together.

bowwowwowyippyyoyippyyay: Hypothetical time. If Roethlisberger falls to #7/8, does Butch after the 2yr extension now have the job security he'd need to pull the trigger and make that kind of longterm investment?

Lane Adkins: Nothing I have been told or heard AT THIS TIME, lead me to believe the Browns will select a QB with the 7/8 selection in the draft. Additionally, some rumors are out that the Browns are looking towards the #2 pick in the draft (Raiders selection) to trade-up. According to our guy in Berea, the notion of this rumor is preposterous, it is far too early for any of that talk, much less discussion.

JB42776: Just saw on espn that Kiper has the browns taking Chris Gamble for OSU with the 8th pick. Do we really want a db that early in the draft? Especially one who is viewed as still raw and may not start right away?

Art Bietz: Simply my opinion here, but I don't agree with Kiper's pick at all. As someone who watched OSU games religiously, I felt that Gamble could have used an additional year in college to refine his skills at CB. He was hardly the dominant force his Junior year one would want in a Top 10 selection.

I don't see the Browns going after a player based on Kiper's rationale - long-term upside - in 2004. I see them making a surer/safer pick given the pressure that's on Davis and Garcia to produce a draft less open to criticism. Taking Gamble seems out of sync with what's happening within the organization right now.

There's a number of guys taken after Gamble in Kiper's mock that I could see being more logical selections for the Browns.

Lane Adkins: I have been told the Browns coaching staff likes Gamble's physical ability, but he is not a player they have rated worthy of the 7/8 pick.

Mike McLain: I think Butch would like to upgrade the cornerback positions, but he feels there are bigger needs at this time. I can't see Gamble going to the Browns at 7 or 8.

Skippy54345: Can Shawn Andrews play Left Tackle in the NFL? I have seen a few draft reports saying that the Browns might take him, but they have also been saying that he is a Right Tackle.

Art Bietz: Lane can step in here, but I haven't seen any speculation that he would be moved to LT. Given his size and speed I would think any position shift would be to RG. Again, just opinion, and I admit to never having seen him play in person.

The idea of having someone like Andrews protecting Couch's blind side in his rookie year against the speed rushers he would face at LT is kinda scary.

Lane Adkins: Personnel guys I have spoken with believe Andrews will be best served as a right tackle/guard. They do not believe he is a long-term answer or solution for a team seeking a left tackle. One thing to note is, he is athletic and has great feet, so you never can say never.

Fleabitten: How good is Winslow? How does he compare to other recent highly regarded TE's coming ot of college? His size is good, does he block well? Good hands?

Mike McLain: From what I've seen, Winslow is an outstanding talent. There has been talk that he doesn't have enough strength to be a consistently strong blocker, but I think he makes up for it with a nasty mentality.

As for running routes and his hands, I think he's better than Jeremy Shockey was when he he came out of Miami two years ago.

The Browns might be thinking more about a blocking tight end and it's possible they don't have an interest in Winslow. Don't believe everything your hear coming out of Berea about draft conjecture.

Redright: Mike, I have heard and read people opine that Winslow is the best blocking TE in the draft, at least one with the likelihood of being a first round or first day draft, Any information on KWs blocking?

Lane Adkins: Here is a brief overview of a league scoutung report on Kellen Winslow Jr:

"Very good speed coming from the tight-end position, can and will beat many NFL defensive backs. Quick in and out of his breaks, has a strong understanding of route running. Good hands and focus. Has the frame to add 10-12-pounds without hampering his speed and quickness."

Now the negatives:

"One area Winslow needs work is in run-blocking. Winslow is sufficient in limited space blocking, but does not maintain for a duration, nor does he block well in space."


"Has shown the ability to be a loose-cannon, but should improve with maturity."

Overall: A top-ten talent and a player that could be the Rookie of the Year in the right system. Winslow should be an immediate stater and inpact play

ColoradoDawg123: Insiders, please evaluate the performance this year and the potential for the future of our rookie defensive backs, including Crocker, Lehan, Williams and Bodden. If possible, I would like the view of all of the insiders, including Art. No hurry. Thanks in advance.

Mike McLain: Lehan is the best of the bunch. I liked what I saw of him from the first mini-camp on.

Lehan's only problem is health. He always seems to be hurt, and I'm not convinced that will change in the future. If he can stay healthy, Lehan could be a quality starter.

Butch was high on Bodden when he stole him from under Pittsburgh's nose out of Duquesne. He's a good cover guy but not real strong against the run. Bodden went through a tough stretch in the middle of the season, but he finished strong, especially against Chad Johnson in the last game.

Keep an eye on Bodden. He could be a decent player.

Crocker played significantly as the nickel back when Lewis Sanders was injured (when is he not injured?) He did better than exepcted early but late in the season he saw less time as Roosevelt Williams began to play more.

I still think Crocker's ideal spot is free safety. He's extremely intelligent, and he has sprinter's speed.

Butch thinks the Browns scored big time when they plucked Williams off the free-agent scrap pile. His speed was questioned, but I didn't see a problem in that area.

Williams will be fun to watch next year.

Art Bietz: I can't add all that much because, unlike Mike, I wasn't at the early camps and don't watch the team at practices. What I can offer is a little more information on Roosevelt Williams.

Williams is an interesting player. In college, he was heading to Florida State, but had academic problems, so he wound up at Savannah State, eventually transferring to Tuskegee. The Bears saw enough in him to make him a high third-round selection in 2002. He was the 77th pick overall in that draft, around where the Browns took Melvin Fowler.

Williams had two problems his rookie year... first was the incredible jump he had going from Tuskegee to the pros. Then he had a leg injury which hurt him, and may be the reason that there are some comments about his speed. The Bears gave up on him after a year - contrast this to the way the Browns have dealt with Chaun Thompson. The Bears kept only four CBs and he was released during the final cuts.

The Broncos liked him enough to cut their #3 QB (Danny Kanell) to grab him less than a week before the season started.

This could indeed be a case where the Browns have found a diamond in the rough... Williams had a difficult adjustment to make and needed to be healthy. He might just be a lucky find for the Browns.

Here's an article from Bear Report providing an omen of his release by the Bears in 2003, which I found interesting:

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