The number of underclassmen that intend on declaring for the 2002 NFL Draft continues to grow. For a Browns team that intends on building through the draft, this couldn't have happened at a better time.
Davis arguably left the best college football program in the country at the University of Miami, Florida to take the Browns head coaching position in late January 2001.
Under the direction of Davis, the Miami football program back from the dead. Winning the National Championship, the Hurricanes are back on the map as a major college power. Davis deserves the credit for leaving the university stockpiled with talent and confidence.
The next step for Davis is for that same reward being cast in Cleveland.
Aided by years of recruiting, scouting, and competition, Davis now can build the Browns with the players he knows best. Those young men that he came to know.
Davis and assistant, Pete Garcia have recruited, visited with, and coached many players available in the upcoming draft. Not far removed from the college game, Davis and Garcia have a distinctive advantage over the competition, as one scout tells.
"Those guys (Davis and Garcia) have sat in the living-rooms with many of the parents and kids that will be stepping into the NFL next season," the scout said. "If there was anybody more in touch with these kids, it's them (Davis and Garcia). Watching and knowing them since high school, they know what these kids can and can't do. The Browns are in a good position, their draft plans can't be dictated by where they may travel to view a workout."
"Furthermore, don't believe for a minute that they will look to maneuver in the draft for Miami players. The base and knowledge that they have about these kids coming out give them the opportunity to know who is the best for their system."
The Miami football Hurricanes will send atleast nine pro prospects into the draft this spring, led by possibly the best college player in the country, Bryant McKinnie.
Joining McKinnie will be offensive linemen Martin Bibla and Joaquin Gonzalez, running backs Clinton Portis and Najeh Davenport, defensive backs Ed Reed, Phil Buchanon, and Mike Rumph, and tight-end Jeremy Shockey.
The Browns needing to improve the running game, strengthen the offensive line, add weapons for quarterback Tim Couch, and improve the depth on the roster, where would they look to begin?
With Davis' ties to the Miami program, the natural assumption is that he will look at 'his players' from his days as the head coach. Such thoughts have brought rumors of Hurricanes safety Ed Reed being a target of the Browns come draft day.
Recently, from what we've been told is that Jeremy Shockey is in the mix as being the one player at the top of the Browns wish-list. Shockey, a junior at Miami is the top rated tight-end in the country by various scouts, player personnel directors, and the Cleveland Browns, from what we've been told.
"It would appear that the Browns offense under (Bruce) Arians will move away from the H-back and look more towards a tight-end set," a source lends to Bernie's Insiders. "Shockey is a tremendous receiver, a very legitimate threat in the passing game, and he can block."
"He (Shockey) would provide Arians the ability to give an opposing defense more of an Indianapolis look, with real playmaker on the field for (Tim) Couch to look for."
It wouldn't be a Shock-er to hear on draft day, with the .........pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select tight-end, from the University of Miami, Florida, Jeremy Shockey........