SethHW: Lane, what needs to happen in the first two picks of the draft to make it most likely the Browns would be able to trade down?
Lane: Have a QB and RB taken with the first two selections in the draft...........
SethHW: Thanks Lane, is this b/c you see someone trying to trade up and grab Braylon? If so, wouldn't Braylon still being available make it less likely for a team like Minn to trade up b/c they believe Mike Williams would still be available at #7?
Lane: I can see teams chomping at the bit to deal up for either WR, one of the QB's, and quite possibly Carnell Williams, the RB from Auburn. Also, I am hearing there is some serious play for Shawne Merriman (DE/OLB) and Troy Williamson (WR) elevating those two players to the upper-third of the draft.
DWarren919: Any news on Sharper? Just was wondering if he has been in to talk to the Browns, everything I see they have him talking to the Seahawks and the Bengals.... But I do see our name as a team that is interested...Any News?
Barry: There's a continuous stream of comments about the Browns and
Sharper, but I believe it's based on the Savage factor more than anything else.
The Browns are now saying that they're done until after the draft. Check this out from a press release I got this morning:
"We're excited about adding Brian (Russell) to our defensive backfield," Browns Senior Vice President and General Manager Phil Savage said. "He will bring a veteran presence to us and we feel like there is upside potential with him as a player. In addition, Brian, more or less, completes our objectives for free agency. We are looking forward to the NFL Draft in two weeks."
This was the Browns official confirmation about Brian Russell, which we and Fox Sports were talking about On Thursday night. Even yesterday, they wouldn't confirm Russell for the PD, although they put something up on their own web site.
Anyhow, the Browns finally confirmed Russell, and the little nugget above indicates we shouldn't expect too much free agency activity over the next two weeks.
Lane: The Browns have had a discussion with Sharper's rep, but it does not appear at this time the team is going to make a run at the LB.
MarkTroy: I haven't seen any #'s on Stewart's contract. Atlanta made an offer IIRC, but there was certainly no war for him. What does this say about his overall ability? Is he the 3-4 version of Brant Boyer-depth at 2 positions and ST's? Or maybe the LB equivalent of Brian Russell? He doesn't seem like the long term answer as a starter at 235 lbs.
Lane: Average, serviceable talent that can play the 3-4. Is consistent, but not one which is going to make the highlight reel. On this linebacker deficient team, he is an upgrade over the Kevin Bentley's and Barry Gardner's of the world. Actually, he is an upgrade over Chaun Thompson as well. As for Russell, he is definitely a stop-gap measure, but lets see what he can do in this system, though I believe Stewart is a better player at this time in his career.
Lumpy: With Douglas gone.... is John Abraham even a consideration?
Lane: Abraham is not being considered. It is believed he is not the type of 3-4 end they are looking for and there are some reservations regarding his salary and commitment.
GregTNG: What are your thoughts on the following: We pick at #3... One of Ronnie Brown, Antrel Rolle, Mike Williams (much preferred by me to...), Braylon Edwards, or Shawn Merriman will be there... If we can work in a trade down and still have a shot at one of these guys, beautiful, otherwise, we're looking at some very talented potential gamebreakers at #3 and I'm not overly concerned if we don't trade out of it. Additionally, finally last year, we took a UM player... we've passed on so many despite having Butch as a coach... Miami has been producing studs for years... I'm confident Antrel Rolle will be no different... Is he on the radar at #3?
Lane: I am not hearing too much on Rolle, which indicates to me he is in the mix but may not be the 'guy' at this moment. I keep hearing in quiet quarters Merriman is the guy which really excites the masses and I can see why, if he is coming from the OLB. If the pick were to be a WR at #3, I wouldn't have a preference, but I tend to believe they like Edwards' potential, but do believe Williams is the reliable choice. I don't see Brown in any equation, but I talked to a scout this past week that is close to Savage that tells me Savage really likes Ronnie Brown. Now, personally...........I would like to see either Rolle or Merriman...........but I am torn as this team has not had a legitimate home-run hitter at WR.
Fleabitten: Do you really think we would pull the trigger on a RB in the 1st?
Lane: No, I do not believe so.
Fleabitten: Is a trade for him on the radar?
Lane: I have heard nothing which leads me to believe the fire has been stoked.
Boomboy: Is this talk still happening? Or, old news? Thanks. "The Dayton Daily News reports that the Cardinals are looking to move up in the draft to snatch a running back and may be interested in Cleveland's No. 3 overall pick. Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams, both from Auburn, are two players slated to be available to the Cards in that slot."
Lane: Much may depend on the Cards ability to deal for Travis Henry and if the Cardinals are looking to move up for a RB, but from what I am hearing, Arizona has an interest in a QB.
JDailey23: I keep seeing stuff about merriman, and i know that parcells really likes him, could we possibly be talking a lot about him to scare the cowboys and try and do a trade, or is this real interest in taking him at 3 for us???
Lane: There is a legitimate interest on the Browns behalf, I just don't know if that interest carries to the #3 pick in the draft. The Cowboys also have a legitimate interest and leading up to the draft there is considerable posturing. But, I do know the Browns are interested in the player and a trade down, so you never know.
Nasdaq: Lane, who is " 3 " slot worthy according to the tea leaves to the organization? I read many of your takes saying that you think the Browns FO likes this guy or that guy, but not at # 3 overall. Well, I think it is a conclusion that the Browns will seek a trade down , but other than Braylon Edwards, who would they consider drafting if they stand pat at the 3rd overall slot in the draft? You seemed to write they are not interested in a QB , Dj, Merriman and Baron of OLmen at 3 . So who may they like there? Lastly, is it true the Browns have completed their draft analysis as reported by the PD an they are finished and ready to go for the 23rd?
Lane: First, I don't believe the evaluation process is complete. At #3, this organization is seeking impact, either with a player or trade. I like the idea of trading out of this selection and obtaining an additional first this season. With the roster issues this team has, this is a great time to address these problem areas. I don't see one specific player stepping in and changing the overall complexion of the team. If they are unable to deal out of the pick, I can see them looking towards Edwards, Williams, Merriman, and Rolle.....all fit within the structure. I don't see Johnson or say a Cadillac Williams, or Barron, just due to slotting. Edwards is the name most commonly thrown out and for good reason, many team personnel rate him as the best player in this draft. I believe he and Williams will be very good WR's.... but something drives me back to Rolle and Merriman.