Butch and Pete: Take Two
Now in their 4th season back from NFL extinction and the 2nd year of the Butch Davis era, the Browns headed into the 2002 college draft looking to add the final pieces to a team that expects to be a serious playoff contender this season after surprising many with seven wins a season ago. The draft also signaled the official changing of the guard in the Browns personnel department, with Dwight Clark citing his diminishing role as the main reason behind his recent resignation as Browns director of player personnel shortly after the draft. Although it was common knowledge here in Cleveland who the men calling the shots were for the past year, the move "officially" thrust Pete Garcia, longtime right-hand man of coach Butch, into that role and their stamp was further imprinted into the orange and brown via this latest draft.
#16 (#16 overall)-William Green, RB/Boston College
6'0, 221 lbs. / 4.60 40 yd. dash / 345 lb. bench press / Wonderlic score of 16
We could have selected: CB Phillip Buchanon,
WR Ashley Lelie,
Recent 1st round picks: QB Tim Couch,
DE Courtney Brown, Penn St.
DT Gerard Warren,
The Browns knew all along who it was they wanted at #16, yet played it very close to the vest, and had everyone thinking it would be T.J. Duckett after bringing him in for repeated workouts in the weeks leading up to draft day. Green is an exceptional athlete that not only has size and speed, but also great vision and the ability to gain yards after initial contact. The Browns have desperately lacked a back that can finish his runs like Green, who also has the big play ability to score from anywhere on the field. He's a very aggressive runner that can make life miserable for awaiting LB's after breaking through the line with his shifty, yet powerful running style. Green also is adept at catching the ball out of the backfield, showing great hands at
While very talented, Green is still a little rough around the edges and needs to seriously improve his blocking skills before he can become an every down back. He also has very small hands, a trait that scared some away from Ricky Williams, who has since shown a penchant for coughing up the pigskin. Also, Green's off field problems are well documented, as he was suspended for Boston College's biggest game this past season against Miami Florida for breaking a team rule. Green grew up in a rough part of
Despite the constant praise Butch gives James Jackson, there is no doubt that the Browns fully expect Green to be able to give them 20 carries a game this season and be the centerpiece of the power running game that they want to employ. After ranking either last or next to last in rushing in each of their first three seasons back, the Browns must be able to move the chains on the ground this season to stand any chance of being able to accomplish what many in this city think they can this season. After passing on Ricky Williams and LaDanian Tomlinson in past years, and T.J. Duckett this season, the pressure will be immense on Green to produce.
#15 (#47 overall)-Andre Davis, WR/Virginia Tech
6'1, 194 lbs. / 4.42 40 yd. dash / 320 lb. bench press / Wonderlic score of 24
We could have selected: WR
OT Langston Walker,
WR Antonio Bryant,
Recent 2nd round picks: WR Kevin Johnson,
LB Rahim Abdullah, Clemson
WR Dennis Northcutt,
While the team was not looking to select a wideout in the 2nd round for the 4th season in a row, after Ohio St. C/G LeCharles Bentley was taken off the board three picks before us by New Orleans, Davis was simply too good to pass on. Another guy capable of scoring from anywhere on the field, Andre is an accomplished return man and won the Atlantic-10 Conference championships in the 100 and 200 meters dash as part of the track and field team. Unlike most sprinters though,
Andre is a very gifted athlete, but still needs to work on catching the ball with his hands as opposed to his body. He grew up playing soccer, and didn't even play his first football game until late in high school. His field awareness could use some improvement and despite his sprinter speed, it seems to take him a second to kick it into his second gear. His route running needs to become a bit more precise, and at this level he will need to get a bit more physical in both his blocking and route running.
While Kevin Johnson has turned into one of the league's most dependable wideouts, the team has been unable to find a reliable running mate for him. Also lacking a deep threat, the Browns think they may have answered both problems here, though initially,
#11 (#76 overall)-Melvin Fowler Jr., C/Maryland
6'2, 300 lbs. / 5.46 40 yd. dash / 365 lb. bench press / Wonderlic score of 22
We could have selected: LB Rocky
OG Terrence Metcalf,
Recent 3rd round picks: CB Daylon McCutcheon, USC
S/LB Marquis Smith,
RB Travis Prentice,
WR JuJuan Dawson, Tulane
RB James Jackson,
Fowler did have surgery on his left shoulder in both '98 and '99, which limited his time in the weight room. His limited size and strength are why he slipped this far, and he could struggle against some of the immense DT's he will face in the NFL.
After not selecting a lineman in the 1st two rounds, you can be assured the Browns were holding their breath and banking on the fact that Fowler would slip to them here. While he played center at
#3 (#101 overall)-Kevin Bentley, LB/Northwestern
6'1, 243 lbs. / 4.68 40 yd. dash / 410 lb. bench press / Wonderlic score of 21
We could have selected: DE Alex Brown,
FB Omar Easy, Penn St.
CB Mike Echols,
Recent 4th round picks: LB
CB Lewis Sanders,
TE Aaron Shea,
CB Anthony Henry,
This was the pick we received from
Bentley is an overachiever, but a little small for a NFL LB. He struggles in pass coverage, and was often handled by bigger offensive linemen. Will need to live in the weight room to contribute as an every down player in this league, though many smallish LB's have done exactly that.
The Browns expect Bentley to be a very solid special teams player and improve the teams' depth at LB, as the likely backup to Dwayne Rudd. While many were stunned that the Browns didn't jump on Alex Brown from
#13 (#111 overall)-Ben Taylor, LB/Virginia Tech
6'1, 236 lbs. / 4.83 40 yd. dash / 300 lb. bench press / Wonderlic score of 23
We could have taken: OG Martin Bibla,
RB Travis Stephens,
Butch and Pete came right back with another high energy/overachieving OLB just 10 picks after the Bentley selection.
Like many players that compete with the reckless abandon that
#24 (#122 overall)-Darnell Sanders,
6'6, 265 lbs. / 4.93 40 yard dash / 270 lb. bench press
We could have taken: WR Ron Johnson,
The Browns were so impressed by Darnell's individual workout that they dealt up in the draft to select him, making the Buckeye TE their 3rd pick in the 4th round. A physically gifted specimen that was a big key to the Buckeye run game as a blocker, Sanders is a huge target that catches the ball well in traffic. Sanders has great upside, and the ability to break tackles after the catch.
While he usually made the difficult catch, Sanders often had trouble with the easy ones in his college career. He was also bothered by speedy edge rushers, and struggled to get his long and angular frame in the right position to get in front of them. He's definitely a better run blocker than a pass blocker.
An intriguing pick in a position where many thought they were dealing up to select his teammate at Ohio St., FB Jamar Martin. If Sanders, Dudley, and Shea can stay healthy it really gives Couch a trio of interesting pass receiving options coming off the edge of the line.
#6 (#141 overall)-Andra Davis, LB/Florida
6'0, 245 lbs. / 4.77 40 yd. dash / 405 lb. bench press / Wonderlic score of 21
We could have taken: QB Kurt Kittner,
DE Kenyon Coleman, UCLA
Recent 5th round picks: WR Darren Chiaverini,
CB Lamar Chapman,
With the pick we acquired from
The injuries are an issue here, as is the lack of size for a MLB. Originally projected to go in the 2nd or 3rd round, some teams were concerned about his speed and agility after tearing his medial collaterate ligament in the Gators '00 opener. Missed some tackles a season ago, but he did play with a cast on his hand.
Selection traded to move up to select Darnell Sanders in the 4th round.
Recent 6th round picks: DT Marcus Spriggs,
LB Kendall Ogle,
TE James Dearth,
OG Brad Bedell,
S Michael Jameson,
#16 (#227 overall)-Joaquin Gonzalez, OT/Miami
6'3, 300 lbs. / 5.15 40 yard dash / 335 lb. bench press / Wonderlic score of 28
We could have taken: QB Ronald Curry,
OT Eric Heitmann, Stanford
RB Antoine Womack,
Recent 7th round picks: RB Madre Hill, Arkansas
OT Paul Zukauskas,
WR Andre King,
A no-brainer here, as this 1st team All-American was supposed to go much earlier. Outshone by Bryant McKinnie at
How could a player with the above credentials possibly slip this low? Limited size, speed, and strength. Many feel he would be better suited to play guard in the NFL, but this guy has been proving the experts wrong for years. He definitely needs to find the weight room early and often in his Browns career, and he's a half second slow coming off the snap. Sometimes he plays a little too tall, and needs to get accustomed to "blocking lower" against the bigger, quicker, and more powerful NFL defensive ends.
The Browns brass fully expects this 7th round pick to not only make the team, but also be the primary backup to Ross Verba and Ryan Tucker at the tackle position. Hopefully the aforementioned pair can stay healthy, giving Joaquin a season or two to watch and learn, which he excels at.