BEREA – The Browns got their man!
At least that's what they said when Paul Tagliabue announced the Browns had selected defensive end/outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley with their first pick.
"We were pleased to select Kamerion Wimbley," Phil Savage said. "We've targeted him for quite some time. Adding Kamerion, along with Willie McGinest, will add to our pass rush."
Savage said he kept Wimbley in mind from the time he walked off the Florida State practice field last October.
Savage said the reason for the trade down was simple.
"We liked Haloti Ngata a lot, but we liked Wimbley better," he said. "He began to come into focus every day more and more."
"As the draft plays out, in our meetings we were fortunate that Wimbley was available when we picked. To get an extra pick was a plus."
The Browns received an extra sixth-round choice (181st overall) to swap places with the Ravens.
Romeo Crennel is pleased to add Wimbley to his defense.
"Wimbley as a pass rusher can get to the quarterback and that was one of the needs the team had," he said. "In the NFL, you have to get to the quarterback and we think we've done that. He showed in his pro day he could make the transition from defensive end to linebacker. Plus, in having a veteran like Willie McGinest, that will help him make the transition."
Savage said Wimbley can play every down, which is more of a positive than maybe a nose tackle like Ngata.
"Because we already had (Ted Washington), I felt better about drafting the linebacker," Savage said.
"This is a four down player, who can rush the passer on third down," he said. "He is a slippery when wet rusher. You put these plans together on paper and we're extremely pleased the way it went."
Savage said on the NFL Network at the scouting combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 23 that he would take Ngata when the Browns selected.
Asked why he would divulge that fact at the time, Savage said.
"Because he won't be there."
Technically, he wasn't there because the Browns traded their pick to Baltimore so the Ravens could draft Ngata.
Savage was asked why he was willing to help a division rival with a trade.
"I wasn't looking at it that way as I was looking at it as what was best for the Browns," he said. "
After Denver traded up with the Rams in the 11th spot to take quarterback Jay Cutler. The Browns had their choice of the three players they were believed to be targeting throughout the draft in Ngata, Brodrick Bunkley and Wimbley.
Savage said the Browns attention was turned to Wimbley in free agency when Kalimba Edwards decided to re-sign with the Lions.
"Back when Kalimba Edwards was here and it began to look like he wasn't going to be here, our focus went to Wimbley," Savage said. "Second, our focus was on a pass rusher."
Crennel was asked about Wimbley's ability against the run.
"He'll be good against the run," he said. "He'll be on the right side and I think he'll be able to handle the tight end. We'll make him good against the run, if he's not already."
Savage compared Wimbley favorably to Peter Boulware, whom Savage was part of the drafting process when Boulware was drafted by the Ravens in the first round.
"I was involved with drafting Peter Boulware and we had a number of players who played defensive end and molded into an outstanding outside linebacker," Savage said. "(Wimbley's) numbers were better than Peter's, but overall, I would say they are comparable players. We'll be very fortunate if we can get those types of numbers from him."
Wimbley (6-3, 245) from Florida State had 23.5 tackles for loss with the Seminoles, including 11 last fall.