Adkins: Tales from the In-Box

Lane examines some of the recent queries he's received since the draft. Take a look at the stories and camp battles which may soon surface at cornerback, tight end, wide receiver, and running back...

Q: What can we expect to see at running back this summer? Is the team actually satisfied with the questionable talent and experience at the position and what is the thoughts on Jamal Lewis sustaining the productivity he showed in the 2007 season?

LA: Actually, the organization does not feel the overall state of the running back position is an issue. Jamal Lewis was relatively healthy last season and he should be expected to maintain the load at running back. Still, I wouldn't expect him to to match his 2007 numbers consistently. The organization strongly believes Lewis will remain a viable back in this offense, thus the commitment displayed in offering a multi-year deal to the veteran and the player's preference to only deal with the Browns. Behind Lewis, the team is comfortable with Jason Wright and Jerome Harrison and there is a belief among some that Harrison will have a will have a breakthrough year. The staff also likes the developmental potential of undrafted free agent signee Austin Scott from Penn State.

Q: Does the selection of wide receiver Paul Hubbard in the draft tell us that Travis Wilson is not in the plans? Why has he not lived up to his advanced billing?

LA: Travis Wilson has been an enigma since being selected by the Browns in the third round a few seasons ago. Wilson has the size and speed to be a successful player, but he has not grasped the opportunity. He fails to demonstrate any consistency. The Browns have extensively scouted Hubbard, believe he has very good upside and can catch the ball. His size, speed and quickness intrigue the staff, but it may be his toughness and desire which will navigate him to a successful NFL career. Expect Hubbard to make the team and contribute on specials right away. As for Wilson, unless he turns the corner, his time in Cleveland will be done.

Q: All the talk leads up to believe that the team drafted tight-end Martin Rucker to replace Kellen Winslow at some point. Is this actually a realistic expectation? How soon may we see this happen?

LA: The organization drafted Martin Rucker to supplement and enhance the roster, special teams and the tight-end position. Rucker is solid in the receiving game and needs work with his blocking. Presently, Rucker should add depth and work his way into the fold, but to expect him to walk in and be a replacement for Winslow is simply not the plan. In time, if Winslow's physical condition becomes more of an issue or even a contract situation arises, then Rucker may be thrust into more of a prominent role. At this point, he is a nice potential insurance policy for the team in the event something would occur with any of the tight-ends on roster.

Q: Knowing the organization has placed an emphasis on getting talent in camp at the cornerback position, what does this say about the ability of a young player, such as an A. J. Davis?

LA: The issue really says more about the overall state of the position and could be noted somewhat in regards to depth and special teams. Many of these players make their initial mark on specials, which this organization takes highly. A. J. Davis is a cat-like quick cornerback and displays good coverage skills. He matches up in practice against the receivers and does fairly well. Coming out of college, he was evaluated to be a good potential pass defender, but was limited in run support, which is a facet of the game he has been coached-up on since joining the Browns. If you're looking for a potential surprise to come out of the defensive backfield heading into the 2008 season. you would be wise to keep an eye on Davis.

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