Rookie Free Agent Performance: Part Two

Knowledgeable football fans know how important undrafted rookies can be to a football team. Exhibit one: Josh Cribbs. Are there any players with that potential in this year's group? Lane examines the performance of each of the Browns new rookie free agents in camp.

Here are our scouting reports on the the Browns rookie free agents, based on what we saw during rookie camps, OTAs and mini-camp, as well as talking to personnel evaluators around the league...

DE Brian Schaefering has been a pleasant surprise for this Browns team. While believed not to be a fit due to background and his physical size, Schaefering has been productive and coach-able in his brief time in Cleveland camp. This young defensive end plays physical football, he gets his pads low, his thrust and drive off the back foot is impressive and he has been in-tune with the mental preparation of the position. Seeing Schaefering in action with the pads on in training camp sessions will provide a greater opportunity to evaluate whether he can be a player at DE in this 3-4 scheme, as I have reservations due to his lack of bulk (285#) in this specific defensive scheme.

RB Austin Scott is not expected to provide any immediate dividends to this team, but could ultimately find himself as a developmental type player on the practice squad. In practice sessions, Scott displays immediate skills of a power type back, a down-hill rusher with some lean in his technique. Due to the non-contact type activities, we do not gain a solid sense of his ability of vision and adaptability in the game-type scheme or conditions. Does appear to catch the ball well and has a solid burst. One area of immediate interest is some carelessness with the ball, he does not tuck consistently which can lead to fumbling issues when defenders attack the ball.

RB Travis Thomas provides additional training camp type depth in what is a crowded Cleveland backfield. With continued coaching, Thomas may find himself as a role player at some point, potentially as a short-yardage type back, but the deck is stacked against him in Cleveland. In the short period of time with the Browns in practice sessions, Thomas has displayed relatively quick feet, an ability to follow blocks in the non-contact setting and catch the ball adequately. As in the case of most players viewed fighting for an opportunity, we need to see him perform with the pads on to gain a sense of this player under legitimate conditions. As for the 2008 season, due to the depth Thomas can only be expected to be a practice squad type player, at best.

OG Eric Young has the size, strength, ability and make-up you like to see in an offensive guard. The problem for Young is a leg injury which has prohibited him from practice sessions with the team. Based on his collegiate playing career and evaluation, Young could be a player that can contribute in some capacity at the professional level, if he continues to develop with additional coaching and improve his conditioning. For the 2008 season, Young may be relegated to watching and learning as an injury-status type player.

K Jason Reda has displayed adequate leg strength, but he is in camp to provide relief for Phil Dawson. Reda has been relatively accurate in kicking drills and is comparable to Dawson in leg strength on kicks, but is not as rounded in direction kicking.

The OBR Top Stories