The folks over at TFYDraft are doing a great job with the Senior Bowl reports, and they have been helping us track what the Browns are doing down in Mobile. If you're a draftnik, drop by there and check out all the reports. Great stuff.
Tony from TFY tells us that the Browns are focusing on defense, and have been working out defensive line and secondary prospects. This is yet more circumstantial evidence that the team may go with defensive speed in the first round unless a top-tier offensive lineman falls into their laps. More head coaches are showing up in Mobile as workouts pick up over the course of the week.
Here are some updates on players of interest to the team:
Marcus Trufant, CB, Washington State
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UPDATE: Trufant is emerging as a stand-out in the Senior Bowl workouts and is pushing his way up the first round according to the scouts, perhaps into the top 20 picks. He has consistently been shutting down his man, and is displaying good closing speed. The Falcons and Vikings are interested in Trufant, along with the Browns. Could be the shutdown corner who enables McCutcheon to focus on being a nickel back. Keep your eye on him. Unfortunately for the Browns, his outstanding play this week has attracted the attention of a number of teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs, who have been spending a lot of time tracking the cornerback. Carl Peterson and Dick Vermiel talked extensively with Trufant on Wednesday.
Michael Haynes, Defensive End, Penn State
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UPDATE: The Browns set up an interview with the defensive end. Looked very good on Tuesday against the second-tier of Senior Bowl of offensive linemen, but struggled a little against some of the bigger offensive guards like Steinbach. Haynes started to come around on Wednesday, and managed to get into the backfield even against the better guards via some inside moves. Haynes really started to stand out on Wednesady afternoon, showing a lot of effectiveness in the pass rush. With the Browns interested in getting more pressure on the QB, the interest in Haynes makes sense, despite the massive investments in the defensive line the team has made.
Eric Steinbach, OG, Iowa
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A big, All-American offensive guard, who is getting a lot of interest in Mobile this week.
UPDATE: Steinbach has been practicing at both left guard and left tackle and has improved his draft standing on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tony reports that Steinbach practices hard and seems to have a nasty edge. Displays a lot of power, but could improve his footwork.
Jeremy Bridges, OT, Southern Miss
UPDATE: The workouts seem to be confirming that he would project at the NFL as a better guard than tackle. He would need more strength and bulk, but has quick hands. Bridges isn't standing out among the offensive linemen while at tackle.
Dave Ragone, Quarterback, Louisville
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The St. Ignatius product has attracted the interest of the team, according to TFYDraft. Ragone doesn't have the strongest arm, but is a bright quarterback who seems to have good command of what is happening on the field.
UPDATE: TFY is reporting that Ragone has been erratic in practice, and has been rushing things as the pocket collapses.
Andrew Williams, Defensive End, Miami, Fla
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UPDATE: Hasn't really distinguished himself in the workouts. Tony reports that he's quick and fast, but has been slow to shed blocks. Occasionally shows flashes, but is probably dropping to the middle rounds of the draft. Niners have also been interested in Williams.
Bennie Joppru, Tight End, Michigan
6'-5" tight end who caught 47 passes in 2002 for the Wolverines and was team co-captain.
UPDATE: He has had some good moments in practice and appeared to do some long-snapping as well. A number of teams, including the Bengals, appear to be interested in Joppru.
Calvin Pace, DE, Wake Forest
TFY Profile DeaconSports.com Profile
All-American defensive end, plays with a lot of heart and holds the Deacon record for tackles for negative yardage. A game-dominating DE at within the ACC.
UPDATE: Pace has not practiced due to injury.
LJ Smith, Tight End, Rutgers
One of the bright spots on a very bad Rutgers team in 2002. The Scarlet Knights couldn't rush the football, and used Smith often.
UPDATE: Has not practiced due to injury.