Combine 2010: Subscriber Highlights

The OBR is all over this week's Combine, both on the ground and behind the scenes. Here some nuggets from the OBR's Insider Blog and Ask the Insiders Forum on topics such as the team's interest in top QB Sam Bradford...

The OBR is all over this week's Indianapolis Combine. Fred and Sobo are in the house, talking to players and the team's execs. Barry is the unseen webdork behind Scout's Live Blog and other NFL features. Lane and John are working their contacts to find out which of the rumors surrounding the team have anything to them.

We're posting updates to the Insider Blog and answering questions in Ask the Insiders as well. Here are some highlights of the last 24 hours.

Posted by:  brent sobleski / Barry mcbride
at 02/26/2010 11:05 PM ET

Falling in Love with Bradford?

BrownsFan1313: With some hints here that the Browns are extremely interested in the OU QB, and with reports from Schefter that the Rams would without a doubt select Bradford my questions are this.

1) Is it likely that Holmgren would fall in love with this QB enough to move from 7 to 1 as it looks as though the Rams either genuinely like this guy or are trying to get teams to come up all the way to one for him?

2) What sort of compensation (picks/players) would it take to get to the #1 pick?

3) In an uncapped year, can the Browns (or any team) front load the signing bonus and get it off the books to make the contract more cap friendly for future years?

4) Would this be wise with all the holes this team has?

Sobodawg: It is hard to tell whether or not teams are falling in love with a certain prospect as of yet.   Especially on a team that is playing catchup due to all the recent changes.

With that said, there has been plenty of buzz on Bradford in particular the past day or so.    More so than Jimmy Clausen, even after Clausen measured in bigger than expected at 6'2.5" today.

Should we expect this team to look long at hard at numerous QB's?  Certainly.

Do they necessarily have the ammunition capable of trading up if they do fall in love?   Not as likely even with the amount of picks.

Is it prudent to take a QB with all the other holes?  Certainly, if they believe he's the guy because that is by far the no.1 problematic area on the roster currently.

As for the uncapped year, that's all a bit of blur since no team has ever dealt with this type of situation.   That is all something we'll find out together as the process plays itself out.

Barry McBride: If you look at Bradford's strengths, they play very well into the West Coast Offense that the Browns will install might consider if Mangini wants to head in that direction. He's very accurate, sees the field well, has good timing and footwork.

The biggest negative to Bradford, aside from the injury last year, was that his frame wouldn't hold up to the NFL's pounding. That was partially answered today, in a big way, when Bradford measured in at 236 pounds today. That's a big step for him becoming a top three pick. If he looks good on his private pro day on 3/25, he could be the number one pick. Seriously.

As for the signing bonus, throw away the rule book. The Browns might be able to do this, but I don't see the team going radically outside what other teams are doing in terms of the salary cap. Randy Lerner has always been a league guy, not a rebel, and I don't see the team getting real radical with the cap. Then again, that sort of thing would smack of collusion, and we know that the NFL would never dream of such a thing.

As for the cost of moving up to the #1 pick, I believe it will be cost-prohibitive. The Rams would ask for the team's #1 picks this year, and next, and probably a slew of others. I'm sure they would love the Browns to call, but the Browns are far enough away now that the cost may be too high. If Bradford falls past the first two picks, though, things get a lot more interesting. I don't think he would make it past Shanahan at #4.

As to whether a heavy cost to move up to grab Bradford would be worth it, just consider the importance of the position and the lack of top quality QBs in this year's draft. The Browns don't seem to be in love with Clausen, and there's a steep drop-off (IMHO) after that. If the two nose tackles go 1-2, then I wouldn't count out an upward leap to solve the team's QB riddle.

Posted by: Fred greetham 
at 02/26/2010 7:56 PM ET

James Davis' Status?

Underdawg55: Can any of you insiders tell me how his rehab is coming along. And how seriousnes was his injury.

Fred Greetham: It was serious. He had surgery. From the little I hear about him, he seems to be coming along fine and should be ready for off-season.

Posted by:  brent sobleski
at 02/26/2010 11:21 PM ET

Interest in Tebow Legit?

Spectre Dawg Talk: Just wondering if the Insiders have gotten an inkling whether our front office's interest is just in Tebow as a great kid or if there's an interest in drafting him as a project QB. Everyone is so complementary of Tebow the person that it's hard for me to distinguish the difference.

Sobodawg: If you read what was posted in the Insider Blog from the Holmgren interview, there are two opposing beliefs in the team's President in regards to Tebow.

- On one hand, they love him as a person.
- On the other, Holmgren believes throwing motion is the hardest to change.

There legitimately should be a genuine interest in him as a prospect simply because every single QB prospect should be of interest.   

The Tebow conversation at the moment is merely the hoopla of the media because every single NFL personnel member is being asked about him.

Posted by:  brent sobleski
at 02/26/2010 4:11 PM ET

Highlights of Holmgren PC

- Discussion started out with Tim Tebow, since Holmgren followed the circus that is the Florida Gator's coverage.  Immediately mentioned Tebow is a wonderful man and a great football player.   But being a college football player is different than a great NFL player.   The system he ran in Florida is unique and he was asked to do different things than a NFL quarterback.    Holmgren believes changing a QB's motion is the arguably the hardest aspect to change in a signal caller's technique.  "Do you want him on the team?  Absolutely.   Love him as a young man."

- Interesting tidbit is that the Browns will have no official sit downs with any QB's here in Indianapolis.   Instead, they will reserve those for personal workouts in Berea.

- When discussing the no.7 selection he immediately followed that with "....if we stay."  And if they, he obviously feels they will get a fine football player.

- Asked what he looks for in a QB.   He mentioned three qualities:
1) An innate ability to throw the ball naturally.  Certain QB's just have a rhythm and deliver the football.
2) Movement in the pocket;  how do they avoid pressure, what kind of poise do they possess, and do they still stand and deliver.
3) He wants to get a feel for the type of person the young man is.

- Comparing his previous situations to Cleveland he said each "...had a lot of work to do."   But primarily he is in Cleveland to "set the table for Eric [Mangini] and help him as much as I can."

- In regards to the draft, the team would like to add depth to the offensive line and running back as well as adding speed to the wide receiver position while also solving the QB position.

- Admitted to already "throwing some stuff out" there for possible trades.

- The team has had internal conversation about former Carolina Panther Julius Peppers and if he would be a fit.

- "If you can find a corner that can cover...that's HUGE."

- The conversation between the Browns and Josh Cribbs are "very healthy" although Holmgren doubts anything would be agreed upon prior to the end of the week.    "It's moving."

- Holmgren has personally met Quinn, but has yet to see Derek Anderson.    The team also knows there is an obvious deadline with Anderson based on his upcoming bonus being due.

- James Harrison became a topic of conversation and whether or not he could be a the full time starting running back. "He handled himself beautifully in the latter parts of the season."  But Holmgren once again stated that the team "needs a couple of guys" who can do that and they plan on getting that out of the draft.

Those are slightly paraphrased for quickness sake.   A full transcript will likely be found on Scout in the next couple of hours.

Posted by:  brent sobleski
at 02/26/2010 2:48 PM ET


Some quick points of interest:

  • BYU quarterback Max Hall has been training and working out with Charlie Frye in Arizona.
  • Want your next Brady Quinn story? Think Tim Hiller of Western Michigan.   He also has pictures wearing the old "Hutch helmet with no.19 on the jersey" as a kid.   In fact he actually participated in an old Punt, Pass, and Kick contest at Municipal Stadium. 
  • Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour has already had a few quick conversation with Browns' scouts. 

Posted by: brent sobleski
at 02/26/2010 11:24 PM ET

Leon Love Overstated?

With the recent revelation of the Browns' looking towards a running back, and with Eric Mangini's association with this team; many have speculated on the availability of the Jets' Leon Washington who is a restricted free agent.

Talking to a source or two, the prognosis isn't as bright as New York is making it out to be.  In fact, his situation was compared to that of Michael Bush when he broke his leg coming out of Louisville.   It took Bush almost three full years to recover fully from said injury.

Posted by:  lane adkins
at 02/25/2010 7:48 AM ET

The Browns Board

Milanbo: Lane, have you gotten any more info on how the browns board is stacked? Are they leaning more towards one position over the next? Also, any chance the Browns trade up from 7 to secure a player of interst? Possibly dangle Rogers, or Williams as bait instead of trading away picks?

Lane Adkins: I have been told the organization has not discussed a trading up scenario. Presently it is all about evaluating talent, that from the college level and those within the team roster and in FA.

There is a long way to go until the draft scenarios begin to be worked. Being said, unless there is a player this organization feels is a must have, they are not going to move up.

Rogers is a player of interest and has been bandied indirectly by the Browns. As for Williams, his contract makes him difficult to move.

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