OBR Daily Blog: 4/06/2010

St. Tebow is causing a bit of a commotion in the draft marketplace. We're fine with that. Anything that adds intrigue to this draft makes it more fun, and the most intriguing player visits Berea today.

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Posted on Twitter at: 9:27:00 PM
(Subscriber) Taylor: Fire at the Rumor Mill: Is Tebow really rising? Will Shaun Rogers be suspended? Are the Brown... http://bit.ly/c37Ubp

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 at 8:13:00 PM

Browns Issue Gocong, Brown Press Release

It looks like Chris Gocong and Sheldon Brown both were in Berea and both came through their physicals, because the team issued a press release announcing the trade this evening.

Here we go:

For Immediate Release
April 6, 2010


The Cleveland Browns today completed a trade in which they acquired defensive back Sheldon Brown and linebacker Chris Gocong (pronounced: GO-kong) from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for linebacker Alex Hall, a fourth round draft choice (105th overall) and a fifth round draft choice (137th overall) in 2010. The Browns currently own 10 selections in the 2010 NFL Draft, including five of the first 92 picks.

"In Sheldon and Chris we were able to acquire two players, not just whom I am very familiar with, but who also will be great additions to our team," said Browns General Manager Tom Heckert. "They both bring a tremendous amount of leadership from a winning organization, and will make us better and deeper on defense."

"Sheldon has been a very good player for a long time and had one of the best seasons of his career last year with five interceptions. He stepped into the starting lineup by his third year and there were times when I felt he should have gone to the Pro Bowl. He is an extremely intelligent and physical player and his addition gives us a lot of flexibility in our secondary.

"Chris is a player who has started a lot of games over the last three years. I really feel as though he fits better into our 3-4 scheme than what he did into a 4-3. I believe that this move will give him a chance to show off a lot of the skills that allowed him to record more than 40 sacks in college. He is smart and fast, and like Sheldon and all of the players we've acquired this offseason, possesses the qualities that the Browns are looking for."

Originally drafted by Philadelphia in the second round (59th overall) of the 2002 draft, Brown has registered 478 tackles, 19 interceptions, seven sacks, 98 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his eight-year NFL career. In 2009, he started all 16 contests, posting 68 tackles, a career-high five interceptions, 17 passes defensed and one forced fumble.

A three-year starter at the University of South Carolina (1999-2001), Brown recorded 204 tackles and 10 interceptions during his collegiate career. As a senior, he earned All-Southeastern Conference honors and was a semi-finalist for the 2001 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's premier defensive back. Born on March 19, 1979, the 5-10, 200-pound Brown is a native of Fort Lawn, S.C.

The 26-year old Gocong was originally drafted by Philadelphia in the third round (71st overall) of the 2006 draft. He has appeared in 47 games with 35 starts after spending his entire rookie season on injured reserve. He has registered 183 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and recovered one fumble, while adding 39 tackles on special teams during his four-year NFL career.

The 6-2, 263-pound Gocong finished his career at Cal Poly SLO (2003-05) with 42 sacks in 41 games, while adding 206 tackles, one interception, six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He led the nation in sacks during both his junior and senior seasons, recording 17.5 in 2004 and 23.5 in 2005. As a senior, he earned the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in Division I-AA. Born on November 16, 1983, Gocong attended Carpinteria High School in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Hall joined the Browns as a seventh round selection (231st overall) in the 2008 draft. He appeared in 30 games with two starts totaling three sacks, while adding 18 special teams tackles.

Posted on Twitter at: 8:11:00 PM
Scout NFL Radio: Draft Edition: On Wednesday, April 7th, Scout.com's Chris Steuber hosts Scout NFL Radio from 6:30... http://bit.ly/aKR3z3

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 at 5:01:00 PM

The NFL Killed Our Draft Party

THe NFL this year is moving the draft to prime time, with the first round happening Thursday night, and the second and third rounds taking place Friday night. Must see TV.

I'm sure, for a lot of folks, the new draft set-up will just be dandy. TV revenue-crazed NFL owners, for instance, are sure to enjoy the new set-up.

The changes made this year are all about migrating the league's premier off-season event to a more profitable time slot for television. It's certainly within the league's rights to do so, and I have no doubt that fans will follow the TV broadcasts to their new time.

By the time Saturday rolls around, of course, the excitement is mostly over, and teams go about the tough business of searching for role or developmental players who might or might not have some sort of tangible impact in future years.

Tim Tebow? Long gone. C.J. Spiller? A memory. And so on.

Wiping out the intrigue of the first three rounds turns the Saturday selections from a thrill to something much less compelling. It's still of interest for us football die-hard, for sure, but there's not the excitement you get in the first round.

When we queried folks as to whether or not they would come up to Cleveland for a Draft Party, we did get some interest on the first two nights from folks in town, but scheduling at those times would leave out a huge portion of our audience, and some of the OBR's most loyal folks.

It might still work for media outlets whose audience is nearly entirely in town (radio and TV stations, etc), but for us, it's a weekend party-killer.

Since we no longer have the weekend for folks to drive in and watch the key selections in the draft with their friends, it looks like the NFL has wiped out our annual event.

We'll have to party extra hard at the start of training camp, I guess. I am confident our folks are up to it.

As for the NFL, I hope they enjoy the extra money. Money's great. I understand that gigantic wads of cash are a great insulation material for cold weather climates. Maybe the league's owners could buy bigger limos or something. Invest in a better quality of vodka for their party loges. Whatever. Live it up, guys.

Posted on Twitter at: 1:00:00 PM
RT @NFLONFOX Meet Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour in today's episode of Q's2B on FOXSports.com. http://j.mp/bMemSC

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 at 1:00:00 PM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for April 6th from 11:53 to 12:05:

  • Official Site - Top Browns Draft Classes-No. 17 - The following is the fourth of a 20-part series on the 20 best NFL Drafts in Browns history. Today, we look at No. 17 in our rankings, the 1966 draft.
  • News-Herald: How the McNabb trade affects the Browns - That could be bad for the Browns if they are serious about locking in on Eric Berry, the outstanding safety from Tennessee, with the seventh pick. It also means Clausen will be available for the Browns.
  • Official Site - Costanzo enjoys being back at work - The offseason does not last long in professional football.

    By the time the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl are complete in February, players have just a few weeks time to themselves before returning to their respective teams for strength and conditioning workouts.
  • DDN - Browns showing interest in speed receiver Mitchell - South Florida wide receiver Carlton Mitchell appears to be of interest to the Browns. He has risen up draft broads since his performances at the Scouting Combine and Pro Day. Mitchell's increasing value has elevated him to a Top 5 receiver prospect. He's currently projected as a late first-round to early second-round pick.
  • WKYC - Report: Browns' Rogers' loaded gun had bullet in chamber - A police report says a gun that Cleveland Browns player Shaun Rogers allegedly tried to carry through airport security was cocked with a bullet in the chamber.
  • Morning-Journal - QB guru Trestman a believer in Tebow's skills - One of his staunchest backers is Marc Trestman, the head coach of the defending Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League. Trestman spent part of the winter helping Tebow get the kinks out of his delivery.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 at 12:54:00 PM

So Now It's Jared Odrick?

I don't blame the Plain Dealer's Browns reporter, Tony Grossi, for suggesting that the Browns will take Penn State's Jared Odrick with the seventh selection in this year's draft.

After all, we had heard some of the same things, even though Odrick is generally thought to be someone who could fall into the second round, which makes the notion borderline goofy to see this late in the game. Odrick at #7 seems to be a heck of a reach.

Things are getting pretty confusing for those of us trying to work out the possible twists and turns that the draft might take on the way to the Browns' selection. For example, The acquisition of Sheldon Brown seems to make Joe Haden less likely, certainly. Unless, of course, it doesn't, because the team could still take Haden and just move Brown to safety.

While the Rams look set on Bradford, the Lions are hinting that they would love to trade down, the Redskins no longer seem likely to take Jimmy Clausen, and no one on Earth knows that the Chiefs will do after they took Tyson Jackson so high last year.

The only good news is that Millen no longer runs the Lions, so the odds that WR Dez Bryant will be taken second are down dramatically. We can at least assume that the Motor City Kitties will do something that borders on rational. Plus, the Raiders are behind the Browns, so we don't have to compensate for Al Davis being completely bonkers.

But it still leaves things a confused mess by the time the Browns pick.

In the last week, I've seen Derrick Morgan's name come up as he sneaks up the boards. Earl Thomas seems to be a consideration, although that would make it two safeties in the top ten, which we've been told is just beyond the imagination of mortal men and/or draft gurus.

Since I don't claim to be a draft expert, I'll just do what clueless sportswriters often do, and predict that what happens next year will be exactly what happened last year, with a small tweak. Last year, if you remember, we suggested frequently that the Browns might want to trade out of their spot if Aaron Curry wasn't available.

It's not too much of a stretch for me to think the same thing might happen again, with Eric Berry playing the Aaron Curry role. Even their names are similar. See? Deja vu. Which makes it inevitable, at least if we take the "pre-season predictions in any season preview magazine" approach.

So, it's a trade down if someone grabs the Tennessee safety. Teams want to trade up for Spiller? Fine, let's rock. Trade down a little, grab Odrick or McCoy, and have more picks to fill more of the team's gaping roster holes.

There will be lots of other ways to read the tea leaves between now and 4/22, and some sportswriter will pick every one of them, I'm sure. And we're all hoping that they're forgotten by 4/23.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on Tuesday, April 06, 2010 at 12:00:00 PM

OBR Newswire updates for April 5th through April 6th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for April 5th through April 6th:

Posted on Twitter at: 11:30:00 AM
Will the Browns Get Wild?: The acquisition of Seneca Wallace could mean interesting options for the Browns offense... http://bit.ly/bxBXyO

Posted on Twitter at: 9:30:00 AM
NFL Transaction Wire Blog (4/5-4/11): High-priced veterans are still being released and roster are still being res... http://bit.ly/btvD9J

Posted on Twitter at: 10:22:00 PM
(Subscriber) Taylor: Draft Smoke Beginning to Clear?: Per league insiders, the Browns draft direction is starting ... http://bit.ly/bIwB8Z

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