Holmgren, Heckert Talk Draft

The Browns new grand poobahs addressed the media a week ahead of the draft, and Fred Greetham was there to catch all the little clues Holmgren & Heckert may or may not have tossed out to the starving masses...

BEREA—Draft days for Browns fans have been the big day the past decade.

Unfortunately, things haven't worked out the best. A list of the Browns first round draft choices was handed out since the team returned in 1999.

The list goes from Tim Couch to Alex Mack, sprinkled in with Joe Thomas, Brady Quinn, Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren and William Green. Mack and Thomas are the only two players still with the team.

"I remember the first time I saw (the list) about a month ago," Holmgren said. "It's telling. Usually, the only decision you have to make with those guys is contractually. It's not a good list."

Holmgren admits one of the reasons he is here is because of the draft woes.

"I hope that 10 years from now, you look at the list and it will be said that's why those guys are here," he said. "I just hope we can live up to expectations.

"I do not want to let the fans down."

Holmgren says he is confident he and Tom Heckert  can get it right.

"We have a formula and have had a successful history and we're confident in what we're doing."

Holmgren said that Heckert will be making the calls. Last year, coach Eric Mangini was making the calls.

"It's (Heckert's) show, he's going to be running the draft," Holmgren said. "With questions regarding the draft, I will kick it to Tom."

The first question was about quarterback Jimmy Clausen and Holmgren said he now likes Clausen after meeting him.

"He's a fine young guy and I wouldn't read too much into my earlier comments," he said. "I like him. He was playing hurt for a lot of the year. I always like to meet any of the players because it helps me to evaluate him. He is what he is."

Holmgren was quoted prior to the Browns meeting with Clausen that he didn't particularly like him.

"Don't yell at me, and I'm not going to say why I said what I did," he said. "I had my reasons and I'll leave it at that."

"There's stuff being said about all of these kids," Heckert said. "You have to meet with them individually and make your own evaluations."

Also, Holmgren earlier said the Browns would take a quarterback.

"There are no guarantees in the draft, so I'm back tracking a little," he said. "I've said I'd like to draft a quarterback every year, but I don't know if that will happen. There are some quarterbacks that we like, but we don't know if they'll be available for us."

Heckert said the Browns have talked to the Rams about possible going up and taking Sam Bradford.

"We've talked to the Rams throughout the process, but it's just talk," Heckert said. "We've talked to all the teams ahead of us and behind us." 

Holmgren and Heckert said the cost to go after Bradford might be too prohibitive.

"I don't think that will make a break our draft (if we don't get him)," Heckert said.

"He's a coveted young man," Holmgren said. "You'd have to mortgage the draft because a lot of people like him."

The pair said the Browns could go in a lot of different directions.

"We were 31st on defense last year and I think 31st on offense," Holmgren said. "That's where you get into the discussion of getting the best player. As the board sets up for us right now we have a chance to get some really good football players on either side of the ball. You'll have to tune in Thursday night."

Holmgren did say the Browns might be able to go get a guy they really like because of the 10 draft choices they have.

"If we covet someone, we have some ammunition to go get him," Holmgren said.

Here are some questions and their answers during the briefing.

Q: What about the receiver class?:

Heckert: To be honest with you, it's not a great group. We're not going to force it."

Q: How many players do you evaluate having first round value and the odds of trading down?

Heckert: Every pick you drop down, you get a lesser value. We have 24 players with a first-round value. We're not going to trade down, just to trade down.

Q: Thoughts on C.J. Spiller.

Heckert: Obviously, he has great speed. He's going to be a great player.

Q: Do you need a running back?

Holmgren: Jerome proved a lot at the end of last season, but we need to get the pile a little deeper at that position."

Comments on Shaun Rogers:

Holmgren: We made a statement at the time and I'm going to stick with that until the process plays out. I talked to Shaun and he felt bad about it. It wasn't intentional and he clearly made a mistake, but we'll deal with those decisions in the future.

Q: Evaluate Eric Berry and Earl Thomas:

Heckert: I'm not going to answer that (in terms of who we like better). They both can cover. They both can run and are very good players. Safety is a position of need and where that process falls. That might not be a top,top need. Both of those guys are safeties that can play in the slot. They both have cover skills.

Q: Do you take the best player or need?:

Heckert: If you have guys graded similarly, you'll take the position of need.

Holmgren: Something we've talked about is you have to be careful about reaching .

Q: What have you learned over the years drafting?:

Heckert: The biggest thing I've learned is the need thing. Everybody talks about not doing it, but it's done. You get into trouble reaching.

Q: Thoughts on Colt McCoy.

Holmgren:  He clearly cares and stacks up very well. Having a rocket for a arm isn't mandatory, but he falls somewhere in the middle. We like him.

Q: Thoughts on Dez Bryant and the character issue.

Holmgren: Character for this football team is going to be important. I'm not just talking about Dez, but that will be part of the process. Having said that, you have young people that something happens to them. We're not taking anyone off the board, right now. Sometime, closer to the draft, we'll have those discussions.

Q: Was Bryant's visit canceled?

Heckert: That's not true. 

Q: What do you think the difference of this year's draft will be over three days?

Heckert: There will probably be more phone calls because you'll have more time to call people.

Holmgren: It won't be the normal way of doing things. You have to do your homework beforehand.

Q: Is there any player other than Sam Bradford the Browns would trade up to get?

Holmgren: You never say never. We'll listen, but we like what we have.

Heckert: We have five picks in the first three rounds and think with the guys we've targeted, they can come in here and contribute right away."

Q: Do you expect to make many trades?

Holmgren: If there's a special player you risk losing, you go do it. But just do it to maintain our history doesn't make sense.


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