Faneca, Free Agents, and a Recent Draft

John Taylor, Lane Adkins and Brent Sobleski bring the 411 and answer key questions on the availability of OG Alan Faneca, the Browns' rookie free agent signing spree, new WR Carlton Mitchell and more...

Alan Faneca: A source close to the ex-Jets offensive lineman has informed theOBR that the Browns are one of approximately eight teams to have contacted his agent since his release. There is nothing imminent on that front as it pertains to the Browns. It was intimated that it was more exploratory than anything. - John Taylor

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Undrafted Free Agents: Here's a listing of undrafted free agents and rookie tryouts that we've collected over the last two days.

OL Casey Bender, South Dakota State (Steuber, confirmed)
LB Jon Dempsey, Louisville (per Twitter, unconfirmed)
TE Troy Wagner, Indiana (Taylor, confirmed)
OL Joel Reinders, Waterloo (press reports, confirmed)
WR Dion Morton, Colorado State (Twitter, unconfirmed)
DB Brad Jones, Cincinnati (Twitter, confirmed)
DE Austen English, Oklahoma, (press reports, confirmed)
P Jon Thoma, Ohio State (per Plain Dealer, OSU reporter)
DE Willie Walker, California (PA) (unconfirmed)
CB Chris Chancellor, Clemson (unconfirmed)
DB Justin Hannah, Tuskegee (per athletic conference)
LB Eryk Anders, Alabama (Taylor, confirmed)
OL Bradley Vierling (Vanderbilt, unconfirmed)
TE Ryan Moya, UCLA (tryout) (Taylor, confirmed)
PK Leigh Tiffin, Alabama (tryout) (Taylor, confirmed)
RB Tony Nelson, UMass (tryout) (school, confirmed)
WR A.J. Kegg, Hillsdale (confirmed)
DE Dan Howard, Texas Tech (confirmed, will work at LB)
OL Brennan McFadden (confirmed)
DE Scotty Robinson, ECU (unconfirmed)
WR Robby Parris (Notre Dame, confirmed)
DE James Develin (Brown, confirmed, tryout)

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Just Thinking: Sobo, care to offer some extensive commentary on Lauvao? I read one draft guide and it sounds like he plays in a phone booth. I'm thinking Rex Hadnot. :( So, how far away is this guy from contributing in a meaningful way and coming in, say, on 3rd and one and to replace Steinbach? Or to start? Tongan roots suggest he is tough. But, how athletic is he and what kind of player and role do you see him developing into?

Brent Sobleski: Depends on how the report was written in the guide.

If they're projecting him as a guard, yet scouting him based on his play at left tackle; then yes he is limited. But he would never have been in consideration as a tackle. And it shows he has enough athletic ability to more than hold his own playing the blindside in the Pac10 over the past season and a half.

When you look at him inside, his lateral movement shown at tackle shines through more. He shows the ability to get to the second level and is very strong at the point of attack. Remember a Rex Hadnot played center and then moved to guard in the NFL. He never had the ability to play tackle even at Houston. He does need to work on overall technique, handplay, etc. but that's common with most offensive linemen entering the league.

One interesting physical trait is that Lauvao also had arms as long or longer than Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Johnson, Jon Asamoah, and even Jared Veldheer. Each are a least an inch to almost 5 inches taller than the Arizona St. product. Three of those were drafted higher than Lauvao, and I had Johnson rated higher.

In fact, I kept hearing rumblings over the last couple months that he would be in that 3rd round mix. His play at times was receiving rave reviews. I personally thought he'd slide slightly, simply because that's what guards generally do. The top players at that position didn't this year, unlike some recent years.

Here in Cleveland, I expect him to be the eventual replacement for Eric Steinbach. Thicker, stronger, and more stout at the attack. But that won't be seen for a year or two. This year, he'll bounce back and forth providing depth at both guard spots.

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For those who were unaware or wondering, the Browns' rookie camp is set to commence next Thursday. Colt McCoy has been FedEx'd a portion of the playbook, and will be utilizing Skype on a daily basis to stay in touch with coordinator Brian Daboll on a daily basis until then. - John Taylor

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Just got off the phone with Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times, and he shared a few of tidbits on the Browns' new wide receiver, Carlton Mitchell:

-- First and foremost, he's a high-character guy with a tremendous work ethic. Had some "issues" his sophomore year -- too much time spent on a girlfriend -- but other than that, that part of the slate is squeaky clean. Auman stated on multiple occasions that he's a "good kid" who won't cause problems on or off the field.

-- If not for the firing of Jim Leavitt, he would've returned to the Bulls for his senior season. Most around the program thought he needed another year at the collegiate level to further refine his game.

-- The biggest issue he had on the field while in college was somewhat inconsistent hands. Obviously, he'll have to work on that at this level, but he'll put in the work to improve all facets in his game.

-- Extremely athletic with a great deal of upside.

-- One criticism of Mitchell's game is his inability to go over the middle, or the fact that -- despite his size -- he was tentative when going over the middle. According to Auman, Mitchell simply wasn't asked to do that at USF. He was almost strictly an outside-the-hash, vertical player in Leavitt's offense.

-- He still holds the school record in the 400 meters.

-- He has a pet lizard named "Izzy".

-- He is a big-time cartoon aficionado, with "Tom & Jerry" being his personal favorite. - John Taylor

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MCORF: McCoy vs. Quinn: How do they compare , arm strength,etc? Why should we get excited again?

Lane Adkins: McCoy has shown at the collegiate level to be a much more accurate QB, has greater athleticism and feel for the pocket and surroundings. Arm strength is close than many acknowledge. Many question whether he can throw the ball in Cleveland in the later months of the season, but while at Texas, you'd be surprised as to the wind conditions on occasion.

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BankOne: Peter King's MMQB says: "Cleveland (which traded up in desperation at 59 to get running back Montario Hardesty)". Do your sources say it was a desperation move?>

Brent Sobleski: FYI there were three teams at the end of round 2 who would have strongly considered Hardesty: New England, New Orleans, and as we saw the Jets.


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