Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Browns fill some more holes

We’re not going to pretend that we know much (or anything) about the five players the Browns selected in the final day of the NFL Draft.

We do think the Browns did well, however, as they filled some more needs on the team, although we would have liked to have seen them draft an offensive linemen before the fifth round.

“We picked the best player available at the time at a position without reaching,” team president Mike Holmgren told The Plain Dealer. “That’s the key to a draft. If you can be solid year after year – I don’t think spectacular, but solid year after year – this is a solid way to do it. Then if you hit a spectacular pick, fine. But that’s the way to build a team.”

There’s no way of knowing if any of these guys will actually see the field this fall (or whenever we have football again) but they help the team’s depth, so it is all good.

Here’s what we do know, thanks to Sports Illustrated:

Tight end Jordan Cameron: “After a nondescript college career, Cameron displayed a lot of skill during the week of practices at the Shrine Game and turned in a terrific combine workout. He offers a great amount of potential and could develop into a starting tight end as he learns the position and improves his game.”

“I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m willing to do so and I’m excited about my future in this league,” Cameron said. “I could add some weight. I’ve got a skinny frame and could get up to 260 and still be able to move pretty well.”

Cameron does have this going for him as well.,

Fullback Owen Marecic is a “throwback who played two ways as a senior and gets the most from his ability. He’s a hard-nosed football player who may never be a star but will help an NFL roster in a variety of ways.”

“I always try to train to be a football player, but fullback may be the place I fit at home best,” Marecic said. “I’m very, very excited to be a Cleveland Brown.”

Cornerback Buster Skrine is a “terrific athlete with elite speed and a great amount of upside. Still developing at the position, Skrine would be most effective in a system that uses him backed off the line of scrimmage. Should be able to contribute as a nickel or dime back during his rookie season and also be given an opportunity to return kicks.”

“Even though I’m undersized, I’m a tough corner,” Skrine said. “I play bigger than my height; I cover well and I’m coachable, which helps me a lot. I just play bigger than what I am. The size thing really doesn’t get to me. I see myself as a player, just like any other player on the field. I go out there, play my game and try to play better than everyone else out there.

Offensive tackle Jason Pinkston “has been a productive blind side protector for Pittsburgh since his sophomore season and has enough skill to play the left tackle position in the NFL. He may move into guard based on his size, but he offers the ability to play in a conventional offense or in a zone blocking system.”

“I’m a hard worker,” Pinkston said. “I love football; it’s my life. I love running the football; I love drive-blocking people. Whatever I can do to help the team win, I’m going to do it.”

Safety Eric Hagg “is a cognizant defender who consistently positions himself to make plays on the ball. He was very productive on the college level and would do well in a zone system at the next level, although his poor speed and limited quickness will be issues.”

So there we are. The Browns ended up drafting four offensive and four defensive players. They seem to have added to the toughness of the team, something that is important when you play in the AFC North.

Their first three picks – Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard and Greg Little should all see game action from Week 1 – or whenever we finally have football. The rest, who knows? We can certainly see where they could be contributors on special teams.

“Obviously, we helped our defensive line, which was a concern,” general manager Tom Heckert said. “But we just think we got good football players that will come in and help us.”

Overall we’re comfortable with the draft the Browns had. Plus they still have a second first round pick sitting in their pocket for next year.

Not a bad three days. Not bad at all.

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