Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Browns think defense, touchdowns

The Browns went back to work on the defensive line in the second round, selecting Pitt’s Jabaal Sheard with their first pick of the night.

According to Sports Illustrated, “Sheard has quietly been one of the better pass rushers in college football the past three seasons and is a defender who continually makes plays behind the line of scrimmage. He’s displayed constant improvement on the field and should be very productive as a one-gap end at the next level.”

Sheard stepped up for the Panthers last year after fellow lineman Greg Romeus went down with an injury, earning Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors with 14.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks and four forced fumbles.

“I’m aggressive. I know how to get to the quarterback. And I’m a hard worker,” Sheard said on a conference call. “I’m always thinking of getting to the quarterback. I want to make that hit that makes the crowd go ‘Ooooo.’ That’s the guy I want to be. I want the kind of feedback from guys saying, “I never want to play against you again.'”

There was also this little thing where he was arrested last summer for allegedly throwing a man through a glass door of an art gallery.

Hey, who didn’t do that when in college?

Sheard will join a the defensive line with first-round pick Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin. According to Ourlads.com (from Terry Pluto), in a 4-3 defense you can put Taylor “over the center and that would make their life miserable. He is intimidating.”

The Browns have made us miserable for years; it’s about time they start getting players who can make the other team miserable.

We imagine the offensive line coaches in Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati are already sweating about facing these guys twice a year.

With their second pick in the second round (the one they got from Atlanta) the Browns finally started thinking touchdowns, taking North Carolina wide receiver Greg Little – who didn’t play last season after being suspended by the NCAA.

Little is a former running back who switched to wide receiver his sophomore year. He caught 62 passes for 724 yards and five touchdowns his junior year.

According to Sports Illustrated, Little is a relatively athletic receiver who does the little things well on the field. Sells routes, comes back to the ball out of breaks, and plays with good quickness. Possesses good eye/hand coordination, effectively looks the ball in, and makes the reception in stride. But he lacks a burst and a second gear. He possesses the tools and pass catching skills necessary to be a number two receiver on the NFL level.”

“I think to me, to be accepted as a second round draft pick, while just playing the position completely one full year, I think the sky’s the limit for me right now.” Little said on a conference call. “Honestly, I think I have so much upside to wide receiver, not having played the position but one complete year. I’m just ready to get back at it.”

Overall the Browns did some solid work in the first two rounds. Maybe they didn’t come away with anyone spectacular, but they picked up three players that should be on the field next season. And they have six more picks left in rounds 4-7.

Most importantly, by adding Taylor and Sheard to the defense, the Browns now have five key players who are 24 or younger on the defensive side of the ball – the two draft picks, Rubin, Joe Haden and T.J. Ward.

And that definitely is a good thing.

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