By Bernie Kosar, Special Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com
Here are some highlights from my latest appearance on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”:
>With the draft now only a couple of weeks away, so much of the focus continues to be on the obvious names – on the players expected to be taken in the first three, four, five, or six picks.
You don’t need to all that much research to know about Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III or Matt Kalil or Trent Richardson or Justin Blackmon or Morris Claiborne. We’ve been hearing and talking about those guys for months.
Where I think a lot of energy that needs to be invested is when you start looking at the depth of certain positions.
So, after Trent Richardson is off the board, how much depth of top-tier, first-, second-, or third-round-type running backs is available? How many other top-tier receivers — potential play-making receivers — are there in the first, second, or third round?
For instance, Mike Wallace, the standout receiver for the Steelers, was a third-round pick from Mississippi in 2009. I think just about any NFL team would be happy with Mike Wallace being one of their draft picks.
So even though a lot of fans and media are focused on those players who are candidates for, in the case of the Browns, the No. 4 pick overall, you can do even more to help yourself as a team by really looking at the depth of certain positions you’re looking to address. And you say, “Hey, maybe I don’t take the running back or the receiver in the first round or the second round, but I may be able to get another other guy at the position later to kind of help fill in my roster.” I think a lot of that thinking goes into draft preparation.
>There’s a fantastic/humbling article that Terry Pluto wrote for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer over the weekend that looked the history of the fourth and 22nd overall picks of the draft.
The fourth pick has been used on players such as A.J. Green, the receiver who had a strong rookie season for Cincinnati last year. It also has been used on players such as Aaron Curry, a so-called “can’t-miss” linebacker who went to Seattle and then got traded to Oakland for basically nothing. Even somewhat scarier was the history of the 22nd pick.
What that article really shows me is that, sometimes, having quantity — as the Browns do with 13 picks — is probably the surest way to success in the draft. Because the best pickers, drafters that are Hall-of-Fame material, really don’t even bat 50 percent in drafting guys in the first few rounds. Not even 50 percent.
Yeah, you could say A.J. Green worked out well, but for every A.J. Green, there’s an Aaron Curry. So, sometimes, having the extra picks gives you a little luxury because everybody makes mistakes, and being able to just kind of limit your exposure, limit your mistakes, is really imperative.
Be sure to catch Bernie Kosar’s regular appearances with Vic Carucci on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” Monday through Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET, live on ESPN 850 WKNR and ClevelandBrowns.com
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