Browns Using Mindtricks in Draft Strategy

Mike Holmgren has played this game before. 

The game is the same one played by politicians all over the country.  It’s the art of saying nothing while saying something. 

Holmgren makes it seem like if he could, he would take 20 players at the #6 spot in next month’s NFL draft.  He loves everybody.  Everybody can play.  They are all good, young men whom he would be proud to have wearing the uniform of the Cleveland Browns.

Because he loves everybody, he makes himself open as a trade partner for several teams who might want a player the Browns don’t really want, and are willing to give up extra draft picks in exchange.

Look, the Browns are committed to Colt McCoy at quarterback and really don’t have a lot of interest in Cam Newton.  However, if you are drafting at spots #7, #8, #9, or #10, and you think Cleveland wants him, you might trade up either to the Browns or ahead of them.

If the trade is with Cleveland, the brown and orange would get extra picks depending on how far the trade partner moved up.

If the trade is with another team to jump ahead of the Browns, then another player, perhaps a guy Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert really love, drops to the sixth selection.

Last year when early mock drafts came out, they had Cleveland selecting CB Joe Haden.  As time went on, other names started to go in and out of the Browns’ consciousness according to the experts. 

Guess who they wound up picking?

This year will be different because the early mock drafts all focused on the Browns need for wide receivers, and had them taking Georgia WR A. J. Green with their first pick. 

Later, mock drafts showed defensive players, mostly front seven people because that need is more urgent for a team switching from a 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 alignment. 

Heckert will probably stick it what he did in Philadelphia, which was draft defense on the first round and work on the offensive side of the ball afterwards. 

The Browns would love if either Texas A & M LB Von Miller or LSU CB Patrick Peterson would drop to them at #6. 

Either player would make an immediate impact to the defense and would also fill a need.

Miller can be the edge pass rusher Cleveland hasn’t had since, well, forever, or at least since Marty Schottenheimer decided he’d had enough of Chip Banks back in the 80’s.  Imagine how much better the secondary would look if opposing passers didn’t have all day to deliver the football.

Peterson would team with Haden to give the Browns a pair of shutdown cornerbacks, a necessity in today’s pass driven pro football.  Along with second year safety T. J. Ward and veteran Sheldon Brown, Cleveland would have one of the league’s best secondaries starting this fall.

When is the last time you could say that about a Browns defensive unit? 

Oh yeah, the last time Cleveland was one of the best teams in the NFL, in the late 80’s when Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield manned the corners at old Municipal Stadium. 

The Browns hierarchy knows what it wants to do in this draft, but they also like to use a little misdirection. 

As fans, just be careful that the actions of Holmgren and Heckert are designed to create doubt in the minds of other front offices. 

Otherwise, the guys who make up the mock drafts could just do the picking themselves.

JD

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