The Cleveland Browns season is over. We will spend a good amount of time reviewing the season but we will spend even more time preparing for the off-season. Browns 2015 NFL Draft seems ready to be a very interesting one for the team. With 10 picks, including two in the first round, the Browns are ready to make noise again for the second year in a row.
Instead the 2014 started off strong and ended with a thud. Last year the Browns draft included a big trade down and the drafting of Johnny Manziel. While the first round hasn’t panned out yet, the rest of the draft seems to be great. It is likely that GM Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine see a greater need for more veteran talent on a very young roster and we expect them to be aggressive in seeking to bring in that talent during Browns free agency.
After free agency we wouldn’t be surprised if the Browns tried to trade their picks to move up, to get another veteran or went with best player available instead of drafting for need. Farmer did this last year when he drafted Joel Bitonio, Terrance West, Christian Kirksey and others instead of drafting a wide receiver. We could see that again.
In preparation for such we will be taking a look at certain players that we think the Browns could target. Keep in mind we are not saying that these are players they are targeting, although some rumors may start to leak of the Browns having interest in them, instead these are players that we think the Browns could or should have interest in. Our profile will try to include as much information as possible to prepare you for the NFL Draft.
6’1”, 215 pounds
2014 – 14 games; 343 rushes, 2,587 yards, 29 rushing touchdowns, 3 receiving touchdowns
2015 NFL Draft Range
1st Round – Where to begin with Gordon?
In 2014, Gordon:
- Rushed for the second-most yards ever in FBS history — behind only Barry Sanders
- Won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back
- Was first team All-American and first team Big 10
“Tall, leggy running back with shredded physique. Transitions run from inside to outside without losing any speed. Can cover five yards in two strides when fully unlocked in open field. Impressive 20-yard burst, creating space to hit the big runs. Averaged 7.6 yards per carry over last two seasons. Had 40 runs for 15-plus yards in 2014. Shifty in open field without having to hesitate. Uses jump-cut at line of scrimmage to change gaps and avoid tacklers. Has an effective spin move to make defenders miss in open field. Great agility and plus balance hurdling opponents diving at his legs. Feet keep moving in tight spaces, probing for daylight. Able to consistently beat college defenders to flank. Loves to run over the tackles. Shows ability to create for himself and has burst and agility to turn small gain into big one. Improved as a pass-catcher over second half of the 2014 season.” – NFL.com
You want more?
- Rushed for 408 yards against Nebraska
- Had 12 100-yard rushing games, a school record
- Had six 200-yard rushing games, a school record
- Led the nation with 29 rushing touchdowns
“Athletically, Gordon is loaded with juice and possesses movement skills similar to the likes of Jamal Charles. He has the kind of rare, effortless speed that makes everyone around him seem like they’re moving in slow motion. His feet are quick enough, and he has loose hips and (+) overall wiggle. While he’s not the kind of COD runner who can stop on a dime, he doesn’t require many steps when cutting against the grain. He’s the most dangerous outside runner in this class; He has elite next-level speed and will be able to take it to the house from anywhere on the field. His ability to patiently wait for the blocks to develop in front of him, combined with his elite, rare explosive first step when the running lane develops, suggests a lot of big plays next fall.” — draftbreakdown.com
OK, let’s take a deep breath for a moment and turn the clock back to 2012, when there was big-name running back who was supposed to be the next big thing in the NFL.
“I’ve been banging my head for two months that the Browns needed to draft Trent Richardson. … They’re saying this kid is so special, not only do we believe in him at four, but we’re going to give away an extra pick to get a running back in the big-boy division. You play the Steelers, Ravens, Bengals – bad weather, sloppy fields. What does this kid do for you? He keeps you in the game, he shortens the game and he gives you a chance to win in the fourth quarter.” – Mike Mayock, NFL Network
How’d that pick work out, Browns fans?
Browns Player Selection Could Impact
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- Kareem Hunt: Deshaun Watson situation ‘definitely stressful’ for Browns
- 3 Cleveland Browns who will benefit from offseason changes
- Cleveland Browns unique and special running back room
- Daily Dawg Tags: Could a Deshaun Watson suspension be delayed?
- Cleveland Browns mailbag: What to expect from young players
How Selection Could Be Impacted By Free Agency
Not at all. The only move the Browns made in free agency at running back was to resign Draughn, who is more of a special teams contributor than a threat in the backfield.
Low – This is where it gets interesting. Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell combined to rush for more than 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns as rookies in 2014, numbers that look even better when you take into consideration that they didn’t always know what they were doing on every play.
It’s not a reach to say that West and Crowell should improve — or at least not regress — during their second season this fall, meaning the Browns don’t need to worry about drafting a running back until the later rounds — if at all.
But the Browns brought Gordon to town for a pre-draft visit, and are also reportedly doing the same with Georgia running back Todd Gurley, so perhaps Farmer does not share our confidence in the current group of running backs on the roster.
Do you think the Browns should draft Melvin Gordon if he is available?