The 2020 NFL draft is officially in the books. What did we learn about Cleveland Browns’ general manager Andrew Berry?
Andrew Berry’s tenure as general manager of the Cleveland Browns began earlier this year on January 27th. Now that Berry has navigated his way through the initial wave of free agency as well as his first draft as a general manager, we have a measurable sample size of who Berry is and what his football sensibilities are.
It’s natural to want to put a person in a certain category and then judge him based on the general consensus of how they were categorized. When Berry was hired, the buzz word that went through the Twittersphere was “analytics”. Being labeled an analytical guy was mostly due to his association with Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta from when Berry was with the Browns as the vice president of player personnel from 2016 through 2018.
Some held this against Berry without even properly understanding what being analytical means in regards to football. Analytics is defined as the science of logical analysis. This is generally performed by analyzing data, primarily through: statistics, measurables, and patterns to determine projections. Basically, all it means is, you are using all the information that is available to you to properly come to a decision, aka common sense.
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But Berry doesn’t fit neatly into any box. Although he utilizes analytics, by his own admission he runs a scouting based organization. Berry himself started out as a scout for the Indianapolis Colts under Bill Polian.
This gives him a foot in both worlds of being a football guy and being an analytical guy. This is the perfect combination for the youngest general manager in the NFL.
What have we learned about Berry so far in his tenure as general manager of the Browns? First, Berry sees the Browns as being closer to a contender than a team rebuilding, as is evident by his moves in free agency. Adding players like Jack Conklin and Austin Hooper signifies a team that is putting some finishing touches on an already solid foundation. Berry is not concerned with the foundation being from his own doing, a trait not common amongst newly appointed general managers.
Then Berry went through his first draft at the helm with a steady hand and did not waiver from his strategy. He obviously covets schematic value as a deciding factor. All the players’ Berry selected fit what the Browns are trying to do schematically while at the same time demonstrating excellent value for where they were drafted. Most of the team’s needs were addressed without reaching for any prospects, and by doing so Berry was able to collect extra picks in the process.
It is next to impossible to place a permanent grade on a draft until three or four years down the line, but by all accounts, Berry knocked his first out of the park. Other general managers will take note of how the 32-year old handled himself.
Browns fans can take solace in knowing that Andrew Berry is running the Browns like a top-flight organization. Just because it is a new and different approach does not mean we should fear it. Embrace Berry Browns’ nation, he’s the genuine article.