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News » At first glance, talent, questions left on the board


At first glance, talent, questions left on the board


At first glance, talent, questions left on the board
How Belichickian of Eric Mangini to treat being on the clock like it's an afternoon of speed dating.


Trading down is good theory for a team with a shortage of draft picks. In practice, though, success hinges on something other than accumulating a few more phone numbers than you had when starting the day.

It's hard to argue against the strategy, as an ex-president once called it. But the payoff?

The kindest first impression on that front is to wait for the second impression.

That'll happen when a team thought to be in the market to trade Braylon Edwards doesn't get that deal done, drafts two wide receivers anyway and a defensive end from Hawaii in the second round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

The Browns also bartered the No. 5 overall pick for a starting center, two sixth-round picks, another hangar of ex-Jets and a partridge in a pear tree.

So, why doesn't this feel like Christmas?

In small part because a draft in which the Browns were situated to land a big-time playmaker on defense ended with the lesser-known David Veikune as the only defensive player taken. Yes, that David Veikune - a one-year starter at Hawaii who played as a defensive end and is a projection at outside linebacker.

Veikune came with the second-round pick the Jets gave up to move from No. 17 to the Browns' spot at No. 5 so they could draft USC quarterback Mark Sanchez.

With the extra second-round pick the Browns got in the Kellen Winslow Jr. trade, they drafted Georgia wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.

Ohio State wide receiver Brian Robiskie, the Browns' first pick in the second round, is appreciated for his smarts and polish and is doubted because of his speed. At wide receiver, you could easily live with it being the other way around.

Taking a center in the first round of any draft, as the Browns did in choosing Cal's Alex Mack, is destined to draw yawns as wide as the gulf between Mangini and Bill Belichick became after Spygate.

Popular opinion isn't a measure of value, though. The Browns have a need there and Mack can play guard, too.

quot;When you have a young offensive lineman with inside versatility, you gotta go get him,quot; General Manager George Kokinis said.

Mangini's first draft as Browns head coach was as much about the players the Browns passed on at the top of the draft.

Sanchez, nose tackle B.J. Raji, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, pass-rush specialist Brian Orakpo, USC linebackers Rey Maualuga, Clay Matthews III, Brian Cushing and Beanie Wells to name eight.

The fact that you might think you'd rather get the best center available in an NBA draft rather than in an NFL draft doesn't mean Mangini sees it that way. His first draft with the Jets landed Ohio State center Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson in the first round, though some considered Mangold the top center prospect in a decade.

Mangini and Kokinis must have felt more comfortable drafting offense early Saturday after getting former Jets safety Abram Elam and defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman (along with quarterback Brett Ratliff) in the Sanchez barter. Elam should start. So could Coleman.

Browns owner Randy Lerner hopes to approach the Belichick-Scott Pioli partnership with Mangini and Kokinis. After the Phil Savage-Romeo Crennel tandem pulled in different directions, being on the same page surely has its benefits. But more important is being on the right page.

Saturday, that wasn't readily apparent.

To reach Bud Shaw:

bshaw@plaind.com, 216-999-5639



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

Mike Nugent Name: Mike Nugent
#1
Position: PK
Age: 26
Experience: 4 years
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