No More Second Guessing ?


Posted Apr 24, 2005


Go ahead. Second guess the selection of Braylon Edwards with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft.

 

Question the decision to avoid filling a position of need by grabbing Brodney Pool in round two.

Don't fall for the sentimentality of keeping Charlie Frye in northeast Ohio with a third-round pick.

After all, nitpicking and gripping over a draft has developed into a favorite spring pastime for most Cleveland Browns fans.

Why should that change just because the team is under new management.

But even if you choose to disagree with every pick the Browns made on day one of the draft, Saturday had to be at least a little bit satisfying for every fan who was frustrated by the arrogance and lack of direction that stained the four-year Butch Davis regime.

For the first time in the new millennium, the new Browns seem to have a plan.

And even more amazing, their leadership appears to be willing to follow that plan.

Remember Davis's first draft in Cleveland? After working with his entire scouting staff to build a consensus to draft Richard Seymour with the third overall pick of 2001, Davis drove home, jumped into bed and dreamed of reasons to overrule that agreement.

He returned to Berea the next day and announced to a stunned war room that his Browns were going to take Gerard Warren. We all know how that turned out. Seymour is a four-time, Pro Bowl defensive tackle. Warren has been exiled to Denver with the rest of the Browns underachieving former defensive linemen.

All egos were checked at the War Room door this weekend. There were no power plays by a head coach hungry for control of every decision.

Instead, Romeo Crennel arrived for his first draft as a head coach eager to learn from Phil Savage - a first-year general manager who brought what he calls a "tried-and-true" blueprint for draft-day success from his last job in Baltimore.

For Crennel, this was his first opportunity to sit in on all pre-draft meetings, read scouting reports on both offensive and defensive players, and have his opinion sought after by front-office personnel. He wasn't about to abuse his new position.

He actually had a wide-eyed look Saturday afternoon when he called the selection of Edwards, "an educational experience."

For his part, Savage promised not to be tempted to compromise his theory of taking the best player available whenever possible. With Savage, there would be no "reach" for a player just because his ego needed to be massaged by chasing a hunch.

If for no other reason, Browns fans can enjoy this draft for the fact that their team is finally being managed by people who are willing to work together to implement a plan.

Whether or not that plan will work as well in Cleveland as it did in Baltimore is something for the future to judge. But for now, at least one pro scouting service thinks the Browns did pretty well Saturday with Savage's philosophy of drafting the best player available.

If you believe "Ourlads" 2005 rankings, the Browns landed the draft's best wide receiver in Edwards, best safety in Pool and best quarterback in Frye.

For a team that "isn't looking for home runs, just a few solid base hits," as Savage put it, that's not a bad start.


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Cleveland Takes Edwards with the No. 3 Pick
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 -by theOBR.com  Apr 24, 2005

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C Romeo Crennel (profile)
WR Braylon Edwards (profile)
QB Charlie Frye (profile)
S Brodney Pool (profile)
GM Phil Savage (profile)
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