The team’s quiet approach to free agency hasn’t helped, with four key players walking out the door an exodus that only turned up the heat on a newfangled front office led by executive VP of football operations Sashi Brown and former MLB executive Paul DePodesta.

The DePodesta hire caused plenty of heads to turn as general managers and scouts around the league asked what the Browns were doing hiring a baseball guy. Speaking Friday at MIT’s Cheap Jerseys
Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, DePodesta said he overheard NFL team officials ripping him and the Browns at the airport after last month’s Scouting Combine.

“I was standing right in front of them in line and I could hear them in back of me and they were talking trash about me and the Cleveland Browns jersey cheap,” DePodesta said Friday at MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, per Baseball America. “I said, ‘All right, this is like 17 years ago in Oakland all over again.’ That’s part of the fun.”

DePodesta’s handiwork with the Oakland Athletics, Dodgers and most recently the Mets makes him a well known face in baseball circles. Not so much in the NFL.

The pressure will only expand from here, with the Browns staring down another potentially dismal season on the field. The addition of coach Hue Jackson helps, but the key for DePodesta in Cleveland is a willingness to see this rebuilding project through. It’s likely to get worse before it gets better, but that’s something DePodesta is prepared for:

“When I was going to the Browns,” DePodesta said, “I had met with the ownership, Jimmy and Dee Haslam, and they asked me, ‘What do you want out of an owner?’ And I said, ‘Well, I’ll tell you what I don’t want.’ I said, ‘If you ever take your kids to an amusement park at Disneyland or whatever, they beg you to go on the big daddy roller coaster. They beg you. You say, ‘Are you sure?’ nfl jerseys from China
They say, ‘Absolutely, I want to go on this thing.’ So you wait in line for 45 minutes, it takes up a good chunk of your day, you finally get to the front of the line, they eyeball it, and they say, ‘Uh, I’m not getting on that thing. Not at all.’

Said DePodesta: “And that’s what happens to a lot of owners. They would say, ‘Hey, we want ‘Moneyball,’ we want this disciplined approach to what we’re doing.’ But then when it comes time to making that hard decision, they say, ‘I don TMt want any part of this.’ I said, ‘I need someone who’s going to want to get on the roller coaster with me knowing that it’s not always going to be fun. There are going to be parts of the roller coaster that are going to be scary, that are going to be uncomfortable, but hopefully at the end of the ride when we get off, you’re going to want to say, let’s do that again.’ But I think that’s how we always got through it, was having that shared vision from the beginning and giving you the conviction to actually go through with it.”



I know Sessler, the Browns fan, has been burned many times by Roethlisberger, but I have a hard time putting him ahead of Ryan at this stage.

Matty Ice (horrible nickname) is coming off an MVP level season for a 13 3 team. He finally won a playoff game, too, and played well in the NFC Championship loss to the Niners. The Steelers were a .500 team and Roethlisberger got beat up some more, which has become a recurring theme.

I went with Roethlisberger not because he’s torched my Browns time and again (who hasn’t?) but because it’s impossible to count out the Steelers when he’s on the field. An 8 8 season is a disaster in Pittsburgh, and that’s telling and a credit to their quarterback. Big Ben wins games and he’ll do that again in 2013.

Gregg might have a point: I fell hard for the young guns, but after what they accomplished last season, I’m not sold on a group wide regression. Griffin and Wilson brought outstanding fundamentals to the NFL and Luck might ultimately be the best of them all. On Romo: I don’t lash him for the problems in Dallas, but how much higher should he be?

GR: I think Romo is far better than Wholesale NFL Jerseys
people think, yet No. 14 is not that crazy. That’s how deep the quarterback position is in 2013. The second highest paid quarterback and Super Bowl MVP is ranked No. 13 and we haven’t argued much about him. (Although I expect Marc to get plenty of feedback here.)

The elephant in the room is Robert Griffin III jersey cheap’s ACL. We’re all just assuming that a second year pro that uses his fantastic speed is not only going to be the same, but get better?

DH: I’m cool with Griffin in the top 10. We continue to get positive reports on his recovery QUASI JUMPING JACKS, PEOPLE so I’ll just continue to work under the impression he’ll be healthy and effective by September. My bigger concern is what RG3 will look like by age 30, but no sense getting ahead of ourselves.

At the bottom of the list, Marc has a typo that needs fixing. Blaine Gabbert jersey cheap is ahead of someone. Make sure you take care of that in edit.

But seriously, I can only assume putting Sanchez behind Gabbert was for shock value. Sanchez has played four seasons, been a part of two deep playoff runs and had a combined 32 touchdowns in a season as recently as 2011. Last year was a dumpster fire, but one dreadful season puts him behind one of the worst QB draft busts of all time? Puh leeze.

MS: How telling it is, Dan, that your biggest issue with Sanchez is that he’s below Gabbert versus even attempting to argue him into the top 30. If both players were cut free, I believe just as many teams would pursue Gabbert, thinking they could fix him.

Sanchez was ranked by ProFootballFocus last season as 37th out of 38 qualifying passers. During that 2011 campaign you mentioned, PFF cheap nfl jerseys
again ranked him 37th out of 38 QBs. That’s the back to back performance that concerns me. Sanchez went south as soon as the Jets asked him to throw the football, and those playoff seasons are ancient history.



Now it’s on to Day 3, where chances can be taken on players. There are still quite a few good ones left. Here are nine I’d target early (with their original overall ranking in parenthesis):

1. Devontae Booker jersey cheap (53), RB, Utah: Providing the medical reports on his knee are OK, Booker could become the fifth running back taken in this draft. He’s a guy I’d take a chance on because he’s very explosive and catches the ball well out of the backfield. Take a look at his 2014 season before the injury for evidence.

2. Zack Sanchez (67), CB, Oklahoma: I tried my best to talk Sanchez into staying in school for his senior season. I thought it was in his best interest to stay at Oklahoma and build up his frail body. There’s no doubt, he has the talent and was productive in college, but I wonder how he’ll hold up in the NFL. It might take him a year in the weight room.

3. Christian Westerman (74), OG, Arizona State: He’s got very good size (6 3 1/8, 298) and speed (sub 5.2) for a guard. Strong (34 reps) and technically sound. Could probably also play center.

4. Hassan Ridgeway (76), DT, Texas: If I had the first pick on Saturday, I’d use it on Ridgeway. He’s big, strong and fast, but will need to find a team that can motivate him. It was a problem at Texas, and probably a reason he’s still available.

5. Kenneth Dixon jersey cheap (80), RB, Louisiana Tech: Had a very good week at the Senior Bowl. He’s big, strong and quick. His production was off the charts at Louisiana Tech. I think he could play on all three downs in the NFL.

6. Dak Prescott jersey cheap (81), QB, Mississippi State: Wholesale Jerseys
Prescott is a double threat quarterback who is coming out of a Tim Tebow system and needs work with his accuracy. I think with pro coaching that part of his game will improve. He exhibits enough tools to warrant strong consideration early on Day 3. I would take him over Connor Cook jersey cheap in a heartbeat.

7. Miles Killebrew (82), S, Southern Utah Killebrew reminds me a lot of Sabby Piscitelli, the Oregon State safety who was drafted by Tampa Bay in the second round in 2007 and played in the league for five years before turning to professional wrestling. Killebrew has similar size and speed and plays with intensity. He’s a box safety that will immediately help on special teams.

8. Joshua Perry (89), ILB, Ohio State: The Buckeyes had a record 10 players drafted in the first three rounds, two more than the previous mark held by Tennessee (2000). That number will rise on Saturday and Perry should be the next to go. He is a Seahawks type linebacker if I ever saw one, but Seattle’s next pick isn’t until the back end of the fifth round a spot long after Perry is likely gone.

9. Vadal Alexander (94), OG, LSU: Remember Gabe Jackson jersey cheap, the Mississippi State lineman who went to Oakland in Round 3 a few wholesale nfl jerseys
years ago and turned into one of the best guards in the league? Alexander reminds me of him. He has slow straight line speed but doesn’t play slow. He’s a strong, fundamentally sound football player.



Amari Cooper jersey cheap, WR, Alabama

Cooper is the complete package. He’s a polished player and a mature route runner. I think he could flourish early in almost any situation, but I have him landing with the Oakland Raiders jersey cheap at No. 4 in my latest mock draft. He will get plenty of opportunities to make plays if he lands there as an immediate top target for second year QB Derek Carr jersey cheap. Carr will want to rely on Cooper, and big numbers for the former Crimson Tide star could follow, but the same outcome could be in store for Cooper even if he is paired elsewhere with a veteran QB.

I’m on record as someone who believes Dupree will be a better pro than college player, and it might not take him long to make waves in the NFL. He’s not the top rated edge rusher in this draft, but maybe that plays to his advantage in that he goes a little later in the draft than the other highly touted guys and lands with a team that’s in better position to succeed in 2015. I have him going to the New Orleans Saints jersey cheap at No. 13 in my latest mock draft. It would be a lot of fun to see defensive coordinator Rob Ryan turn Dupree loose.

Quinten Rollins jersey cheap jersey cheap, DB, Miami (Ohio)

Yes, this is the darkhorse pick of the group, but I can envision Rollins quickly earning star status. It would be one of the season’s great surprises to see him go straight to the Pro Bowl, and he has the ball skills to come in and make a big impact right off the bat. Rollins is most likely a second round pick, and he played only one season of college football after four years as a starter for the basketball team. He made seven interceptions in 2014 on his way to earning MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. With the right team, he could start racking up takeaways. What if he goes down the same path as Jairus Byrd jersey cheap jersey cheap, a second round pick in 2009 who was not just wholesale Ezekiel Elliott jersey
a Pro Bowler, but an All Pro after making nine picks as a rookie? The team that picks Rollins will have a plan to feature him from Day 1.

Brandon Scherff jersey cheap, OL, Iowa

I don’t think Scherff is the next Zack Martin jersey cheap jersey cheap, a first round pick of the Dallas Cowboys jersey cheap last year who earned All Pro honors as a rookie. However, I still think Scherff can be an outstanding player right away. He played tackle in college, cheap nfl jerseys
but I think he’s best suited to move inside to guard in the pros. He could be a top 10 pick who plugs in immediately and shows his ability to be a force on the interior.

Danny Shelton jersey cheap jersey cheap, NT, Washington

Interior defensive linemen usually don’t put up the big numbers that grab everyone’s attention when it’s time to vote players to the Pro Bowl, but people know how important the nose tackle position is in a 3 4 defense, and Shelton has the potential to be a great one as he enters the league. In a system like Vic Fangio’s with the Chicago Bears jersey cheap, Shelton’s value to the defense could get him early notice.