News and Notes: The Cleveland Browns
The stories continue to come out surrounding the Cleveland Browns. In anticipation of the NFL Draft just under three weeks away – the team continues to make moves with their roster. Also, as is custom in early April – the fluff pieces are in full effect. However this time, it’s more by the national media as opposed to their counterparts. Let’s review a few things that have occurred for the Browns.
Mingo Bulking Up
It has been reported that first round draft selection (of 2013) Barkevious Mingo has added thirty pounds to his frame and is roughly two hundred sixty pounds. The positive for this story is – that the athlete appeared to desperately need this. At times the outside linebacker appeared frail and easily “blockable” by the opposition. I hope he can be more physical when defending the pass (and more importantly against the run). The downside would be that Mingo might have hurt his best trait coming out of college. Will he still be fast enough to make an impact in getting to the quarterback? This is a contract year for the veteran; he might want to play well if he wants to have a future in the league.
Paxton Lynch Visit
Instead of visiting the quarterback from Memphis at his Pro Day, the Browns elected to have Paxton Lynch in for a visit. They could choose the signal caller with their second draft pick (provided they do not select Jared Goff or Carson Wentz with their first pick). However, many feel that Lynch is more of a project of a quarterback – to which I agree. The thirty-second draft position should still be one where an excellent player should be taken. Projects are fine for a team to take, but they should be left for the fifth rounds and later. I wish Lynch all the best – except when he’s playing the Browns.
Releasing of Ifo
The Browns took a gamble when selecting Ifo Ekpre-Olomu in the seventh round of the 2015 draft. Once a potential first round choice, the defensive back suffered a terrible leg injury that included torn ligaments, tendons, and caused the rookie to miss the entire campaign of his would-be rookie year. In 2016, the Browns felt he still was not able to be healthy and help this club going forward. I feel awful for the guy, but that’s the business in the NFL. While he might have been a possible addition to the secondary, the Browns must continue to bolster this unit in the coming weeks. Justin Gilbert’s security appears to be safe for now, but we’ll see what goes down in Chi-town.
Conclusion: I really hope Barkevious Mingo can show some flashes of brilliance this year (as he did previously under Ray Horton in 2013). However, the story of him adding weight means little without the production to accommodate it. Meanwhile, Paxton Lynch might be a solid quarterback in this league – but the Browns should be smart and take Goff at number two. Finally, this might be the final time I type Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – good luck in your attempt in making it in the NFL.