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Author Topic: Cleveland Browns' Ray Farmer gushes over Sammy Watkins  (Read 1764 times)

Offline ClemsonTiger

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Cleveland Browns' Ray Farmer gushes over Sammy Watkins
« on: May 01, 2014, 05:43:13 PM »

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- During his inaugural pre-draft press conference, Browns general manager Ray Farmer heaped praised on Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, assured folks he's fine with Johnny Football's off-the-personna, and didn't rule out an offensive tackle at No. 4 even though he's got seven-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas.

In other words, he did a masterful job of keeping folks guessing what he'll do during his first crack at Stump the GM.

Farmer left open the possibility of trading up or down, taking a quarterback at No. 4 or not, and drafting pass-rusher Khalil Mack even though the Browns spent big bucks last year on Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo.

In other words, he left everything on the table and provided few clues as to what he's really thinking, which is exactly what he's wanted all along. He was so effusive in his praise of Watkins that observers immediately began to cross him off the list at No. 4.

But was Farmer using double-reverse psychology? Did he throw everyone off with the praise and then he'll rush to draft him if he's still there at No. 4? He did allow that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan likes mobile quarterbacks, which points to a playmaker such as a Johnny Manziel -- but the Browns have worked out plenty of other mobile quarterbacks including Teddy Bridgewater, Aaron Murray and Connor Shaw.

Farmer acknowledged that he's got one guy in mind at No. 4, but doesn't know if he'll be available. So, anything can happen come next week's annual selection meeting (May 8-10) and it promises to be a wild and thrilling weekend for Browns fans.

While Farmer provided no clues as to which way he's leaning with his two first-round picks, he did shed some light on how he feels about some of his top candidates for the top pick. Here are some excerpts:

* On how Watkins could impact the Browns: "Big, big, really big, ginormous. He’s a good football player. He’s explosive. He’s got really good hands. He’s demonstrated he can run all the routes. He can be productive. So saddle him on the opposite side of Josh Gordon and wow.”


* On Watkins 6-1 size: “The longer this goes, the more you’re going to find guys ended up casualties of war for the wrong reasons. If you just watch the guy play football, he’s different than a lot of wide receivers. I get that he’s not 6-2, 6-4, 6-5, I get that. But he plays the game violently and aggressive, which is kind of a rarity for most wide receivers. You see things in him that aren’t standard. So he’s a really good player, and he’ll be a good player in this league. He would be dynamic, so we have to kind of wait and see where he goes.”

* On if signing receivers Nate Burleson and Andrew Hawkins will impact the draft strategy: "Not at all. We want to drive competition. I’ve seen teams keep as many as seven. It’s not meant to be a knock on anybody else that’s on the roster: Our goal is to add as many good football players as we can and as we continue to add really good football players, our team will be better as a result of it.''

* On if he has any problem with South Carolina pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney’s work ethic: “None. …As we get closer to the draft, the more you’ll see smoke. It’s not as substantive as people may think it is. But it’s interesting to talk about. Is he supremely talented? Yes. Do people wonder about certain pieces of his game? Sure. But the more you overthink it, we could shoot holes in all of these guys. Every single guy in the draft, you could shoot him full of holes and say this is wrong with him, this is wrong him, this is wrong, but the reality is you want to take the time to really unearth what can this guy do, how can he help your program and can this guy be a difference maker, and I think Jadeveon Clowney could do those things.”

* On Mack: "Really good football player, explosive, he can rush the passer, play in coverage, he can do a little bit of everything. In general terms I’d say a physical anomaly for the (MAC) conference he plays in. This guy looks like the real deal. When he got on bigger stages he demonstrated he could perform. That’s what you want to see. You want to see a guy who has the ability to play on the big stage. When he got in big games he played big.''

* On Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans and Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles: "(They're) both good college football players. Evans, obviously the size and the speed is the great intrigue that a lot of people see. When you watch him make plays, he’s got ball skills, he jumps up over people, he makes a ton of plays. Bortles, same thing. Oddly enough, he probably wasn’t as heralded going into the year. Everybody didn’t know his name. He definitely was a guy that I think his play demonstrated that he was worthy of being in consideration. The interesting thing about him is that people get really excited because he is a bigger guy, 6-foot-5, he’s 230-plus pounds. So people are definitely fired up to see can he be the complete package for what you want and inevitably for us, it’s a product of trying to find the right guy for who fits. Both of those guys are talented players. They really are.”

* On Manziel as a player: "Exciting, electric. He’s dynamic. You look at what he is as a football player: the guy turned a lot of heads. He won a lot of games. There are things definitely to be excited about. The questions everybody wants to talk about are is he big enough? Is he going to get hurt? Is his arm strong enough? Again, he’s different. He’s not the quintessential everybody looks at and points to and says ‘’This is exactly how you draw it up and this is the packaging you want.’ Again, that speaks to a lot of who and what Johnny has been his entire life. It’s different. It’s not how you generally think of playing the position and being effective from the pocket, but the guy has definitely been a very good college football player.”

* On Manziel as a person: "I don't think I have any reservations about who Johnny is. We had a lot of conversations and spent a lot of time with him. He's a good young man. The interesting part of Johnny is, that much like a lot of us, you don't get a handbook for how to operate in certain instances so when you go from being a kid in Tyler, Texas, to being Johnny Football and winning the Heisman Trophy really quickly, they don't hand you a manual and tell you how to handle the media swarm, how to handle paparazzi, how to handle people coming up to you at dinners. He will tell you very candidly that it's probably not how he would have written it up, now that he's at the end of it or getting toward the end of his college career, but you live and you learn. And that being said, there's good things ahead for him it's just a matter of how does he handle that when he gets to his new destination."

* On Teddy Bridgewater's poor Pro Day: "Teddy's a good college football player. He's had the burden of dealing with answering the questions of the differences between his pro day and his performance. Oddly enough, I think there was a lot of media speculation that he was the top quarterback going into the offseason. It really comes down to guys in my position deciding, do you hold onto the tape? Do you hold onto a private workout? Do you hold onto his Pro Day? And all of those pieces kind of factor into it. But again, it really comes down to how does he play football? The analogy  that I keep throwing out is, if we went outside and shot basketball, I can't hit a shot. I just can't buy a bucket, I can't make a layup. I can't really dribble. I dribbled the ball off my foot twice and it's gone out of bounds. But then every time we play I score 30, have 10 boards, and five steals. Do you want me on your team or are you going to pass me because I  couldn't warm up right, so that's the way I look at it. It really comes down to how does the guy play football?


* On offensive tackles Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews: "They’re really good players. Again, it was funny, we were sitting in the suite at the combine when Greg Robinson ran, and Jimmy (Haslam) turned and was like, ‘how big was he?’ so you go back and you start reviewing the numbers and the size and the movement and then his play, and he's a very, very interesting prospect as to what he can possibly bring to a franchise. Same thing with Jake Matthews. His history and pedigree speak for themselves. The idea of what he can be and what he’s going to be in the National Football League moving forward are definitely intriguing. I want to drive competition on the roster. So Joe Thomas is a very good football player. He’s been to numerous Pro Bowls, he’s been a successful player for a reason. But having players on this roster that Joe looks over and says, ‘oh, boy, that’s a real guy right there,’ that’s something good for our franchise and good for our football team. I think there’s no way I would tell you that those guys aren’t interesting players for us as well.''

* On if he knows who he'll take at No. 4: “Absolutely. The question is, do I get a chance to take him?”

* If not, will he be more likely to trade down?: "I wouldn’t say I’m more likely to trade down. Anytime you talk about trades, you have to have a partner. You also have to have players at the spot you’re going to. I’ll tell you this way; if there were five guys I really loved, could I really trade to six? I would have to hope somebody likes somebody else in their top five or six that would push one of the guys or two of the guys to me that I thought could be or potentially be available.”

Full article:
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 12:20:21 AM by ClemsonTiger »

Offline Pawsome06

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Re: Cleveland Browns' Ray Farmer gushes over Sammy Watkins
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2014, 06:35:11 PM »
I do not think Watkins will go to the Browns. Maybe Jacksonville.


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