Monday, February 26, 2007

Team X

I always love it (and when I say "love", I mean "hate") when reporters try to make a point more poignant by putting it in the context of a specific team, but because they know nothing about the specific team the point ends up off the mark.

So I really "loved" this tidbit from Peter King:
4. Cleveland GM Phil Savage is going to have a very tough decision to make. When Adrian Peterson ran a 4.37 40, it set up this pleasant quandary for the Browns, assuming Russell and Thomas go 1-2. The Browns could have their choice of four primo players at positions of major need -- quarterback Brady Quinn, defensive end Gaines Adams, wideout Johnson and running back Peterson. Savage met Peterson on Saturday and was impressed by what a solid rock he is. He might be Eric Dickerson.

Now, from what I know of Gaines Adams, he sure sounds great. But he's a great 4-3 defensive end. See, Mr. King, the Browns run something we call the "3-4 defense". 4-3 defensive ends don't fit too well into the 3-4 defense. Especially not 260 lb speed guys. So, while your point is accurate, that Gaines Adams, Brady Quinn, Calvin Johnson, and Adrian Peterson represent a great group to choose from for a non-descript strawman, it isn't quite as applicable to the Browns.

If we're picking a d-line player at our spot, it should be either Alan Branch or Amobi Okoye. I like some of things I've heard about Okoye lately, especially that he's 19 years old. The kid is exactly half the age of Ted Washington!

There is a sub-field in economics called "behavioral economics" that attempts to explain why so many investors make irrational decisions (like investing in dot-coms that don't expect to ever make a profit). One theory that has come out of behavioral economics is "regret avoidance".

The idea of regret avoidance is that people don't want to miss a ride on the gravy train, even if Casey Jones is the conductor. A good example is the run-away housing market here in the DC area. A coworker was planning on buying his first home a year and a half ago. At this point there was tons of talk about the housing bubble, but that talk was also interspersed with tons of talk of the investors who made huge gains. When I asked my coworker if he wasn't worried about the bubble, and losing value on his house, his answer was "Yeah, but if the market keeps going up, I don't want to miss out on it".** So he knew it was a risky proposition, but he was more worried about missing out on gains than on realizing losses.

I think that this regret avoidance idea has a ton of application in the NFL draft world. Particularly with talk about Adrian Peterson. There were alot of mentions this season about how we missed out on LaDanian Tomlinson. There is certainly alot of regret about missing that one. So it seems like alot of people want to pick Adrian Peterson to avoid seeing him turn into an LT like star for another team, only to fill us with more regret in the future.

I think that may be a bad idea though. Things to remember:
> Didn't this past Super Bowl show that having the flashy RB doesn't mean a whole lot? Hasn't the past 10 years shown that? Who was the last "great" running back to win a Super Bowl? I think you'd have to go back to Marshall Faulk in 2000.
> Running back is the most injury prone position in the game. Adrian Peterson has shown to be a particularly injury prone player. And the Browns are the most injury prone team in football. Put those things together, and I'm surprised that Peterson doesn't get a shooting pain every time Phil Savage says his name.
> Hello? Offensive line? Bueller? Are we gonna go through another offseason neglecting the O-line, only to complain next year that Brady Quinn or Adrian Peterson don't have enough blocking to display their talent?

** As it turns out, this guy did buy, and through unforseen circumstances now has to sell, and is going to end up losing tens of thousands of dollars. Terrible luck, and I feel bad for him. But at least he didn't miss out on "the huge potential".

Saturday, February 24, 2007

4 - 3 > 1

What's the difference between 3 and 4?

The easiest way to think about it is, who would Tampa Bay take that will now be available? And not necessarily available to us, but available to anyone who might want to trade up to get.

Alot of mock drafts have Tampa taking Calvin Johnson, and that certainly makes sense. With the great things they say about that guy, I would complain too loudly if we took him, even if he could be another Braylon Edwards. Another likely target for Tampa is whichever QB is still on the board, probably Brady Quinn.

Both Quinn and and Johnson are essentially irreplaceable prospects. While guys like guys like Joe Thomas (OT), Alan Branch (DT), and Adrian Peterson (RB) are pretty solidly the top guys at their positions, they all have substitutes who might look like viable options. So if Houston wants an OT and they're convinced that Tampa will take Joe Thomas, they could be content that at least they will have a shot at Levi Brown. In the same way, there are other DTs and RBs so that other teams wouldn't necessarily feel terrible about missing out on the top guy.

But if you want a QB, and Jamarcus Russel is off the board, there aren't any good alternatives to Brady Quinn. So if other teams are convinced that Quinn will go to either Tampa or Cleveland (and from the rumors floating around, the Browns are doing a good job showing that they're interested in a QB), the #3 spot could look like a good spot to trade up to. And while there are some other good WR out there (Ted Ginn, Dwayne Jarrett), neither are really in the same league as Calvin Johnson.

So, if we're going to get a blockbuster trade for our pick, being ahead of Tampa is a good place to be.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The scales of luck are tipping our way. . .

Lecharles Bentley definitely won't play this year, and may never play again.

No news on Gary Baxter. If he's ever going to play again, that will be big news, so here no news is bad news.

Winslow's "minor surgery" ends up being a pretty major one that is a sign that his knee is still in terrible shape.

Some may take all those things as signs that we're cursed. But then the football gods grace us with a winning coin flip, giving us the third pick in the draft, and all is forgiven.

Or are the football gods just setting us up with an even higher draft pick, only to eventually end their rookie season with an onset of the Hanta virus?

Sorry for the break. Busy time of year, and the Browns haven't given alot to post about. But with free agency kicking open next week, I'll start up again.