Cleveland Sports Insiders

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The Ellis Quarterback Metric

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McCarron excited to be at the top of the Ellis QB Metric (RONALD MARTINEZ/GETTY IMAGES)

Over the past two years I have talked about and worked on a formula taking the stats of college quarterbacks and trying to make a metric to judge which players would be the best pro quarterbacks. The thought started a year ago when I watched the Browns Brandon Weeden struggle as a rookie while Russell Wilson excelled in Seattle.

While I knew the answer and I had a bunch of numbers circulating in my head, the question was whether or not I could find which indictors are the most important, and how could I weight them to find a formula that would accurately show that measure.

I started by entering the data of every quarterback drafted in the top three rounds over the last decade. I then added every starting quarterback in the league, and over the last two years, I entered every prospect with a draft grade over fifth round or greater. I tried at least five or six models before settling on the one I have now. While it’s not perfect, it does seem to indicate a few things. Continue reading


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Why the Browns should avoid Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins (Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports)

Sammy Watkins (Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports)

In sports we often now hear about the idea of efficiency. The idea being that for teams to win, they need to maximize efficiency to perform at the top levels of their sport.

This whole column was inspired because of the banter that the Cleveland Browns might take Clemson Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins with their first pick, the #4 in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Browns have a number one receiver in Josh Gordon, and my gut feeling is that Ray Farmer and the new front office taking a wide receiver at four would be the opposite of being efficient.

My starting argument for not drafting a receiver at four is that this is reported as the deepest receiver draft in NFL history, and I happen to concur with that assessment. There are 15-20 players who I have seen with a 3rd round grade or higher from experts I respect. I currently have 16 such players, and while it would be good for the Browns to draft two receivers in this draft, it seems like a position to wait on. Continue reading


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The Browns Draft Day doomsday scenario

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Is Khalil Mack a Browns target? If there aren’t any quarterbacks available, he may just be. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig)

More and more, what has been on my mind with the 2014 draft is the worst case scenario for the Cleveland Browns.

What is that exactly?

The worst case in the front office’s mind would be if they don’t get a “franchise” quarterback with the fourth pick in the first round. It has been more or less stated by the front office that everything they have done has been in preparation for the team to get a quarterback this year, and to go out and get one early.  It is kind of crazy to think that for as terrible as this team has been over the last fifteen years that they have only once before taken a quarterback in the top half of the first round. I am willing to bet right now, if the Browns do not trade up they will not get a one of the top three quarterbacks this year.

The reason is simple; quarterbacks are more valuable than the next five positions combined.  If there were no money issues, the Browns could offer all six of their Pro Bowlers for Andrew Luck and be turned down.

The talk is that Clowney is a transcendental talent, and while it might be true, I think there are major examples of how this is rather meaningless, when it comes to his value versus a potential franchise quarterback.

Take a second and think back to the 90’s Bills. Who is the first player you think of?  For most NFL fans, it is former Miami Hurricanes/Houston Gamblers star Jim Kelly and not Bruce Smith. Julius Peppers has made one Super Bowl, but for half  of his career he has missed the playoffs.  Reggie White never made it to the Super Bowl until Brett Favre entered the equation. Continue reading