ATENEARS Posted April 24, 2010 Report Share Posted April 24, 2010 Browns' braintrust proves their mettle with third-round selection of Colt McCoy By Terry Pluto, The Plain Dealer April 24, 2010, 3:30AM UPDATED: 11:10 p.m. BEREA, Ohio -- Colt McCoy in the third round? The Browns picked McCoy in the third round? It still seems hard to believe. All that counts is the Browns grabbed McCoy with the No. 85 pick. They grabbed their young quarterback without having to trade draft picks. They picked up a quarterback who won 45 games at Texas, who completed 70 percent of his passes for his career. They did it in the third round, where they won't have to pay him big money or place him under huge pressure to play as a rookie. Browns President Mike Holmgren was willing to wait for McCoy to fall and fall -- passing him twice in the second round. In the meantime, the Browns could fill a few other needs with safety T.J. Ward (No. 38) and running back Montario Hardesty (No. 59). But first, let's consider what happened with McCoy. While listed optimistically at 6-foot-2, McCoy may not be quite that tall. Most teams like their quarterbacks at 6-4, so they can see over linemen. Holmgren mentioned Super Bowl quarterback Drew Brees as someone who is an impact player at McCoy's size. "His height won't be a determining factor [of success]," said Holmgren. McCoy found a way to start four years at Texas, to win more games than any quarterback in NCAA history with a 45-8 record. The Lewin Forecaster Theory for quarterbacks says that players who start close to 40 games at a major college and complete more than 60 percent of their passes are likely to be successful in the NFL. The exception is if the quarterback was in gimmick spread offense, which was not the case with McCoy. With veterans Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace available to play quarterback now, there is no need to rush the newcomer. As Mangini told McCoy, "It's not how you get into the building [where you're drafted], but what you do in the building [with the coaches and other players]." More happened on this day than McCoy. The selections of Hardesty, and especially Ward, can be second-guessed because both have a significant injury histories. Ward started only seven games this season because of a high ankle sprain. He also had knee surgery when in high school, then again as a freshman at Oregon. Most drafting services praised Ward for his hard tackling, but they also had him as a third-round pick, and questioned his durability. "He is outstanding in the running game," said Mangini. "It is like blockers don't exist, he rarely misses a tackle." Ward did play every game as a sophomore and junior. Mangini wanted help in the secondary. General Manager Tom Heckert delivered with cornerback Joe Haden in the first round and Ward in the second. Heckert has a solid record of drafting when he was in Philadelphia, picking defensive backs such as Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown. Mangini had a strong say in picking Darrelle Revis at No. 14 with the Jets in 2007, and he is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. As for Haden, Holmgren introduced him to the media on Friday by saying, "I really believe we hit a home run" with the cornerback from Florida. Add in the trade with Philadelphia to bringing Sheldon Brown to Cleveland, and the Browns have bolstered the secondary with three players -- Haden, Ward and Brown. They join returning starters Eric Wright and Abe Elam. As for Hardesty, he had ankle and serious knee injuries early in his college career. But he was healthy as a senior, and had fourth-best rushing season in Tennessee history with 1,345 yards and a 4.8-yard average. Mangini likes to stack up running backs, and now has three with Peyton Hillis (from Denver for Brady Quinn), Harrison and Hardesty. Young James Davis and Chris Jennings may or may not be part of the future after the draft. The Browns picked up offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao late in the third round, which also was a good idea. A key to the success of this draft is whether the Browns' medical staff, which gave the green light to the selections, is correct. Same with the scouts. Yes, there is some risk to what the Browns have done -- but the rewards could be enormous. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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