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Prospect Hot List

Guest Aloysius

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Guest Aloysius

Scott Wright's released another Prospect Hot List, which includes a couple names Browns fans might want to familiarize themselves with.


Of the ten guys he lists, at least six of them could be on the Browns' radar come April:


Larry English, DE-OLB, Northern Illinois


One of the country's most prolific pass rushers, Larry English amassed an amazing 56.0 tackles for a loss and 32.5 sacks during his college career with the Huskies. As a senior English totaled 15.0 TFL and 8.0 Sacks en route to being named the Mid-American Conference's Most Valuable Player and, for the second year in a row, the Defensive Player of the Year. A classic 'tweener at 6-3 and 255 pounds, English played defensive end in college but he may have to make the move to outside linebacker in the pros. Most likely in a 3-4 scheme. What position English will play might still be up in the air but at this point scouts don't seem to care because they tend to find room for guys who can rush the passer like he can. Right now English looks like a fringe Day One pick but his stock is really soaring and there are some who feel he could compete for a spot in the first round.

As Shep mentioned a few weeks ago, the Browns have sent scouts to watch English play. He could be a guy they look at as early as Round 2.


Clay Matthews, OLB, USC


If this name sounds familiar it should because his dad, also named Clay, played in the NFL from 1978 to 1996 and his uncle, Bruce, is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame following a 19-year career with the Houston Oilers / Tennessee Titans. A former walk-on at Southern Cal, Matthews spent most of his college career in the shadow of other great Trojan linebackers like Keith Rivers, Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing but as a senior he has emerged as a legit pro prospect in his own right. A versatile player who is capable of seeing action at any of the linebacker positions as well as defensive end, Matthews is also an outstanding special teamer who is being looked at by 4-3 and 3-4 teams alike. After beginning the year as a late rounder / priority free agent Matthews has improved his stock as much as any prospect in the country and he is now a potential Day One pick.

I was a little bit wary of this guy at first, but I've been impressed the more I watch USC play. If we end up with a late 2nd/early 3rd Round pick after trading DA and/or KW2, I wouldn't be too disappointed if we drafted Clay Jr.


Connor Barwin, DE, Cincinnati


Talk about coming out of nowhere! Up until this year Connor Barwin was a tight end who from 2005-2007 had accumulated a very respectable 52 receptions for 691 yards (13.3 avg.) and 5 touchdowns. Despite that production the Bearcats decided to move him to defensive end for his senior season and it looks like they caught lightning in a bottle. In fact, in his first season on defense Barwin cracked double-digits in both tackles for a loss and sacks! There is no question that Barwin is still raw and will require some development but at 6-4 and 255 pounds with 4.6 speed and outstanding athleticism the sky is the limit in terms of his potential. Barwin is being looked at as both a 4-3 defensive end and a 3-4 outside linebacker at this point but wherever he ends up his main job will be to get after the quarterback. That's something he's proven to have quite the knack for.

Haven't really watched this guy play. Any Cinci fans here who'd like to share their take on this guy?


B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College


If things had gone as planned B.J. Raji would already be in the NFL but he was forced to sit out the entire 2007 season for academic reasons. It looks like that may have been a blessing in disguise though because Raji had an outstanding senior campaign and now he won't have to compete with Glenn Dorsey or Sedric Ellis on Draft Day. A mountain of a man at 6-1 and 323 pounds, Raji is certainly capable of playing nose tackle in a 3-4 defense but he isn't just a run stuffer and could fit in a 4-3 scheme as well. Think Pat Williams. In fact, "Busari" really surprised scouts with his ability penetrate and make impact plays behind the line of scrimmage this year. Not only is Raji the consensus top senior defensive tackle in this draft but he is also a likely first round pick who could wind up being selected much earlier than most think, maybe even in the top half of round one.

If Raji falls because of character concerns, we should definitely nab him. Though we have our NT in Shaun Rogers, guys with this combination of size and athleticism don't come around often (see George Young & Bill Parcells' Planet Theory.)


Rashad Johnson, S, Alabama


Most of the top underclassmen safeties stayed in school last year and as a result this class features a lot of players with an abundance of name recognition and hype. Rashad Johnson may not get as much pub and ink as others but he is in fact near the top of most teams boards and could get the last laugh on Draft Day. A former walk-on, Johnson makes up for what he lacks in physical tools with top-notch intangibles and in some ways he will remind you of Roman Harper, who was a second round pick of the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 NFL Draft. Johnson is the type who does everything well but nothing great yet he has a knack for making the big play and was one of the catalysts behind the Crimson Tide's surprising season. Johnson's stock has been steadily ticking upwards all year long and he now looks like a real solid second or third round pick in next April's draft.

nfldraftscout has Johnson projected as a 4th Round pick, so all of you guys thinking we can get him on Day Two shouldn't lose hope.


But I wouldn't be surprised if Johnson goes in Round 3. Unless we get a 3rd for DA, I doubt we'll end up drafting him.


Max Unger, C, Oregon


This guy might be the most versatile prospect in the 2009 NFL Draft because he could realistically play any of the five positions along the offensive line. That's right, he's a Center / Tackle / Guard. The ultimate "Slash"! Unger has played mostly left tackle during his career with the Ducks but even though he could man the blind side at the next level most teams are looking at him as a center, guard or right tackle. Alex Mack and Jonathan Luigs have received far more ink and accolades but many scouts feel Unger is the top center prospect in this draft, which is really saying something because this is the strongest crop of talent we've seen at the position in a very long time. Right now Unger looks like a sure-fire second round pick but there are some who feel he could even break into the latter part of round one. Now that would be quite an impressive accomplishment.

Apparently, Unger's stock has risen as much as Alex Mack's has declined. Not sure if we're interested in taking an OL high in Round Two, but Unger seems to be the guy that we'd take if we were so inclined.



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I think people are over rating Mathews because of his name. As of know he mayb be a 4th rounder. Once he goes through the combines and pro days, he could jump into the first day or end up a 6th rounder.


How could you evenget serious about a 4th rounder at this point when we don't even know who our coach will be or what kind of scheme he will run.


Just a little early to start talking about the second day of the draft.

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Clay Mathews is pegged as going round 2 from several mocks I've seen. The kid is a pretty talented lb, around the ball a lot.


I like this guy, too -


Matt Shaughnessy, DE, Wisconsin


Height: 6-6 DE Rank: 7

Weight: 251 Overall Rank: 72

Year: Sr 40 Time: 4.66


Top 4 teams likely targeting Matt Shaughnessy.

Team # Drafts %

Cleveland Browns, Pick 41 1 14.3

Baltimore Ravens, Pick 57 1 14.3

Washington Redskins, Pick 21 1 14.3

San Francisco 49ers, Pick 73 1 14.3

Pick Chart Ranking Charts



Matt Shaughnessy Scouting Report by BadgerNation

Pros: Quick, tall, athletic defensive end prospect. Very disruptive on passing situations, always seems around the ball on running plays. Can play a 4-3 end in a cover-2 defense, or a 3-4 edge rusher. Team leader and positive influence.

Cons: Slightly undersized, needs to bulk up. He will need to work on technique and upper-body strength to face elite NFL tackles.

Overall: A great pass-rusher and solid hybrid DE/LB prospect. A hard worker and a team leader.



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Guest Aloysius

Thanks, Shep.


nfldraftscout compares Clay Matthews Jr. to Matt Stewart, which I think is a bit unfair. Both are/were versatile players who could play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3, but Stewart never was much of a pass-rusher.


Matthews, on the other hand, offers some raw potential as a rusher. His burst alone won't get him past NFL LT's, but he plays with enough grit & perseverance that I think he'll get to the QB in the NFL. I definitely could see him as the type of strong-side linebacker that notches 5 or so sacks every season, along with close to 100 tackles.


Cal, I'm not too sure about Shaughnessy as a 3-4 OLB. Granted, I watched him early this season when he was still recovering from a broken leg, but I didn't see the athleticism & change of direction skills to make the move to linebacker full-time.


I've read that he's looked much better as the season's gone on, but I'm still not sure he's the right guy if we stick to the 3-4.


nfldraftscout compares Shaughnessy to Mike Rucker. If he puts on another 20 pounds without losing his quickness, I could see that comparison holding true.

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He's been hurt a few times, but he's my Jack Lambert kind of player.


Just for fun, I imagine him as a middle linebacker. In a 3/4, I'd find ways to use him inside, if he did put on those extra lbs.


Wisconsin is in a bowl game, ...hope to see him turn heads...


and we'll have to have a keen eye on SoCal's lb's...


Right now, I think the perfect pick would be Orakpo sp?


Early reports were that if he keeps up playing so well, he'd earn a spot in the first round.


Orakpo seems to be the guy for the Browns... don't know how high he'll go, but it's high in the first... ?

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there's been a fair amount of orakpo discussion in the draft thread, and the consensus was that it's far more valuable for a team with many holes to pick a guy who can do some of everything than it is to get a guy who can do one thing.


it's also harder to project pass rushing success in the NFL. some guys like vernon gholston, jarvis moss and manny lawson lit it up in college but have struggled to make an impact in the NFL. moss didn't even switch positions, either.


it's a much safer pick to take a LB who is a jack of all trades but master of none and let him mature into whatever he'll become than it is to roll the dice on a guy being able to do one thing exceptionally.

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