NFL Combine 2012: 4 Players the Cleveland Browns Should Be Eyeing
With one day remaining in the 2012 NFL Draft Scouting Combine, the Cleveland Browns should have a significantly upgraded assessment of those players who could help the team next year.
The mainstays on the speculative short list of potential draftees by the team include all the familiar names which have thus far been nauseatingly reinforced in the minds of many.
The Browns continue to move towards the 2012 NFL draft with two certainties that in relation to one another are advantageous; they have needs, and based on their two picks within the first 20 selections in the draft, they have options.
Surely a recipe for personnel improvement through natural draft day selection.
Therefore, the Combine so far has represented a first-hand opportunity for the team to ultimately filter the list of players who have potential as impact-caliber players.
Here are four players that the Browns should upgrade from blip-on-the-screen status to significant incoming objects on the draft day radar.
Doug Martin, a running back out of Boise State, impressed many in the scouting ranks at the Combine with his strength and physicality during his evaluations.
He was able to press 225 pounds 28 times, which put him in a distinct class within the strength categories used to measure running backs.
Not only did he rush for 1,200-plus yards in each of the last two seasons in an offense whose headlines usually defaulted to quarterback Kellen Moore, but he is also versatile as a receiver out of the backfield and as a kickoff returner.
While running back is one on a list of many uncertain areas for the Browns, Martin has been projected as a late first-round pick.
With his consistency as a workhorse out of the backfield by amassing 263 attempts last year and his intangible ability to catch passes out of the backfield, as well as line up as a kick returner, he could be a potential steal for the Browns—If they do indeed end up retaining a pick early enough to select him.
Out of Georgia Tech, Stephen Hill only caught 28 passes for 820 yards this season, which nonetheless averages out to almost 30 yards per reception.
However, if the Combine truly represents the most formalized evaluation that a player can receive pre-draft, with his performance Hill assuredly will see his draft stock spike upwards on April 26-28.
He ran the fastest time of the day on Sunday in the 40 at 4.36, and also was said to show innate smoothness in the various drills that he had to execute.
These results, in addition to his "gift from a higher power" football body, measuring 6'4'' and 215 lbs, have resulted in the excessive chatter surrounding his draft board status to soar.
Hill has the kind of raw athletic potential and upside that would make him a tempting target, should he still be available when the Browns select at No. 7 in the second round, or possibly even with the 22nd pick in the first round.
However, he put together an impressive line of results at the Combine, including a 4.40 in the 40 as well as showing up in a slightly slimmer frame than his playing weight, at 220 pounds.
Floyd is projected to go in between the Browns' two first-round picks, but should be given more deliberate consideration after his showing this past weekend.
And considering all the speculation surrounding the draft, and their fluctuation to and through the combine, any projected scenario could be fleeting, which makes Floyd a viable option.
In the alternative to Matt Kalil offensive tackle sweepstakes, and as part of my own annoyingly sustained attempt to reach the ears of the Cleveland front office, Iowa's Riley Reiff is legit.
Despite my own thoughts about him, and a funny satire on Reiff's arm measurements taken at the Combine, his combination of on-paper, on-field and now Combine-related intangibles could make him a stalwart addition to the uncertain haze that surrounds the Browns' right tackle needs.
Besides, Reiff's Combine measurements of 33-and-a-quarter inches were more than the 2010 measurements of another former Big Ten tackle who also happened to be a a first-round pick...
...one who currently holds down the left side of the Browns offensive line to the steady tune of five Pro Bowls and three first-team All-Pro selections named Joe Thomas. Thomas' 2010 Combine measurements were 32-and-a-half inches.