Who Should The Browns Take Fourth Overall?

Who Should The Browns Take Fourth Overall?

Saquon Barkley or Minkah Fitzpatrick?
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At this point in the year, most football minds have their attention focused on free agency and the draft. As crazy and incredible as free agency can be, my real interest lies on the college players who will find themselves getting paid millions of dollars this April. More specifically, which of those college athletes will be on the Browns.

With the first and fourth picks in the NFL draft, there is no shortage of possibilities for the Browns. Assuming the Browns get one of the many quarterbacks who will be available come free agency, it's my opinion that they should still use their first pick on a quarterback. A quarterback at number one is almost a foregone conclusion by now. The fourth pick, on the other hand, is still very much a mystery.

Even though you'll have the odd analyst every once in a while who will mock a QB at 4 or even Bradley Chubb, for the most part, it's believed that the Browns will select either Saquon Barkley or Minkah Fitzpatrick. With Jabrill Peppers playing out of position for much of last season and the perception that Isaiah Crowell will not return to the Browns, free safety and running back with certainly be positions of need for the Browns.

Despite that, each player and position come with their own drawbacks. For starters, neither position is typically considered valuable enough to be taken so early in the draft. The average NFL running back has a rather brief shelf life, and their usage can vary considerably depending on the offense and skillset of the back. With free safety, even the best at the position ultimately won't make a huge impact in each game, thus decreasing the overall value at the position. So that leaves the question of who should the Browns select.

Fitzpatrick is an Alabama FS/CB prospect with pro comparisons to Seattle's Earl Thomas. Minkah has done it all for Bama. Originally playing corner, he made the move to free safety after Eddie Jackson broke his leg two seasons ago.

After investing a first-round pick in a strong safety last season and then proceeding to play him almost exclusively at free safety, drafting Minkah would be like completing the puzzle for the Browns defense. With Myles Garret and Ogbah healthy plus a healthy linebacking core with Peppers in the box and Minkah playing centerfield, that's a scary image for opposing quarterbacks, especially with potential changes coming to defensive pass interference rules.

Another possibility that comes with Minkah is his ability to play corner. Minkah could move back to corner for the Browns, which makes the cornerback room rather crowded. My suggestion would be for Jason McCourty to then transition to free safety, a move that is not unheard of. With McCourty aging, his experience and skill set might be more help at the safety spot. Minkah allows for plenty of versatility.

Saquon Barkley is hardly an unknown name. He has been a fun player to watch since his freshman season at Penn State and is often thought of as the most talented player in the entire draft. The issue some have with that claim is that a running back in today's NFL can be so easily found relative to other positions. It seems that nearly every good value running back is available in the later rounds because they are so moldable to a gameplan.

Another issue with Barkley at four is how deep this class of running backs is perceived to be. With the plethora of picks the Browns hold, would it make sense to use a high pick on a position that has similar value at a lesser cost? The answer to that question would ultimately lie on a scouts grade on Barkley and how the drafter values the position.

Historically, John Dorsey hasn't selected a running back so highly. Kareem Hunt was drafted in the third round just last season by Dorsey. Dorsey is no stranger to finding a playmaker in late rounds, and I doubt he would change his philosophy on the Browns when it has been so successful in the past for him. Barkley would have to have shown hall of fame potential for Dorsey to use that pick on him.

So who is the pick? Minkah choice makes plenty of sense to me. After investing so much into our defense, it almost seems silly to leave the final piece of the puzzle on the board. With Minkah, our defense can grow together under a few more seasons with Williams calling the shots. Along with a couple of scheme changes, we might even have a Jacksonville caliber defense in a season or two. That being said, the Browns offense was embarrassing last season.

Going under the assumption the Browns will have a shiny new quarterback next season, Saquon is the perfect complement to a young quarterback while also being able to take some pressure off Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum, should he wear the orange and brown in 2018. After seeing the effect a quality running back like Elliott, Gurley, and Fournette can have for an offense and a young quarterback, Barkley seems like the perfect answer.

Rosen/Darnold/Cousins/Mayfield throwing to Coleman, Gordon, Njoku, Johnson, and possibly another WR in the draft with Barkley churning out yards on the ground sounds like the offense Cleveland has been yearning for since their return to Cleveland. Free safety is likely a position that can be more easily handled in the coming years, should the need remain, while a true game altering running back is rather difficult to come by. If it were up to me, Saquon is the pick.

I hope that this article was interesting to those of you who made it this far. With the draft and combine coming up, this part of the year is my favorite aside from the actual season. It is my hope for these coming weeks to continue to give my insight on the future NFL players, along with those who will soon be available in free agency. With roughly a dozen picks and over 110 million dollars in cap room, the Browns with their revamped front office should make some team-altering decisions in the coming months that I am supremely excited to see. Forever the optimist, I know. Such is life as a Cleveland Browns fan.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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My First Warriors Game

My Visit to the Cathedral of Stephen Curry: Oracle Arena

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Last week I went to my first basketball game in probably 5 years, which is weird considering how much I talk about basketball. After going to this one, however, I don't think I'll wait another 5 years to go to another one. It helps that the team closest to where I live now is a potential dynasty, so the games are almost always going to be pretty great.


Golden State Warriors vs Oklahoma City Thunder 1st Half Highlights | 11.21.2018, NBA Season youtu.be


I went to the Warriors vs. the Thunder last Wednesday, the 21st, and had an awesome time, even though the Warriors lost by quite a bit (123-95). As a Rockets fan, I was surprised by my disappointment in the Warriors losing; shouldn't I be happy about this? The truth is, I don't hate the Warriors, even though I know I probably should. (I'll most likely be taking this statement back by the time the playoffs come around.) After moving to San Francisco, my mom, the biggest sports fan I know and the reason why I love sports, gifted me MLB.tv and League Pass, so I could watch my favorite teams in my dorm. However, because I'm on West Coast time, games that are played in later time zones normally end early, so I would throw on another game to have in the background while I did work. Normally, these games are teams playing on Pacific Standard Time, hence my newfound Lakers obsession. I watch a ton of other games to, including teams that I've probably never watched before in my entire life. For this reason, I think I developed a greater appreciation for each sport, as opposed to just one team. Now, I think the only team I can say I hate wholeheartedly are the New York Yankees (my mom is a Red Sox fan, so I hope you can understand this one).


Benches clear twice between Yankees, Red Sox youtu.be


But back to the Warriors game. Because I live in San Francisco, I had to make the trip to Oakland to get to Oracle Arena. Next year, the Warriors will be moving their home games from "The Town" to "The City;" a brand new arena located in the Mission Bay will be completed by 2019 for the 2019-2020 NBA season. So, this is the Warriors last season at Oracle, where they have been playing home games since 1971. In my opinion, the arena doesn't appear to be that old, but what do I know?


Chase Center Golden State Warriors 4K Construction Time-Lapse youtu.be


There was a light drizzle as we walked from the BART station at the Coliseum to the arena. The BART had been full of excited Warriors fans ready for the team to snap the losing streak they have acquired while on the road. There were also a couple of Thunder fans on the BART, but they kept to themselves.

We arrived at the arena more than an hour before the game, which wasn't terrible because I got to watch some of the players warm up. Steph Curry was not playing this game, so I unfortunately did not get to see him warmup (or do the iconic tunnel shot).

The national anthem before the game was an incredible performance. Evidently this girl, only 7 years old, sings the national anthem at many different sports venues around California. So, we were off to a great start!


#MaleaEmma (7 yo) singing National Anthem at Golden State Warriors game youtu.be


Now, I've been told that the energy at Oracle is incredible, but I think there is a caveat to this. The energy can be incredible, only if the Warriors are doing well, or really well. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that many Warriors fans are not used to losing. So, when their team goes down early in the first, they don't really know what to do. Despite the lack of energy from the fans (there was even a traffic jam going out of the tunnel in the arena in the middle of the 4th quarter), I really did enjoy the game.

Watching basketball from my computer screen in my dorm is nice, but seeing it played in real time gives you a completely different perspective of the game. It feels quieter, slower, and the court appears a lot smaller. This is very different than my experiences of going to baseball games. I love going to baseball games, don't get me wrong, but I often feel like it's harder to follow when you are watching it from the stadium as opposed to at home. Watching basketball live can give you new insights that you might not be able to pick up on when you watch a game from your couch.

The biggest thing you can pick up on? Chemistry. Seeing how the team plays together live can be the biggest indicator of how good they actually are. Being able to see the interactions between the players on the bench, during timeouts, and in-between the quarters was honestly my favorite part (given that they were losing).

Despite the final score, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I can't wait until I can get to another game. Hopefully next time I'll be able to witness the Warriors everyone knows and loves (or hates).

Here are a couple of games I wish I could have seen live:


Klay Thompson 37pt 3rd Quarter CSN Bay Area feed 1-23-15 youtu.be


Stephen Curry UNREAL NBA Record 2016.11.07 vs Pelicans - 46 Pts, 13 Threes, Most EVER in a Game! youtu.be


Houston Rockets vs GS Warriors - Full Game Highlights | Game 4 | May 22, 2018 | NBA Playoffs youtu.be

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