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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Thoughts after day 2 of Cleveland Browns draft

By Marla Published: April 29, 2011

Thoughts after the first three rounds of the Browns' draft in Berea:

  • If Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor weighs 335 pounds, he hides it well. Taylor has a huge upper body, not at all built like Shaun Rogers. In fact, Taylor bears a striking facial resemblance to Ahtyba Rubin.

  • North Carolina wide receiver Greg Little said he received a text message from Tar Heels coach Butch Davis (the former Browns coach), his wife Tammy and son Drew. Little said Davis called the Browns ''a remarkable organization to be a part of.'' "I'm very close with coach Davis,'' Little said. "I respect him so much as a coach and as a man. I was real fortunate to be coached by him.''

  •  When Pitt defensive end Jabaal Sheard was explaining what happened during a July fight when he went through the window of an art gallery, I couldn't help but recall Jeremiah Pharms, a linebacker from Washington who was a fifth-round pick in 2001, talking about his gun charges. Pharms later went to prison for holding up a drug dealer at gunpoint, arrested as he was about to leave for Browns minicamp.

  • To his credit, Sheard didn't hesitate to explain what happened during a conference call. But he insisted, "I never had any problems prior to that incident. Coach (Dave) Wannstedt had been around the league. That's the first trouble I'd ever been in. A lot of people say once you meet me you can tell that's not the guy I am. On the field, maybe I get a little hot, it's a game, it's football, it's competition. Off the field I'm a cool, laid-back dude. I'm not looking for trouble.'' Let's hope he doesn't become the second-nicest guy ever arrested in Browns' history.

  • Sheard may be less of a risk than Little, who repeatedly lied to the NCAA about taking improper benefits and is described as a diva by Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki. No way he would have been drafted by ex-Browns coach Eric Mangini, who wanted nothing to do with a player that needed the monitoring of many staffers.

  • For all GM Tom Heckert's pre-draft talk about taking the best player available, at least he made bold decisions to fill the gaping holes on the defensive line. I could still see them taking another defensive end on day 3.

  • The Browns have six more picks on Saturday. Top priorities if I were picking would be running back, offensive tackle, cornerback and linebacker. And I still want Arkansas H-back D.J. Williams.

  • I know president Mike Holmgren likes to take a quarterback every year. I'm somewhat underwhelmed by that prospect in this draft, except for the fact that Iowa's Ricky Stanzi is still on the board. Nawrocki said most of Stanzi's weaknesses can be corrected with good coaching and the Browns would seem to have an abundance of that in Holmgren and coach Pat Shurmur. But getting him require the Browns to use one of their two fourth-rounders, perhaps the earliest.

  • Biggest reaction in the Browns' press room over two days: Carlos Santana's walk-off grand slam on Friday night.



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