BEREA: The Browns traded Saturday for Jamar Taylor, a cornerback who has yet to live up to his draft status.
Why? They already have Justin Gilbert, and the eighth overall pick in the 2014 draft certainly fits that description as well.
“I don’t want to compare him to Justin,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said of Taylor.
The Browns traded a seventh-round draft pick (No. 231 overall) to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Taylor and a choice (No. 250) later in the same round, which they used to select Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright.
In 2013, the Dolphins drafted the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Taylor in the second round (No. 54) out of Boise State. But Taylor, 25, has started just nine of 33 games during the past three seasons.
He started six of 12 games last season and compiled career bests with 48 tackles and four passes defensed. However, Taylor was a healthy scratch for three of the last five games this past season and was active but did not play in another game during that stretch.
“[He’s] very talented, and sometimes in these situations, a young man needs a change of scenery,” Jackson said. “Maybe this will benefit him, but it also benefits us because he has talent and ability.
“He has to come here and fit into our culture and do the things we’re asking our young men to do each and every day to follow our program. I think he will. This is a shot. It’s an opportunity for him. But at the same time, I think he recognizes, and we do, too, that it has the potential to work out.”
Lunch pail guy
Joe Schobert should be the type of football player who fits into Northeast Ohio given his nothing-is-given, everything-is-earned ethos.
The Browns drafted the former preferred walk-on from the University of Wisconsin with its first pick in the fourth round, the 99th overall.
“Fortunately for me at Wisconsin, there is a long list of guys that have done that before me so I knew that if I put my head down, worked hard, did what the coaches said that I would have a chance. It worked out,” Schobert said.
That paid off with winning Wisconsin’s scout player of the year award, something he gives credit for serving as motivation.
“The offensive line that year, I think every single one of them went on to play in the NFL, and I was a middle linebacker on scout team getting beat up by guys like (the Cowboys’) Travis Fredrick, (the Ravens’) Ricky Wagner, (the Rams’) Rob Havenstein,” Schobert said. “It was a great learning experience for me and to earn that award at the end of the year was definitely a confidence boost.”
An outside linebacker for the Badgers, Schobert could be asked to do more.
“They said that they would move me around a lot on the phone so probably a little bit of both inside and outside,” he said.
I am Iron Man
No one will ever question defensive back Derrick Kindred’s toughness.
The 5-foot-10, 210-pound safety played his entire final season with a broken collarbone, starting all 13 games and coming in second on the Horned Frogs with 87 tackles. For good measure, he added a couple of picks.
Kindred had the option to sit the season, but said that he chose to pass on surgery and show leadership. He said he paid for his choice after games, however.
“Every time I made a tackle, I kind of didn’t feel it because of all the padding I had on there. I had some gel padding. I had extra padding on my shoulder pads,” he said. “I really didn’t feel it during the game because of adrenaline and things like that, but after the games, it was hurting a lot. I was in pain and had to take pain medicine for it and things like that.”
The injury didn’t require surgery and Kindred said doesn’t anticipate having any surgery for it, pronouncing himself healed. He’s viewed it as a learning experience.
“As far as the toughness part, I already knew I was pretty tough,” he said. “It was just another stepping stone of showing my abilities and getting better from there.”
Not lacking confidence
You can forgive wide receiver Ricardo Louis if he’s surprised about being a Brown. The team — which picked him in the fourth round with the 114th overall selection — never had any contact with him, he said.
In some quarters, a possible switch to defensive back, had been mentioned prior to the draft.
“The only team that talked to me about that was the Atlanta Falcons. They asked me if I had ever played corner before, and I told them no, but I did play defense in high school,” he said. “I actually played safety. On my pro day, they asked me to play in the DB drills, and I was more than willing to show them how versatile and athletic I was.”
There’s more than a hint of confidence in Louis’ words. He used the talk of a switch to serve as motivation.
“If they don’t see me as a receiver, then that’s fine,” he said. “But I know what I can do and I know that I am probably one of the better receivers in this draft. My goal was to prove it.”
The Browns may have turned a few heads when they drafted Princeton tight end Seth DeValve with one of their four fourth-round picks, No. 138 overall. DeValve played in six games over his final two years of college eligibility because of a non-football related foot problem that required surgeries.
“The foot injuries that I did have that caused me to miss time in my final two seasons were not injuries but rather were things I was born with,” he said. “The condition was an unclosed growth plate at the base of my fifth metatarsal of my foot, which is my pinky toe on each side.”
He said he doesn’t expect any further problems.
“The deal with corrective surgery, unlike orthopedic surgery, is when the surgery is done and you’ve recovered, you’re better than you were previously,” DeValve said. “My feet are better than they’ve been in two years, and I’ll be ready to go.”
Defensive lineman Carl Nassib didn’t have to look too far if he needed anyone to lead the way to the NFL. The Penn State Nittany Lion only had to cast an eye toward his brother, Ryan, who is a backup quarterback for the New York Giants.
Carl, the Browns’ second pick in the third round and 65th overall, said there was plenty of excitement after he was drafted.
“With all things, he is the first [person] I go to. He was pretty pumped last night to say the least,” Nassib said of Ryan. “He didn’t know where I went, so he was screaming at me like, ‘Where did you go? Where did you go?’ It was pretty cool.”
Ryan went in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Baby brother didn’t take the opportunity to tease him about that fact.
The Browns selected UCLA wide receiver Jordan Payton in the fifth round with the 154th pick in the draft. Payton likely arrives with some inside information about the Browns’ new head coach courtesy of his mentor, former Cincinnati Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who played football at Oregon with Payton’s brother.
“I am very familiar with who he is,” Payton said of Jackson. “He is from L.A. also. He coached one of my biggest mentors and a guy who I really model my game after, T.J. Houshmandzadeh. I am excited.”
First-round draft choice Corey Coleman has spoken with fellow Baylor Bear and Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“Yes, he hit my head coach up, coach (Art) Briles, and I got to talk to him. I am very happy to be here with him,” Coleman said.
He said Griffin congratulated him and said, “Let’s get to work.” But the primary question the duo will have to answer is whether RGIII’s shotgun arm can overthrow a receiver with 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash?
“We’re going to find out,” Coleman said with a grin.
Bucks don’t stop in Berea
Over the course of the three-day draft, 12 Ohio State players heard their names called, but not by the Browns.
“We liked a lot of those guys — a lot of them,” executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said. “And a lot of them were very high on our board. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the guys that we liked. Where we were, we took the best player for our team.”
Brown said he respects the Ohio State football program, but when a player they have ranked higher is available from another school, they’re going to take that player. He wouldn’t talk about specific players who held an interest for the Browns.
“I do trust there will be some Buckeyes on this roster in years future,” Brown said.
According to various reports, the Browns have agreed to terms with several undrafted rookie free agents. The unofficial list includes kicker Andrew Baggett (Missouri), cornerback Kenya Dennis (Missouri), tight end J.P. Holtz (Pittsburgh), cornerback Tracy Howard (Miami), center Mike Matthews (Texas A&M), defensive tackle Kyle Rose (West Virginia) and fullback Patrick Skov (Georgia Tech).