Chapter Eleven – Back in the Big Apple

Draft Day 2011
The day of the draft had come along too quickly. I still didn’t know where to upgrade. We had picked up a lot of kids that I absolutely loved in the free agency and I didn’t have too many ideas on who to draft to make our team better. I was still waiting on Quinn, as far as I was concerned he was our guy. Jamal was slowing down, but he was still picking up the good seasons, so I didn’t think we’d need to take a running back this year at least. We had a multitude of wide receivers, and I liked Rucker at tight end. Our line was great, they were full of potential. And then on defense I loved everyone. So I went into the draft room with a few wish list players that I knew wouldn’t fall to us.

When the draft kicked off, it came with a roar of the crowd. That signified the time to be near our draft board and start peeling off the names of kids we wanted who were drafted. When it got to ours (24th pick, which seemed too low for a Browns team that had the 2nd pick last year), we started talking about what we needed.

Some people suggested we get a QB to fall back on, but the majority looked down on it. We had five quarterbacks (Quinn, Harrell, Anderson, Smith and Moore). There was a lot of talk about a running back with Armando Allen and John Clay left on the board, but Jamal was still on the roster and we felt some loyalty to him. After some clamor, we got a phone call from the Bears wanting a trade. Our GM had a confused look on his face, and sat back for a moment to think. He agreed to the trade and set down the receiver of the phone. Leaning forward with a confused grin on his face he spoke to the draft room.

“Well, you won’t guess what they proposed.”

Trade Notification
Cleveland Sends
Jamal Lewis HB
Derek Anderson QB
4th Round Pick (24th)

Chicago Sends
Roberto Garza RG
Johnnie Knox WR
3rd Round (27th)

When he broke the trade, I was, at the very least, confused. Chicago had a successful QB/RB combo in Cutler and Forte. Forte and Jamal were both on the powerful side, so I didn’t see what they had to gain from that. We picked up a nice veteran lineman with a small contract and a fast, young WR. We had good WR’s in Edwards, Massaqoui, and Robiskie, but we didn’t have much in the way of speed.

So with that, we had a small hole at halfback. We had Jerome Harrison, Shagg Makino and James Aldridge back there. I liked all three of them, but none of them were exactly feature backs. With that, we started weighing the pros and cons of Armando Allen versus John Clay. Obviously Allen was quicker and shiftier than Clay, but Clay was about 250 pounds of man. The only problem with Clay is that he had no speed. Lewis was a tank, but had wheels to back him up.

Sometimes I thought my alliance to Notre Dame got the better of me. I was biased, sure, but for good reason. Notre Dame always had good talent. Plus, the last running back out of Wisconsin hadn’t done much, and Clay was just a slower version of Maroney. I made the push for Allen, and it went through.

With the 24th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Armando Allen, HB out of the University of Notre Dame.

2011 NFL Draft Round One
Rams – Stephen Schilling, LG Michigan
Dolphins – Maurkice Pouncey, C Florida
Chiefs – Marvin Austin, DT North Carolina
Raiders – Lawrence Marsh, DT Florida (Two smart picks in a row? Where’s Al Davis?)
Jaguars – Chad Jones, SS LSU
Lions – Everson Griffen, LE USC
Jets – Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma State
Vikings – Rolondo McClain, MLB Alabama
Colts – Joseph Barksdale, RT LSU
49ers – Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma
Seahawks – Bryant Browning, RG Ohio State
Buccaneers – Reshad Jones, SS Georgia
Bengals – Deunta Williams, FS North Carolina
Redskins – Evan Royster, HB Penn State
Texans – Amari Spievey, CB Iowa
Eagles – Emmanuel Moody, HB Florida
Panthers – Donovan Warren, CB Michigan
Ravens – Joe Haden, CB Florida
Packers – Carl Johnson, LT Florida
Chargers – Ronald Johnson, WR USC
Broncos – Carlos Dunlap, LE Florida
Cowboys – Roy Helu, HB Nebraska
Browns – Armando Allen, HB Notre Dame
Giants – Clay Matthews, MLB Oregon
Steelers – John Clay, HB Wisconsin
Bears – Mike Pouncey, RG Florida
Raiders – Arrelious Benn, WR Illinois
Falcons – Ras I Dowling, CB Virginia
Saints – Kelvin Sheppard, ROLB LSU
Cardinals – Morgan Burnett, SS Georgia Tech
Vikings – Major Wright, FS Florida

Browns Selections
Armando Allen, HB Notre Dame
Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame
Andre Crenshaw, HB Oregon
Mike McNeill, TE Nebraska
Lawon Scott, DT Ole Miss
Ryan Kerrigan, LE Purdue
Kendric Burney, CB North Carolina
Jonathan Dwyer, FB Georgia Tech

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