Browns appear ready to head into camp with Delhomme as their starter

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 03:  Jake Delhomme #17 of the Carolina Panthers reacts on the sidelines against the New Orleans Saints during their game at Bank of America Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Eric Mangini said Monday that the Browns’ starting quarterback job is Jake Delhomme’s to lose. Some Cleveland fans may want to throw their Jim Brown bobblehead through their office window after reading that news, while others probably shrugged and muttered, “Well, at least it’s not Derek Anderson.”

Thus far, all of the reports on Delhomme this summer have been positive. Mike Holmgren was looking to add a veteran quarterback who could help provide leadership in the locker room and he found one in Delhomme. Perhaps more importantly, the former Panther has developed a good report with young receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie.

Of course, Delhomme has been around long enough to know how to make an impression in OTAs. While his veteran presence has probably been a welcoming sight around Cleveland this summer, the real work is still ahead. This is a player that hasn’t played with confidence in the recent past and his decision-making has been downright brutal over the last year and a change. If the Browns were looking for a savior at the quarterback position, Delhomme isn’t it.

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Are the Browns still considering trading Braylon Edwards?

Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wonders aloud if the Browns are still intent on trading Braylon Edwards after recently signing free agent Mike Furrey, who now joins a crowded receiver corps.

• Until proven otherwise, we’ve got to assume a trade of Braylon Edwards is still being explored. Surely he’s not scoring points with Mangini by missing the “voluntary” offseason conditioning workouts. Perhaps the Browns are bracing for the possibility of Edwards also skipping the two “voluntary” minicamps scheduled later this month. Securing a No. 1 pick in 2010 for Edwards now would give the Browns some comfort moving forward.

• If Edwards does not return, the Browns have a lack of speed at the wideout position. Robiskie and Massaquoi — again, they’re rookies — run decent for their size, but they won’t be getting behind many NFL corners. Furrey, 32, is a possession receiver. David Patten will be 35 when the season starts. As for the other receivers returning from last year’s roster — Paul Hubbard, Syndric Steptoe, Lance Leggett — I haven’t heard Mangini or Kokinis mention any of their names since they’ve been on the job.

• Perhaps the Browns are merely adding competition to the receiver position. But it’s odd that they aren’t doing the same at running back.

I didn’t excerpt this portion, but in his article Grossi makes a good point that it’s unrealistic to assume that both Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi (two receivers the Browns drafted in the second round of last month’s draft) will develop into starters as rookies. However, while Massaquoi was largely considering a raw prospect by some scouts, Robiskie was the most polished receivers to enter the draft so it wouldn’t be far-fetched if he turned some heads this summer and became a starter. (His father is long-time NFL assistant and current Falcons’ receiver coach Terry Robiskie, so you know Brian has had excellent training throughout his young career.)

In regards to trading Edwards, the Browns are setting themselves up for either outcome. The additions they have made to their receiving corps this offseason haven’t been spectacular, but they could at least get them through a season if they do wind up trading Edwards.

Edwards becomes a free agent after the 2009 season and it appears that he doesn’t want to re-sign with Cleveland, so the Browns would obviously love to get some kind of compensation for him if he does plan on bolting. But if they wind up hanging onto him, he is still their most talented receiver and would be their top playmaker in the passing game next season. I don’t know if I would say it’s a win-win for the Browns, but at least they seem to have a plan.

NFL Draft: 5 Day 1 Winners

It’s absolutely ridiculous to claim that a team “won” on draft day when none of the players have even played one down in the NFL yet. But it is fair to debate which teams made quality decisions on draft day (i.e. trades, overall maneuvering, etc.), and below are five franchises that I thought made out well after the first two rounds.

1. Cleveland Browns
Alex Mack, C (21); Brian Robiskie, WR (36); Mohamed Massaquoi, WR (50); David Veikune, DE (52)
The Browns became one of the day one draft winners the moment they were able to trade out of the No. 5 pick, because there wasn’t a prospect at that spot that Cleveland loved and they saved a ton of money getting out of the top 5. So they were able to make a deal with the Jets and landed the 17th and 52nd picks, as well as three players (Kenyon Coleman, Brett Ratliff and Abram Elam) that used to play for Eric Mangini in New York. The underrated Elam is the best of the group and should start at strong safety after the team decided to not re-sign Sean Jones. After the deal with the Jets, the Browns made yet another move, trading the 17th overall pick to Tampa Bay for the 19th and 191st selections. Still not satisfied, the Browns again traded back, this time dealing the 19th pick to Philadelphia for the 21st and 195th selections. When they finally did select a player at No. 21, they got the best center prospect in the draft in Mack, who joins a solid offensive line that already features Eric Steinbach and Joe Thomas. Although I was surprised that they passed on OLB Everrette Brown early in the second, they got a polished receiver in Brian Robiskie and then eventually filled their linebacker need with Veikune, who is raw but has good upside. Massaquoi was a bit of a surprise, especially considering the Robiskie selection earlier in the round, but it’s hard to criticize what Mangini and new GM George Kokinis did on the first day. It also must be noted how well the Browns played everything before the draft, keeping things close to the vest and not tipping their hand. Obviously that trade with the Jets for the No. 5 pick had to be in the works for a while given the players involved.

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