- According to Jeff Howe, Jamie Collins‘ new contract with the Browns is a four-year, $50 million deal that includes $26.5 million guaranteed and a $5 million signing bonus.
- Howe adds that Collins will earn $37.5 million in the first three years of the contract but there is no guaranteed money remaining in the fourth year of the agreement.
An AFC North area scout tells Lance Zierlein of NFL.com that Tennessee DE Derek Barnett he and other scouts are concerned about his college production translating in the NFL.
“(Derek) Barnett generates a lot of discussion out on the road,” the scout said. “He’s physical and he’s got great production, but some scouts just don’t think he’ll be able to translate those numbers to the pros because he’s not very explosive off the ball. He won’t overpower NFL tackles like he did in college.”
Zierlein also spoke to an AFC director of scouting who mentioned that this year’s safety class is one of the best he can remember.
“I’ve been doing this for a while now and I don’t remember a draft with this many quality safeties in it,” director of scouting said. “You will look back and find a lot of starters that came from (this draft) and you might see four (safeties) in the first round.”
- According to Zierlein, it’s possibly four safeties could be selected in round one it’s more like that only three will come off the board — LSU’s Jamal Adams, Ohio State’s Malik Hooker and Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers.
Browns LT Joe Thomas believes his team shouldn’t reach for a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick and instead invest in a defensive lineman.
“I think you got to be careful reaching for a quarterback at No. 1 because if they fail they don’t help your team at all. Whereas if you pick a defensive lineman and maybe they don’t live up to the hype you can still find a place to get him on the field and to have an impact,” said Thomas, via Timothy Rapp of B/R.
“We’re a team that we need guys that can come in and start and that can contribute. That’s the risk of taking a quarterback.”
Thomas specifically mentioned that the Browns should target a pass rusher with the first selection of the 2017 NFL Draft.
“I would say you want to go defense,” Thomas said. “I think you need to get a pass-rusher.”
It is worth mentioning that the Browns own the No. 1 and No. 12 overall picks.
- Clarence Hill Jr reports that Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford underwent shoulder surgery.
- Hill Jr adds that Crawford is facing an uncertain future as a starter following another injury-plague season and expects the Cowboys to address the defensive end position in the draft and free agency.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman touched on a number of situations Thursday at the Senior Bowl, via the Charlotte Observer.
While this was a disappointing season for the Panthers, Gettleman expects them to do well in the draft with their No. 8 pick.
“Very honestly, sitting up at No. 8, you’re gonna be looking at some really good players,” Gettleman said. “I’m not happy about it (because of the expectations before the season), but it is what it is. There are gonna be a number of quality players, but No. 1 it’s, ‘who fits us best? Who can move in quickly?’ And the second thing is, ‘what’s the rest of the draft look like?’
“Because obviously we’re picking eighth in the first round, eighth in the second round, eighth in the third round and we’re going to have a (compensatory) pick. So we’re gonna have four picks in the top 100. So we have a chance to really improve our club.”
In regards to LT Michael Oher, who was lost for the season due to a concussion, Gettleman said that he hasn’t spoken to him.
“You want to have as good a set of backup players as you can. Where we’re at right now is we’re gonna look at players, because right now we just don’t know,” Gettleman said. “I haven’t spoken to Michael in a little bit. I haven’t texted with him in a little bit. I want to back off and leave him alone. Because we want what’s best for Michael, really and truly.
“I have this crazy idea that these guys pour our their sweat and blood for us and the least we can do is treat them respectfully. We’re gonna look, but it’s more a function of making sure you build your team as strong as you can, because the backups play.”
Gettleman explained that his approach to free agency is that it sets the table for what’s to come in the draft.
“My philosophy has always been ‘Whatever you do in unrestricted free agency sets you up for the draft,’ so by the time you get to the draft you can literally take the best player available.”