Browns Mailbag

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Browns Mailbag: Looking for 'sizzle,' what to do at No. 12 and more

The snow is falling again in Berea and we're digging out with five of your questions ... [



Why are they so quick to give up on Cody Kessler? They used a third-round pick and seem to be ready to give up on him. He actually looked decent given the offense he was working with. -- William B., Ada

No one from the Browns has said a word about giving up on Kessler. He was pressed into duty in Week 3, going from a third-string option to starter in a matter of weeks, and held his own over the course of eight games. As you wrote, he looked pretty decent given the numerous circumstances working against him. He dealt with a number of injuries and wasn't able to lead the Browns to any victories but came away with some invaluable experience that will help him moving into his second season. As the Browns continue to evaluate the quarterback position, Kessler figures to be in the mix and will look to make the most of his next chance to compete for the starting job.

Do you think the Browns will look very hard at trading for Jimmy Garoppolo? Of the three QBs in the draft, I personally don't think any of them are worthy of a first-round pick nor any of them starting in Year One -- Todd L., Wellington

The Browns have said they're keeping their options open at quarterback -- and most other positions on the field -- when it comes to reshaping the roster, and trades certainly fall under that umbrella. The Browns certainly have not hesitated to make trades over the past year, and some of those moves have already delivered in a big way. It takes two to make a trade, of course, and the Patriots or any other team the Browns are looking to do business with need to be on the same page for it to come together. For what it's worth, trades can't be officially announced until the start of the new league year (March 9).

In your opinion, should the Browns pursue AJ McCarron in free agency since he has worked in the Hue Jackson system? -- Kyle B., Fort Wayne

Though he's been discussed in the media as a possible trade target for numerous teams, McCarron won't be a free agent until March 2018. McCarron's officially logged two seasons in the NFL but didn't throw a pass last season. In 2015 -- Jackson's second and final season as the Bengals offensive coordinator -- he appeared in seven games, including a playoff start against the Steelers. He completed 79-of-119 passes for 854 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.

Let's say at pick 12 we have Malik Hooker (shoulder), Mike Williams and Marshon Lattimore all there. Who would you take and why? -- Rick A., Huntington, West Virginia

I'm not ready to pick a favorite out of those three, but I'll say this. Based on the first wave of projections, I'd be shocked if any of the three were still around at No. 12. Just today,'s Daniel Jeremiah projected Lattimore, a talented defensive back from Ohio State, to land with the 49ers at No. 2. Hooker, the Ohio State safety who recently underwent multiple surgeries, has been often pegged to the Chargers at No. 7, and Williams appears poised to be the first wide receiver selected in this year's draft.

A two-sentence case for each player if they're available at No. 12

Hooker - The Browns are light on numbers at safety and are looking to be much better defending the deep ball. Hooker is coming off a breakout season with the Buckeyes and is known best for his skills around the ball.

Lattimore - The Browns have a solid corps at cornerback -- Jamar Taylor, Joe Haden and Briean Boddy-Calhoun -- but are by no means satisfied with the depth and performance at the position. Lattimore was a lockdown cornerback in a loaded Buckeyes secondary and if he can do that in the NFL, he can become a centerpiece of a defense.

Williams - After missing most of the 2015 season, Williams bounced back in a big way and dominated as DeShaun Watson's main target in a prolific Clemson offense. He has the size, speed and measurables of a dominant NFL wide receiver and sometimes you simply can't bypass the best player available.

It is time for the rebuilding Browns to come up with more "Sizzle." We hear all the positive talks and plans. Last year, the only Brown to show "sizzle" was Pryor. What one position do the Browns need to improve that will get fans excited and realize we can win? It is time to "SIZZLE ME" -- Victor S., Lakewood, Colorado

The easy answer is quarterback, and a great quarterback can provide endless sizzle to a team's offense by making plays himself and generally making the players around him better. Excluding that position, I'll go with pass rusher, and I believe the Browns are headed in the right direction in that area. Emmanuel Ogbah only got better as his rookie season progressed, Nate Orchard will return after missing most of 2016 with an ankle injury and Carl Nassib will enter his second season with elevated expectations. This year's draft class is top heavy with premier pass rushers and there are opportunities to improve via free agency or trade.

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