It's a four-question Friday heading into the first of too many weekends without football.
What does the addition of Johnny Stanton do for the team, and what can we expect his role to be; e.g. just a fullback, or something like what Taysom Hill does for the Saints? -- Dylan K., Cincinnati
The Browns are two months away from the beginning of offseason workouts, five and a half months from training camp and seven months from the start of the season. Assessing a player's role, especially one like Stanton, who has never seen the field during two NFL seasons, is a difficult exercise. Tack on the fact Cleveland has a brand new coaching staff, and it becomes even trickier.
All that said, Stanton's an interesting player. Let's discuss.
First off, he's a fullback, a position the Browns didn't employ at all last season. The Vikings, meanwhile, regularly used a fullback with Kevin Stefanski as their offensive coordinator last year. In multiple interviews since his hiring as Browns head coach, Stefanski has expressed his appreciation for the fullback, so it figures Stanton won't be the first AND last addition to this position group.
Stanton, like a lot of fullbacks in today's NFL, didn't play the position in college. Far from it. A three-star duel-threat quarterback out of high school, Stanton began his college career at Nebraska before transferring to UNLV. He appeared in eight games over four seasons, capping his career with a 325-yard effort against BYU. He also played a little linebacker. Months later, he landed a tryout with the Vikings and later a roster spot. He found out after he'd already left the Vikings facility that he would be a fullback.
"It feels like the coaches see something in me, which feels really great," Stanton said at the time. "It shows myself, more than anything else, that I can do more than one thing. The coaches showing me that they believe that, too, kind of gives me the kick in the butt to really believe that and be confident in it."
Stanton, though, has yet to see the field. He missed all of 2018 with a lower leg injury he suffered during training camp. This past season, he spent some time on the Vikings practice squad. A new adventure awaits in Cleveland in an offense that should require a player or two who plays his position.
No one seems to be addressing the elephant in the room these days and that is what is going to happen with Myles Garrett. In my view the team has a right to know what the league has planned for him. -- David F., Denver
The Browns' hope is for Garrett to be reinstated soon after missing the final six games of the 2019 season. New Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry addressed the situation Wednesday at his introductory press conference.
"Certainly, our hope is for Myles to be reinstated," Berry said. "Obviously, I was part of drafting him here previously. Obviously, this fall he made a huge mistake, but we know who Myles is a person and we look forward to welcoming him back."
Do you think the Browns trade down from 10 to get more capital and still snag a Wirfs/Wills or do they have to take someone at 10? -- Dylan P., Massillon
It's too early to make these kind of projections but here's something all Browns fans can get behind. The more quarterbacks selected early in the draft, the better the position player Cleveland has a shot at acquiring with the 10th overall pick. Mock drafts are all over the place at the moment, especially when it pertains to a loaded class of left tackles. Alabama's Jedrick Wills has been projected as high as fourth overall and as low as 14th in the ones we've analyzed. The same goes for Tristan Wirfs, who has peaked at six and been bypassed by the Browns in many more. At this point, it appears a marginal trade back would still give Cleveland a shot at one of the top tackles in the draft, but it will all depend on how the team ranks the players and what shakes out on draft night.
Are the offensive tackles in this year's draft all worthy of a top 10 pick? -- Mark F., Ashtabula
I'm going to simply put this in the hands of the people who are paid to do this for a living. The simple answer is it's unlikely all of the top-ranked tackles go in the top 10 because it's almost a certainty that a quarterback (Joe Burrow) and pass rusher (Chase Young) go with the first two picks, a cornerback (Jeff Okudah) goes in the top five and a few other signal-callers (Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, etc.) potentially hear their names called before the Browns are on the clock.
In his rankings of the top 50 players in this year's draft, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah included just one tackle (Louisville's Mekhi Becton) in his top 10. He had two others (Wills and Wirfs) in the top 15. That said, tackle is considered a premium position in the NFL, and it becomes even more premium when you're in the market for one (or two).
Our latest Mock Draft Roundup included nine different mocks from across the Internet. None of the top-rated tackles made the top-10 cut in all nine. Wills was the closest, coming off the board first among the tackles six times and making the top 10 on seven occasions. Georgia's Andrew Thomas made six of the nine and was the first pick in three of them. Wirfs was included five times but was never the first selected. That's a long way of saying there is not only no consensus on who is considered the best tackle in this year's draft, but also who even comprises the top three or four.