Browns, Headlines

Browns’ Hue Jackson wanted safety Malik Hooker before trading down

On the first night of the NFL Draft last Thursday, there was plenty of action involving multiple teams. Whether it was surprising picks or trading up or down, the first round had plenty of entertainment for all. Holding the first and 12th picks, the Cleveland Browns had an opportunity to select two players who could significantly help the franchise from Week 1 on. After taking the consensus top player in the draft, defensive end Myles Garrett, the Browns decided to trade down from No. 12 to No. 25, acquiring Houston’s 2018 first round pick to add to their draft capital.

With the 25th-overall pick, the Browns selected safety Jabrill Peppers. Many believe the former Michigan Wolverine can be a leader, starter, and playmaker for the foreseeable future in Cleveland, one that will lead the defense to bigger and better days. But hypothetically, let’s imagine if the Browns didn’t trade down and stood still at No. 12. Like myself and many others, head coach Hue Jackson would have selected Ohio State safety Malik Hooker, a safety that has the skillset to be just like former All-Pro safety Ed Reed.

Here’s what he told NFL Network’s Mike Silver about wanting Hooker at No. 12:

“To me, he has a chance to be another Ed Reed. When I coached in Baltimore, I saw firsthand what kind of impact a great safety can have.”

As many Clevelanders know just from watching the Buckeyes last fall, in his first season as a full-time starter, the safety displayed his speed, athletic ability, and ability to go get the ball no matter where it was. Cleveland Browns Daily host Nathan Zegura reported following the draft that the Browns attempted to trade back up after acquiring the pick from Houston, calling Indianapolis in hopes of working out a deal to take the Ohio State safety. The Colts turned down the offer, and it was immediately evident as to why when they selected him with the 15th pick.

Jackson may have wanted Hooker, but don’t get him wrong: He was ecstatic to land Peppers late in the first round. Not only does he know how good of a player he is, but the head coach knows just how versatile the rookie can be, which will only help defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (along with playing special teams and a little offense as well).

Check out this video of the team celebrating the addition of Peppers:

Then again, Jackson is pleased with the fact that the Browns were able to acquire another first round pick in 2018, which now leaves them with two first round picks and three second round picks1

“Having that extra pick, that might turn out to be huge for us. I’m starting to appreciate how nice it is to be in that position, because it gives you options.”

By “options”, the head coach could possibly be referring to the opportunity to get his quarterback. Although they selected DeShone Kizer at No. 52 this past weekend, with the 2018 draft class expected to have a handful of top quarterbacks, Jackson and company could lean on a guy then as well. With five picks in the first two rounds, they essentially have the chance to draft whichever quarterback they want, given that they will be able to trade up if needed due to how much draft capital they have.

  1. They own both Houston’s first rounder and second rounder in 2018. []

  • Pat Leonard

    I really wanted Hooker at #12, but I can’t say that I believe Hue Jackson has looked at enough film of Hooker to have a well-informed take as to whether he can really be the next Ed Reed.

  • BenRM

    It was a very interesting article. Apparently, Sashi had some things to say about it this morning on the radio, but I missed that part.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the coaching staff and front office continue to work together and learn from each other. It sounds like Hue is starting to come around on the notion that “asset acquisition” isn’t just code for “punting the draft.” Likewise, the front office is understanding of the coaching staff’s desire for particular impact players, like when they drafted Myles over Mitch.

  • Saggy

    So did I.

  • Saggy

    Or that Hue got reassurances from higher-ups that he’s safe until 2018, regardless of their record next season. A coach who is being judged on his record will always want more picks NOW.

  • JNeids

    While most of us will be quick to jump with MEE TOOOO (myself included), I almost wish we didn’t know the answer to this question. There are probably some who have already started to compare Peppers-Hooker for their “WHO WON THIS TRADE” article, regardless of the fact that it’s not that simple.

  • RGB

    Secret WFNY ninja-cam footage of the Cleveland Browns War Room…

    SASHI: Hey Hue, I know you really want Hooker here at twelve, but how about Peppers and Houston’s first-rounder?

    HUE:
    https://media.tenor.co/images/a4d583d32d71c6f1ba68a93d98b959c6/tenor.gif

  • CBiscuit

    Damn. We shudda gone with Hooker. Instead, we got stuck with a Wolverine. Get ready for Braylon 2.0…ugh

  • Harv

    So, the choice by a 17 year old New Jersey kid to attend a midwest college football factory which is not OSU renders him … Braylon?

  • RGB

    As much as it rendered Joey Bosa Vernon Gholston…

  • JM85

    Translation- relax Hue. We’re going to be 3-13 next year. You’re safe for now.

  • Harv

    so my sarcasm antenna needs tweaking? hmm

  • CBiscuit

    Yeah, that was sarcasm font from yesterday’s discussions…or was it? Hmmm…

  • Harv

    Really not sure why Hue thinks it helps the org for him to share these on-the-record draft thoughts with his pal Silver. It carries the whiff of a guy who wants plausible deniability if Hooker is a HOFer and Peppers is not. More than anything, the Browns need quiet competence and stability, not interesting stories for the public about the sausage-making process. Hope the next time Hue chastises a player about airing team laundry to reporters someone calls him on it.

  • Harv

    drat, got me. Or did you? Hmmmmmmm ….

  • Garry_Owen

    More free agents now.

  • BenRM

    Since stuff will be written about the Browns, I’d prefer that it comes from someone that has access.

    …As opposed to someone like La Canfora, whose access to the Browns is Mike Lombardi, and who actively trolls the fanbase.

  • Garry_Owen
  • Garry_Owen
  • Pat Leonard

    Did you see JLC’s smear job on Kizer, stolen right from the script for Draft Day? That was too funny.

  • CBiscuit

    CBoneless>Garry_Lothbrok

  • BenRM

    I didn’t! That guy…..I’m not sure I even want to read it.

  • Garry_Owen

    But that means I’m still your daddy.

  • Skulb

    But drama is good for sales. Right?

  • Pat Leonard

    You don’t want to read it, so I’ll summarize. He said that when he talked to coaches and players from UNC and Clemson about Trubisky and Watson, they said things like, “That’s my guy” “I’d run through a wall for him” “Born leader” — then he talked to coaches and players from Notre Dame and got a bunch of tepid, lukewarm responses. I really wish he’d asked if any of those players went to Kizer’s birthday party.

  • BenRM

    Blah – that guy is a loser.

  • Saggy

    Were you talking about the tidbit about his teammates not talking about him like he was the man? Or is it something else?

  • Skulb

    Btw they still haven’t pronounced most of the names right on that show. If you speak any Scandinavian language it is very close to unwatchable.

  • Skulb
  • Garry_Owen

    Good thing I don’t!

  • Skulb

    Right. Still, how hard would it have been to hire a consultant to help with the pronunciations? Hell I could do it. I’m free weekends and every other Tuesday.

  • Garry_Owen

    Serious question: How do you think they do with telling the story? I know much is folklore, but I think that they’ve done a credible job of making it seem plausible in light of the history we do know (apart from Aethelstan being Alfred’s father, but, whatever).

  • Skulb

    It’s pretty good. Of course it’s half myth and half historical reality. Ragnar is probably mythological, and according to the legends he was killed in Ælle’s snake pit. But his sons were apparently real, and Ivar the Boneless reportedly killed Ælle as revenge. But the timeline is a bit off. Between Lindisfarne in the first episode and the Rollo’s siege of Paris there was actually about 75 years. So presumably we can be quite sure that Rollo wasn’t the brother of anyone involved at Lindisfarne. Nor could Ragnar have been in both places, unless he was really young at Lindisfarne and really old at the siege of Paris.
    The only other thing that is off is of all things the geography. Kattegat is actually the sea between Norway and Denmark, and the trading post by that name was in Denmark. Yet Ragnar clearly lives on the west coast of Norway, which is where the fjordy parts of the series was shot. And of course in the sagas he actually lived in Denmark, as did Rollo. And Denmark is flat as a pancake. So this is clearly scenography trumping the source material. Vikings are supposed to come out of mountainous fjords and it looks good on TV, so let’s move him to Norway.

    This would only slightly annoy a pedantic person like me though. The story is very well told so far. Of course I know how it ends. I just hope they get the snake pit right. And Ælle’s death in the final episode. At the risk of spoiling it for everyone, he was blood eagled. Maybe they’ll find something else for him though, since someone has already died like that on the show.
    The reason the lingo is much more annoying for me is that they have now mispronounced the name Bjørn about 200 times on this show. If it was some minor character it wouldn’t bother me. But this is one of the leads now, and they say his name all the time. Even the Scandinavian actors are being told to mispronounce it even though they presumably know how to pronounce it, which is seriously weird to me. Again, how hard and/or expensive would it have been to hire a language consultant to do this right?

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  • woofersus

    Thanks, I didn’t want to read it either.

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