INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – It’s amazing how little attention the Browns always seem to pay Ohio State players in the draft every year considering the program in Columbus has become a pipeline of talent for the NFL.
One Buckeye the Browns should take a look at this year is center Pat Elflein.
Elflein is a converted guard to center and his versatility should appeal to the Browns, who are in need of help on the interior of their offensive line with Cameron Erving expected to be moved to tackle and both starting guards – John Greco and Joel Bitonio – returning from injuries.
Elflein has been telling teams this week that he is willing to play right or left guard or center.
“I’m able to play all 3 and switch around and be versatile,” Elflein said. “I feel like that’s a good marketing tool for me and so I just tell them whatever the need is I can do it and do it at a high level.”
Elflein overcame a surgery and a position change in 2016.
He underwent shoulder surgery last May to remove a cyst that pinched a nerve that prevented him from being able to effectively use his left arm. In the fall he moved from guard to center last season for the Buckeyes where he won the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation’s best center.
“No matter what, you’re going to face adversity in life, no matter if on the football or in life, family, whatever it may be,” Elflein, said. “I feel like overcoming any adversity helps prep you for what life holds in front of you.”
Elflein also shed some light on why the Buckeyes tend to do so well in the NFL.
“Everyone is an NFL-caliber player so you go against that talent every day and I think that’s why we have a good track record of guys transitioning well to the NFL playing at a high level,” Elflein said.
– Don’t sleep on Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch was pretty candid when speaking about their visit with Kizer this week here in Indianapolis.
“This whole thing’s not about an interview, but if you were grading him on that alone, he blew the doors off it,” Lynch said.
Should the Browns stick to the script and draft Myles Garrett No. 1 overall, the 49ers are expected to draft their quarterback with the second pick. Most of what is said publicly about players should be taken with a grain of salt but Lynch hasn’t been the only executive that was impressed with Kizer during an interview this week according to multiple league sources.
While interviews are a critical component to this process, it all comes back to the evaluation of the tape. That is what ultimately tips the scales more often than not.
– The sexual assault scandal that took place at Baylor is on the minds of NFL executives this week. Baylor players are being asked about what went on down in Waco, Texas during Art Briles’ time as head coach of the program. Baylor center Kyle Fuller said that he expected the questions this week “because it’s in the news every other day.” Fuller has also provided teams with a clear and concise response when asked about the allegations that Baylor players sexually assaulted women and the program with the help of the athletic department tried to cover complaints up: “It’s above me.”
– LSU running back Leonard Fournette tried to douse the first serious question — his weight – on Thursday. He tipped the scales at 240 pounds, 5 more than his playing weight. It was also heavier than anyone, including Fournette, anticipated. The explanation: It’s the water.
“Well, I drank a lot of water before I weighed in,” Fournette said, trying to brush it off. “It came right off.”
But now NFL scouts will spend the weekend trying to determine if Fournette’s answer holds water as well as his body. He came to Indy ranked as one of the top running backs in the class and could be the first one off the board April 27 — if he can keep the weight off. But with this year’s running backs class expected to be one of the best in years, any doubts could hurt his draft stock.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)