Top takeaways from John Dorsey’s pre-draft presser

Dorsey seems to have eye on Jeffery Simmons, talks depth of class

Daryl Ruiter
April 18, 2019 - 4:09 pm

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan


Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – John Dorsey believes in second chances.

He’s backed his beliefs up with the selection of Antonio Callaway, who got into trouble multiple times at Florida that resulted in a year-long suspension, in the fourth-round last year and signing of troubled running back Kareem Hunt in February.

So far both players have done nothing to make Dorsey regret his faith in them.

Dorsey appears to be prepared to offer another second chance to Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons.

“Jeffery came in for a visit, and [we] had a chance to sit down with him, talk about the past, talk about the steps he’s taken at Mississippi state over the course of his career at the school,” Dorsey said. “So what we’re going to do if it’s the possibility he’s there, we’re going to sit and talk about it as an organization and make the best decision moving forward and make sure that everybody’s comfortable with that decision moving forward, if it happens.”

Simmons has top-10 football talent and is one of the top interior defensive linemen available in the draft, but he was found guilty of malicious mischief and pled no contest to simple assault following a March 2016 fight that saw a video surface of him repeatedly punching a woman.

He paid fines and restitution towards the woman’s medical bills and has since stayed out of trouble.

“He’s a phenomenal football player,” Dorsey said. “If he was there at 49, you may think about it, but you have to see what’s best for the organization moving forward.”

Compounding the scrutiny that drafting Simmons would bring is a torn ACL that he suffered in January meaning he’d have to sit out the 2019 season.

“I think what you do is you look at his ability to play the game of football,” Dorsey said. “I think you sit and talk to your medical staff and see how long it will actually take with regards to his recovery of that injury. I think, then, you begin to digest the information you have and see is there enough factual information to make a prudent decision.”

The Browns weathered the Hunt storm and there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t with Simmons.

With a long-term approach in mind, it would not be surprising if Dorsey moved up into the first round to grab Simmons, depending how far his history and injury cause him to fall.

Other items of note from Thursday’s presser:

- Dorsey was asked to evaluate the depth in this year’s draft class.

“In this draft everybody knows it’s going to be the defensive line, that’s what everybody’s been talking about,” Dorsey said. “And that’s true. There is some depth here but if you look at the wide receiver position, I think there’s depth on all fronts at the wide receiver position. I think there’s depth at the running back position. I think there’s depth at the cornerback position as well.

“This year’s safeties have more depth to it than in year’s past.”

- With two more trades made and 14 new faces added so far this offseason how deep are the Browns?

“I think we're thin at all positions. I want to fortify that thing as much as I can,” Dorsey said.

- One of the questions entering the offseason is the ability for Austin Corbett to replace Kevin Zeitler at right tackle. Dorsey, who picked Corbett 33rd overall last year, feels confident Corbett won’t have any problem stepping into the starting line.

“I think he was making growth,” Dorsey said. “In the 2018 season, every day when you see him working at his craft and I think that he's going to make tremendous strides here in the '19 season and what he's going to do -- it's not given, nothing's given in this thing, but he's going to sit and compete but I'm sure he's one of those guys that's going to stand up to the challenge.”

- Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t been around much for the offseason training program but Dorsey isn’t concerned, and fans probably shouldn’t be either.

“I think anytime, as an organization, you have a first-year coaching staff and you're installing new offenses and new defenses, it's good to be here,” Dorsey said, “but let's remember the CBA created this where it's a voluntary situation. I think he's an experienced enough player that he'll understand what he has to do to put himself in the best position and put this team in the best position and that's how I look at this.”

- The Browns seem pretty set at receiver with Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins and Antonio Callaway as the top four but Dorsey was asked about adding additional “juice” to the group next week.

“I think Callaway's got some juice,” Dorsey said, “but, again, if you're in that position, regardless of what round you're at, if you think they can really help this organization not only in the immediate but in the long-term, why wouldn't you go acquire a player like that if you deem him the best player available.”

- While Dorsey waxed poetic about Duke Johnson Jr. having a “vital role” within the Browns offense this year, he’ll probably be traded next week. Dorsey said what he needed to to maintain Johnson’s trade value, whatever it might be.

- Kareem Hunt continues to be a model citizen according to Dorsey.

“Kareem's done a heckuva job,” Dorsey said. “He's been working his fanny off.”