Director of Player Personnel Dan Saganey (4.30.22)

On K Cade York:

“Really excited to add Cade to our roster here. Cade is really a consensus player across our organization between the personnel, research and scouting. A very talented young player with a strong leg. A player we got really familiar with through the evaluation process here this spring. We saw him kick on multiple occasions and really feel good about adding him to the roster, hopefully solidifying the position going forward and looking forward to seeing what he can do off and on the field.”


On DT Perrion Winfrey’s energy:

“Perrion is an extremely passionate guy. I think you guys are going to love him. I think the Dawg Pound is going to love him. He is a high-energy player all day, and he loves football. We are really excited to add him to the room, to the roster and to see him out there at practice every day. I had the opportunity to see him practice this year in Oklahoma and practices pretty early in the morning. He was the first guy out there getting ready. You could feel his energy through the entire practice. I think anybody who was at the Senior Bowl would have seen the energy that he brings daily and then to the game. Obviously, he had a great game. We are really looking forward to adding him to the room and seeing what he can do.”


On trading picks to move back when not knowing what other NFL teams will do between those selections:

“I really think we kind of look to see where we are at on the board, we typically have a handful of players who we would consider taking a certain spots and then – AB (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry) touched on it last night – we spend most of the day on the phone fielding calls, seeing where we should go up and down depending on who is available. Our pro scouting staff does a great job putting together team needs. We do our best research as we can to try to make the odds as favorable as we can to pick players that we think will be available when we get to those picks. Again, AB touches on it, we are always looking to move either up or down depending on what opportunities are available.”


On if the Browns expected York might go later in the fourth round if the team did not select York:

“You never know. We know there were a lot of teams that were interested in kickers through this process. The round thing is really fluid year to year. We are excited to add him because of the talent we think he brings to the room, regardless of what number of pick we take him. Very excited.”


On comparing York to Bengals K Evan McPherson:

“That is a great question. Every kicker is different. Every position player is different year to year. Evan McPherson is a really good player. We are going to see them in the division for a long time obviously. Cade, we kind of evaluate each player as an individual and what they can bring to the Cleveland Browns. Again. through our process, this was a high consensus player who we are really excited to have.”


On evaluating a K’s ability to kick in tough weather conditions when the player kicks in the south:

“It is obviously a difficult place to kick here. A lot of kickers around the league all come from different weather environments. They all come from different parts of the country. Really, we are judging the talent that we see. We are judging the makeup of the player across all positions. Kicker obviously the environment does create certain circumstances that can be difficult depending on where you kick. Cade is a guy who we like his mental makeup – I think that is a big part of it – and we really like his overall talent level for kicking in an outdoor stadium.”


On a report that the Browns considered drafting Bengals K Evan McPherson last year:

“I can’t comment on the round where we would have taken a player. Through the draft process, we thought Evan was very talented. Again, we look at each scenario and each pick really as its own situation, and it comes down to who is available on the board in certain spots and what we are willing to do. Again, really excited to have Cade with this pick.”


On strengths of Winfrey’s game and if the Browns were surprised Winfrey was still available:

“I will start with his game. I love his game. Perrion is a guy who is a great scheme fit for us as far as coming off the ball. He plays with violence. He plays quickness, speed and power. He is an up-the-field, penetrating type of player as a 3-technique which is again a difficult skillset to find. He was a two-year starter at Oklahoma. You saw his game grow as his career there continued. Him fitting into our system, again, we have great faith in our staff here to continue to work to develop him. His skillset is something that we truly do look for in that spot. As far as him being available, again, every spot is different. Everybody’s board is different. We got pretty familiar with him through the process through this spring. We loved what he did in the Senior Bowl against the best competition you are going to see him go against. He really kind of checked those boxes that we wanted. Again, addressing the board this morning and kind of resetting things as Andrew talks about, we felt really good about it if he was there.”


On what stood about York during the pre-draft process, including York’s mental makeup:

“Prief (special teams coordinator Mike Priefer) obviously spent a good amount of time with him in the process. Eventually, you guys will get to talk to him about what he saw. In general, it is kind of a combination of talent with the mental makeup. This is a guy who kicked in a lot of big games for LSU at a high-powered program where every game is a huge game down there every week, and he made a lot of kicks. When you combine that with the talent, that is something that we were really excited to get here.”


On York adjusting to the unique environment at First Energy Stadium:

“I would go back to kind of the mental makeup of the player. You really never know until you get into a stadium, you see how the wind feels at the stadium and you get used to kicking there. Our guys go down there during the season and during the off season and do a good amount of kicking there just to get used to that. Again, when you are projecting players into the NFL, you are looking for specific traits and a specific makeup. When those things combine to make up what you think will be a pretty good player, you are excited to pick him.”


On if the Browns scouting department exclusively rely on special teams coaches to scout a specialist:

“No, everything we kind of do here in our evaluation process comes back to three things: it comes back to the coaching staff, it comes back to our scouting staff and it comes back to our football research department. Cade was a guy across the organization here that everybody felt great about this entire process. Very excited to add him. I think that started with our area scouts doing a great job this fall seeing him live multiple times. Coach Priefer getting a chance to see him kick a couple of times and spending the time and putting in the resources to get to know Cade.”


On if the Browns adjust their offensive strategy when having a K with a strong leg:

“To be honest with you, that would be a great question for (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski) as far as game management goes. I am not going to put any words in his mouth. It certainly gives you a level of comfort knowing that you have a guy who can hit from long range. I think everybody feels good about that. Cade is a very talented guy, and we will see where it goes in the fall. Looking forward to seeing him get a chance to kick in our stadium.”


On if there is anything new the Browns learned about Winfrey at the Senior Bowl and if it elevated the team’s evaluation:

“When evaluating Perrion, again, you saw all of the traits on tape. That part was great. You saw him improve over his time at Oklahoma. The Senior Bowl is always a great opportunity. Jim Nagy does a great job of getting the best talent in the country there. Your next question is, ‘OK, is he going to continue to improve and ascend in that environment?’ which we thought he did a great job down there and had a really good week. I was fortunate that I got a chance to see him practice this fall, and you can feel him on the practice field. As soon as you get to Senior Bowl, he is a guy who you can see his teammates kind of rally around him and he was the energy guy on their team. Those are all things that we are looking to add intangibly whenever we can with a player. It is a nice addition to a guy with a really quality skillset for our scheme and for our system.”


On Winfrey initially playing at junior college due to academic reasons and Winfrey seeming like a sharp person in the introductory media interview:

“I think you guys are going to love talking to him. Like I said, his energy is something that you feel all of the way. There are a number of players who come into college football every year and come into the National Football League that went the junior college route initially. Got to know him through the process, and we feel really good about adding him to the room.”


On the strengths in the middle rounds of the draft and the Browns deciding to add more picks in that range:

“Obviously, this was a unique year not picking in the first round. When you really try to go through all of our situational planning work that we put a couple weeks into before the draft, you really kind of come away working through different situations. You work through a number of what ifs, trade scenarios and where should we be looking to acquire more picks. There is always a fine line, and you always have to get great conversation around do you sit and take a player here or do we try to move back and increase our odds of getting two players we really like here at a slightly later spot in the draft or acquiring future picks. It really comes down to – I know you guys probably get sick of us saying it – every pick really does come down to unique situations, who is available and the opportunities that are presented to us through making trade calls and doing our due diligence to work up and down the board to make sure we feel comfortable.”


On if anything is easier in the draft process this year for the Browns after having consistent personnel and coaches for three years:

“I honestly do not feel like anything is different the last couple of years. Our coaching staff does an absolutely phenomenal job in this process. Our scouts do a phenomenal job in this process. It is great that we have been able to come together physically this year, but really, the challenge of a new staff coming together in the middle of a pandemic, everybody checked those boxes as we went two years ago. Last year was great through the process, and this year, it is nice to have everyone back in the building and we like to work together in person. Again, I can’t compliment our staff enough for the work that they put into this process, and again our entire college scouting staff is on the road all year away from their families – it is what they do and what they are passionate about. Our football research group is again spread out – some are in the building and some are spread out throughout the country – and everybody coming together and working together on the process is phenomenal to watch. When it all comes together, we are all really excited about the guys we get to add this weekend. We feel good about it.”


On how Winfrey played in college and how that impacts how the Browns will use him in the defense:

“It is funny, the way they used him  and when you speak to their coaching staff, he is an up-field penetrator all day. You can put that guy over the center. You can put him over a guard. You can really try to cut the offense in half. His skillset is fun to watch. Again, I think he fits projecting him to a true 3-tech spot here is really the overall skillset that we are looking for in that spot, but you can play him at 1-technique and he is going to get off the ball and he is going to chase and play hard, and you are going to get all of the same production.”


On past NFL coaches lining up across of a player like Winfrey:

“I am not getting in front of him, I will tell you that – he would break me in half (laughter). I don’t even think I would be able to get my hands on him at this point to be honest. You guys are going to love watching Perrion practice. Again, this is a guy I think the Dawg Pound is going to absolutely love. I feel like you guys are going to see it every day out there at practice and you are going to be able to feel him. Hopefully, he will continue to develop and turn into a really good football player for us and help us win games.”


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