Mar 12, 2012

New Browns Draft Options

So we lost out on RG3. Big whoop. I loved the guy but I think he just got into a much crappier situation than Cleveland would have been. But that is beside the point; this blog is not about him.
The Browns still have the #4, #22, and the #37 pick. There are plenty of ways we can go with this, even for the Colt haters out there. Lets analyze some scenarios with our first draft pick.

Morris Claiborne:
Pros: Would immediately give us a top 5 secondary. With Haden and Claiborne, even high-powered offenses would struggle to pass against us. This is also a warm welcome since we play AJ Green twice a year for the foreseeable future. As bad as our run-defense was, adding two shut down cornerbacks would allow the rest of the defense to focus on the run. TJ Ward could be more aggressive knowing he has help on the sides. In all essence, there is no downside of drafting Claiborne.
Cons: Unfortunately, Claiborne cannot throw, catch, run, and score the ball. I personally don’t think the Browns have the luxury to take the Best Player Available with our top 5 pick. As much as I would love to go all defense with just about every draft, eventually, the Browns will need some playmakers on offense.
Justin Blackmon:
Pros: The Browns clearly need some offensive playmakers. For the few Colt believers left, this is the pick that has been argued for months. Blackmon is easily the best WR in this class. Although he lacks the vertical threat the Browns really need, he is very sure-handed which is a need for the Browns who were near the bottom in drops.
Cons: As much as people like Blackmon, the cold hard fact (I owe Coors $ now) is that he is not a top 5 pick. When you draft a top 5 WR, you need to be assured that he will be a Megatron, Andre, Fitz, or Green. Blackmon is not. He is a generous 6’0’’ and doesn’t have the breakaway speed to complete deep routes. I have no doubt he will be a talented WR but the fact is, you just don’t draft possession receivers in the top 5. If Blackmon were in the draft last year, he would have likely gone between 12-20. The Browns already have a possession WR (albeit not the best hands), they don’t need another one in the top 5.
Trent Richardson:
Pros: This would only happen if the Browns and Peyton Hillis do not come to an agreement. That we will find out soon. Again, like Blackmon, there is no doubt that Richardson is at the top of his position in this class. I also have no doubt he will be successful in the league. He is a bruiser that also has speed to get to the next level. By far, he is one of the more complete backs that have been in the draft in quite some time.
Cons: Once again, similar to Blackmon, he will be quite the reach at 4. RB’s are rarely ever drafted this high. In fact, AP is the only one drafted this high in the past decade. Could he be the next AP? Sure. But the thing about running backs is that most of them are surprises that turn into stars. Just refer to where Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, and Chris Johnson went. Plus, Trent has around 700 touches already most against SEC defenses. That’s more than 300 more than LaMar Miller and David Wilson. Who knows what his NFL durability will be like.
Ryan Tannehill:
Here is where it gets interesting. Like we had it in our latest mock draft, the Browns would be trading down to draft Tannehill. In our scenario, we have the Jags trading up for Blackmon. However, I wouldn’t rule out a number of other suitors. Even though I said Blackmon is a stretch at 4, there will be some GM’s who like him. Furthermore, the fact that Claiborne will be there makes the trade value skyrocket. There are plenty of teams who need a lockdown corner. The Cowboys immediately come to mind. If Peyton and Flynn fall to other teams, there is a good chance Tannehill will be there at 14. A trade would likely add the Browns either a 2nd round pick, or a future 1st.
Pros: No question he is a work in project but Tannehill boasts a 6’4” 220 frame with a cannon arm. He has the size to be an NFL QB and we finally have someone with an arm to throw a deep ball. He is also very smart and has already had some experience learning the WCO at A&M.
Cons: Like I said, he is a work in progress. A converted WR, Tannehill only started at QB for the past two years. He has talent but it is raw talent. Can Shurmur and Childress get it out? Honestly, I think he would benefit the most from sitting behind a good veteran for a few years with great play caller, basically, the antithesis of the Browns.
Brandon Weeden:
Here’s where it gets really interesting. This, in my opinion, would only happen if we trade down. We would NOT draft him with a 1st round pick. However, I think he would be great value if we use our newly gained pick in the 2nd round to draft him. Of course, we could draft at 4 and still take him in the 2nd.
Pros: Arguably the second best passer in this draft. I know that is a bold statement but none of us have seen Griffin throw yet. If it weren’t for Weeden’s age, he would easily be the 3rd QB taken and a first round pick. Very smart, I have zero worries about his game translating from his college offense. Just about every team that has talked to him, including the Browns, have said great things about him and seem really impressed.
Cons: he is 29 years old. Yikes! Here come the Chris Weinke jokes. Honestly, I’m not too worried about his age. If this even pans out, the Browns wouldn’t get a franchise guy for 10-12 years, only like 6-8.  In today’s NFL, you can’t really plan much past 4 years in the future. If he wins the job quick, he could give us 5 good years.
NOTE: These scenarios only consisted on the Browns addressing QB needs through the draft. There are still FA’s out there such as Flynn and Kolb. I don’t like Flynn and really don’t see it happening. However, Heckert drafted Kolb and bringing him back to a system he knows could work out. Stay tuned for my QB odds predictor coming soon. 

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