That seems to be the topic on everyone’s mind as of late. Who will the Browns select in this year’s NFL draft? More specifically, who will the Browns take in rounds 1 and 2 where they have 3 of the first 37 picks, numbers 4, 22 (from Atlanta) and 37?
There seems to be any number of ways this can go down and in a lot of scenarios the Browns have very little control, if any. As a Browns fan I can’t begin to tell you how reassuring it is to know that my team’s future might be out of their own hands. I mean, they have enough trouble making the right picks when they are in control, for example… Tim Couch… and Courtney Brown… and William Green… and Gerrard Warren… and Kellen Winslow… and Braylon Edwards… and well you get the picture.
The first two picks are locked up. The Colts have already made it public knowledge that they will use the #1 overall pick on Stanford QB Andrew Luck, as if there was any doubt. Washington, who stole the #2 pick away from the Browns in the dark of night, will then take Robert Griffin III. That leaves the Minnesota Vikings sitting at #3 with the future of the Cleveland Brown sitting in the palm of their hands. Allow me to explain.
You see, if all goes according to the plan that has been laid out seemingly months ahead of time, the Vikings will take offensive tackle Matt Kalil with their pick leaving the Browns with the pleasure of selecting Trent Richardson, running back out of Alabama. Richardson is believed my many to be one of the few absolute can miss prospects in this years draft and is heralded as the best running back to enter the draft since Adrian Petereson.
The Browns haven’t had a running back with that type of potential since… umm… Leroy Hoard? Eric Metcalf? Kevin Mack? Ernest Byner? Seriously, I have no idea. Legend has it that Touchdown Tommy Vardell was supposed to be good, but if my memory serves me right, he wasn’t… at all.
The Browns, yes, the hapless, perennial loser Cleveland Browns could score the best offensive weapon in this draft not named Luck or Griffin. I’d start printing the jerseys now, but it’s not that simple.
You see, the Minneosta ”don’t call us Los Angeles yet” Vikings have thrown a monkey wrench into this whole draft process. They desperately want out of the three spot and are trying to find a trade. If that were to happen, chances are the team trading into the #3 spot, more than likely the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, would end up taking Trent Richardson. That would leave the Browns with the option of choosing the best defensive player in the draft in Morris Claiborne, arguably the the best wide receiver in Justin Blackmon… or the aforementioned Kalil. The same Matt Kalil the Vikings want no part of even though their current offensive line is most comparable to WWII era France.
Let me put this as bluntly as possible. The Browns need to draft offensive players at the skill positions. While Justin Blackmon might not be the same caliber player as Julio Jones, AJ Green, or possibly even Michael Floyd, he would be the best option at the point followed by Claiborne. Claiborne isn’t at all what the Browns need, but it’s hard to argue selecting the top defensive player in the draft. Matt Kalil… If the Browns choose Matt Kalil, we riot. And I don’t mean angry emails and phone calls, I mean paint our faces blue, don kilts, and storm the walls of the Barea complex Braveheart style.
The Browns also have the option of trading out of the clean up spot in the order, acquiring an additional pick or two, and taking a player that more suits their needs in the middle of the draft. In all honesty, that could be the best case scenario should the Vikings stab us in the collective backs and trade their pick to Tampa. The Browns could just as easily trade with someone who really wants Claiborne or Blackmon, slide back a few pegs and then select Michael Floyd. It’s not perfect, but good God is it better than them panicking, over analyzing everything, and selecting Kalil.
At #22, the pick they pillaged from Atlanta, the Browns could take a wide receiver, possibly a Kendall Wright or Stephen Hill to pair (hopefully) with Richardson or if they were forced into taking Claiborne. If the Browns take Blackmon at #4, they could entertain the possibility of Brandon Weeden to be their next quarterback of the future. If they want to press their luck they could also try for a running back here to pair with Blackmon and wait until #37 to take Weeden.
For #37, the Browns would most likely explore one of three options, all of which are dependent on what they do at #4 and #22. As I said, Weeden could be the pick here, or a running back (Lamar Miller of Miami) if Weeden is taken at #22. They could also abandon the skill players and take their right tackle here at a point in the draft where the selection in comparison to value of the pick makes sense.
Is anyone still with me? Probably not… I barely understand everything I just said. Here’s a simple break down of the scenarios that I feel best fit the Browns in the first two rounds.
- Richardson, Floyd (via a trade back up), Weeden
- Richardson, Floyd, Miller
- Richardson, Wright/Hill, Weeden
- Richardson, Wright/Hill, Best Available Offensive Tackle
- Blackmon, Weeden, Miller or Weeden, Miller… or Miller/Offensive Tackle
- Claiborne, Floyd, Weeden
- Claiborne, Wright/Hill, Miller
- Kalil, Remote Control, Wall
So there you have it, a not so in-depth analysis of the Browns options in the first two rounds of the draft. Hopefully they know what they’re doing and take the best offensive skill players available at each spot in order to improve an offense that was one of, if not the worst in the history of the Cleveland Browns. If not, it’s going to be another long season of shift work down at the Factory of Sadness.
I can’t wait!