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The Definitive Cleveland Browns Draft Guide

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The draft can be one of the weirdest, most harrowing times of the year for a football fan. This season for the Cleveland Browns has been no different, thus far. During the regular season, it is really easy to get lost in the grinding 17 week season (including bye week) as the Browns jumped up and down with each win and loss. In the case of the Browns they ended up in some subterranean layer of the earth. As the final whistle blew, after watching the team sputter its way to 12 losses, everything seemed obvious.

It was obvious, first and foremost, that the Browns need help all over the field. The two most glaring spots are the offensive line and the defensive backfield. So, easily enough, we have identified the two greatest positions of need for this Browns team.

The offensive line seemed old and broken down enough that both Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson became injury victims. While some people were upset with the play of Reuben Droughns, most accepted that the offensive line had been at least partially responsible for his declining statistics.

The Browns also had big problems at cornerback. Daylon McCutcheon was hurt and never returned. Baxter got hurt. Bodden was in and out with injuries. The cast of thousands that tried to replace them got burned up and down the field with regularity.

It is the same old story. These are the things that we talked about all season long. So, we need to address those two positions in the off-season. Everybody good with that? Good.

So, the Browns will definitely address those two positions, offensive line and cornerback in the draft?

Yes. Well, no. Well, maybe with picks other than the top pick. In fact now that we have forgotten all we had decided while watching the team last season, we should just start from the standpoint of drafting the most talented player, regardless of their position.

Okay, I can buy that in some scenarios like maybe if there is an unbelievable player who stands head and shoulders above the rest.

And by the way, there is this one kid from Notre Dame named Brady Quinn who we think might end up being a franchise quarterback.

Yeah, that sounds like a great (screeeeeech!) wait, what?

Brady Quinn?

What in the hell did we just talk ourselves into? Didn’t everything seem clear only a few short months ago?

Back to reality.

Brady Quinn can not become a member of the Cleveland Browns. Let me explore this as a symptom of how we lose focus the further we get into combines and drafts. You can’t possibly make an argument for Brady Quinn with the number three pick in the draft, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying. The arguments in favor of Brady Quinn are astonishing. People have mentioned his coaching in college as if that should be some big incentive to draft a guy at number three in the NFL draft. Previous coaching is a nice-to-have attribute on top of some other extreme physical gifts, but this sounds like the kind of logic that should be used in trying to find a sleeper on the second day of the draft. To make these arguments at the top of day one is infuriating.

The key to finding the next Joe Montana or Tom Brady should be pretty apparent. Montana was drafted in the third round of the 1979 draft. Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round in 2000. Let this be the lesson. You aren’t going to find these guys at the top of day 1. And Browns fans need to remember one simple lesson from their history. Tim Couch was selected over Donovan McNabb. I rest my case.

Back to the Browns. The bottom line is this. They stink. They need to improve. They can afford to miss out by not taking a guy and then he beats the odds to become a success. They can’t take the risk that one of these guys turns out to be a bust after he is holding up the orange and brown jersey on draft day. So, what does this mean to all the potential players? This, my friends is the definitive guide. No more hemming and hawing. Short of a car crash changing the health status of the players, this is the definitive strategy on each player mentioned in the running in the top five.

  • JaMarcus Russell – If he magically falls to the Browns at number three, they have to take him. He is a physical anomaly at the position and has easily distanced himself from all the other QBs in the draft. If you really want a QB and Russell isn’t available at number three, you better start doing your homework on picking up the next Tom Brady in the later rounds on day two.
  • Adrian Peterson – Adrian Peterson could be the next LaDainian Tomlinson. There is a chance that he could be the next Courtney Brown. Durability questions? Take him off the list. Enough of being wishy washy and thinking too hard about it. There are questions. Remove him from the list. You can pick up some pretty talented backs later on in the draft. Just ask Terrell Davis.
  • Joe Thomas – If Thomas is there, you have to take him. Not only is he the best offensive lineman in the draft, he happens to play the largest position of need on the entire history of any football team ever this side of QB. He is a surefire bet. He isn’t a guarantee, but nobody can argue with the bet. That being said, I would be surprised if he isn’t going to Detroit.
  • Calvin Johnson – This is another guy that is surefire bet. If you end up with Johnson on your roster, that is great. Because it isn’t a position of need, this is where the Browns need to start thinking of trading the pick to get full value out of their draft position. If they can’t trade it, they take Johnson and start scheming ways to make Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow and Johnson the most dangerous offensive trio in the league.

That’s it. These are the answers. Remove Quinn and Peterson from the equation because there are questions. You can’t afford questions in the top five picks of the NFL draft. Even if you end up winning with a pick like Peterson, consider it like this. You are at a blackjack table and you just split tens and won both hands. Just because you won doesn’t mean it was a good idea.

Keep these things in mind and you will rest easier going into the draft. I am sleeping better already since writing all this down.

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About Craig Lyndall

  • me

    i cant believe im saying this, but i agree with u on the logic (i think, its late and im drinking)

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com FilteringCraig

    Well that is kind of a backhanded compliment, but I will take it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/03/28/002232.php Chris

    “You can pick up some pretty talented backs later on in the draft. Just ask Terrell Davis”

    Why isn’t he playing anymore, durability… I think. Unless Russell falls to the Browns they are idiots not to take AD.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com FilteringCraig

    Davis just couldn’t come back from knee injuries.

  • http://IwouldputJoeThomasaheadofAdrianPeterson Tom Murray

    If they can’t get Jamarus Russell or Joe Thomas I think they should trade down.

  • me#9

    first, speaking of two of the elite QB’s in NFL history, you say:
    “You aren’t going to find these guys at the top of day 1.”

    then you say, in regards to Russell:
    “If he magically falls to the Browns at number three, they have to take him”

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    Two elite QB’s who were drafted later on in the draft. Their later success wasn’t apparent in sprint drills and weightlifting events. You have to continue to draft these types of players later on.

  • Nick

    agree with most.Stay away from AD. COLLERBONE! COLLERBONE!COLLERBONE! that bone doesn’t heel!