What player must the Cleveland Browns absolutely draft in 2013?
The focus in free agency for Cleveland has been around solidifying the front seven for defensive coordinator Ray Horton's new 3-4 base scheme.
Once Brent Grimes signed in Miami, much of the pre-draft talk shifted towards finding an outside cornerback to go opposite Joe Haden. While this is the most pressing team need, there are arguably two or three corners who could be selected as day one starters.
However, only one player at a specific position of need absolutely must be drafted by the Browns. That man is a fullback named Tommy Bohanon.
The Wake Forest alum won't be on any draft boards before the fourth or fifth round. So how can a singular athlete be a late pick and so important to Cleveland's offensive success in 2013?
It's because of what Bohanon can do to improve Trent Richardson's running game and help out in pass protection. The senior also showed flashes of offense in 2012 by scoring six total touchdowns and making 23 receptions.
Whereas Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes and Desmond Trufant all possess the potential to substantially strengthen the Browns' secondary, no other NCAA prospect brings the promise at fullback like Bohanon. Not Zach Line and not Lonnie Pryor.
Cleveland currently have zero options at FB since 2012 draft pick Brad Smelley is a 'tweener' and seems relegated to the practice squad or trying his hand as an undersized tight end.
Veteran TE Alex Smith falls into the over-30-years-old category that CEO Joe Banner will have nothing to do with. Smith was a stopgap solution at fullback last season when it became clear that original starter, Owen Marecic, would be more useful warming the bench.
Bohanon's overall skill set is much more promising then Marecic's was coming out of college. The Demon Deacon's stock began to rise significantly following excellent performances during Senior Bowl week.
He carried that momentum over to the scouting combine by out-lifting all running backs in the bench press competition (36 reps of 225 pounds).
That type of power is ideal for the role of a lead run-blocker where brute force and lane-clearing ability are essential. Being a thick 6'1" and 246 pounds doesn't hurt either.
No. 42 combines his raw strength with respectable speed (4.88 second 40-yard dash) and a non-stop motor.
Despite signing good free-agent perimeter blocking tight ends in Kellen Davis and Gary Barnidge, offensive coordinator Norv Turner still requires paths to be opened up down the middle for his power rushing attack.
The Florida native can definitely fill that void in the always physical AFC North.
Cleveland has not seen a smash mouth grinder at fullback since Lawrence Vickers left town following the 2010 campaign. Consider Bohanon as Vickers 2.0.