Cleveland Browns Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades

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Cleveland Browns Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades
Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

Entering the 2014 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns are in a period of transition. They have a new general manager and head coach and are trying to make the jump from bad team with talent to contender.

Cleveland has 10 draft picks, two in the first round, and enough holes on the roster to use them. While the Browns could stand to upgrade many positions, one in particular stands out above the rest.

Quarterback.

Brian Hoyer showed some ability in limited playing time, but is the team ready to commit to the 28-year-old as a long-term option? It seems unlikely. But that does not mean the Browns will look to draft a quarterback with the No. 4 pick.

Cleveland's team is not nearly strong enough that it doesn't have a plethora of options with its first pick. Right tackle, linebacker and wide receiver are all legitimate possibilities. 

At right tackle, the Browns could look to either Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews. Mitchell Schwartz didn't impress in 2013, and one of the two is almost certain to be available. Either is a reasonable value in the top five, but Robinson is the more likely option, though he could easily be off the board. 

The only linebacker likely to be in consideration is Khalil Mack. The Buffalo product can play inside or outside in a 3-4 scheme, but given Cleveland's need, he would likely play inside next to Karlos Dansby. Though he may be better off playing outside, Mack offers a huge upgrade over Craig Robertson. Mack would be a versatile weapon with the ability to rush or drop back in coverage. Again, though, he could easily be picked before the Browns come onto the clock.

Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins are both possibilities as well. Depending on who you ask, either one could be considered the draft's top wideout, and the Browns are speculated to have Evans rated highly. The 6'5" wide receiver is a physical target with tremendous catching ability. He and Josh Gordon would give the Browns a tremendous set of big wideouts with vertical ability.

Finally, there is the quarterback position. Johnny Manziel has received the most hype, and he could easily be the pick. The former Heisman winner is a dynamic playmaker with the ability to throw from the pocket and make plays on the run. 

Teddy Bridgewater is the technically sound option, with great accuracy and intelligence. He may not have the upside some of the other passers offer, but he is ready to start right now. Bridgewater could also be an option later in the first round.

Finally, there is Blake Bortles. At 6'5", 240 pounds, Bortles looks like the prototypical quarterback. His footwork and throwing motion need work, but the potential is there to be a great starter. 

All of these players, and probably more, are options for the Browns at No. 4. And here's the thing:

They have nine more picks.

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