Browns Need Play Makers

gary wertmanCorrespondent IDecember 25, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 28:  John Conner #38 of the Kentucky Wildcats runs with the ball while defended by Eric Berry #14 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the SEC game at Commonwealth Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Cleveland browns have a nice foundation of hard working, intelligent players with plenty of heart and good character. This we can thank Eric Mangini for. Like him or not, Mangini has put together a team of selfless players who won't quit on him. While that is great, the Browns need to add some playmakers to become a playoff team.

When you look at the better teams around the NFL, the main difference between them and the Browns are the amount of impact players they have. Cleveland has Josh Cribbs and an emerging Jerome Harrison. That's it. No big play QB, no big play wide receiver and very few turnovers created by the defense let alone touchdowns.

Cleveland needs to start by drafting a safety on defense. That's right a safety in the first round. I'd be very happy with Eric Berry from Tennessee. Pittsburgh has Polamalu, Baltimore has Reed, both players have a huge impact on the game. Offenses have to account for where they're lined up each play. Cleveland needs to find such a player. Brodney Pool leads the team with four of the team's six interceptions and he may be one more concussion from retirement. Abe Elam is no playmaker.

Eric Wright is doing a nice job at cornerback but he needs help. Cornerback is another position that needs upgraded. Depending on what type of defense we run, will determine our needs at ILB. D'Qwell Jackson is solid inside.

Matt Roth and Kameron Wimbley look like a nice combination at OLB and if we switch to a 4-3 they can play DE as well as LB.

On offense, our wide receivers have been below average. Our QB play has not been great but they are not getting much help from the WRs. Youth is on their side, but we need to sign someone in free agency who can make plays. Rookies take time to develop.

If Mike Holmgren decides Cleveland needs to find a starting QB, I hope he can get one through a trade, not a high draft pick. I'd rather see our high picks spent on other needs.