The Cleveland Browns have a lot of needs and 11 picks going into the 2010 NFL Draft.
The First Round pick is critical to the success of the organization in 2010 because the team has had so many first round busts since it returned to the league in 1999.
Tim Couch and Gerard Warren are but two of the Browns many first round draft choices whose careers in Cleveland (and in the NFL) never lived up to their First Round expectations.
More recent first round picks such as Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow now play for other teams. In Edwards’ case, his poor performance will not be missed. In Winslow’s case, poor off-field decisions and locker room demeanor resulted in a change of venue to Tampa Bay.
Last year, Head Coach Eric Mangini traded down from the fifth pick after the Seattle Seahawks took Aaron Curry at No. 4. While not a bad decision, since there really were no other players the Browns would want at that price point, Mangini didn’t stop trading down until Clay Matthews already was off the board.
Leaving great defensive talent on the board for other teams to take became the hallmark of Mangini’s 2009 draft, along with over-drafting Brian Robiskie and David Veikune in the second round.
Center Alex Mack was the Brown’s first pick after about 500 trade downs, and he was a solid pick, but now Mike Holmgren is in charge of the draft, and the defense, horribly ignored last year, will be getting a major upgrade in this year’s draft.
The Browns defense ranked 31st overall in 2009. The front seven wasn't too bad prior to injuries sustained by Shaun Rogers and D’Qwell Jackson, however, the Browns secondary was a nightmare.
The front office has said that they are only comfortable with starting cornerback Eric Wright, starting safety Abram Elam and backup defensive back Mike Adams and rebuilding will continue starting with the No. 7 overall pick.
Safety Eric Berry would have been a great pick here, but the Buccaneers already have taken this valuable safety off the board already.
After conferring with fellow Browns featured columnist Daniel Wolf, the best decision for the Browns at this point is to take cornerback Joe Haden out of Florida.
Haden has the makings of being a solid corner back at the NFL level, and once paired with starter Wright on the opposite side, the Browns will have a duo that could challenge the accomplishments of the Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon era in the 1980s.
With Rob Ryan’s defensive schemes, Haden should help the Browns move up the defensive league rankings.