Browns Draft Becoming Clearer

gary wertmanCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2010

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 31:  Safety Eric Berry #14 of the Tennessee Volunteers takes a breather during the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Georgia Dome on December 31, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Hokies beat the Volunteers 37-14.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
The more off season deals the Cleveland Browns make, what positions they will target in the draft becomes clearer. Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert have been very busy the last few weeks making several deals addressing the team’s needs.

With the addition of new quarterbacks Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme, Cleveland is probably going to draft a QB. Neither Wallace or Delhomme can be viewed as the franchise QB Holmgren is looking for. Sam Bradford is someone Holmgren has openly said he likes a lot. He will not be there when the Browns pick at number seven. If they don’t trade up then I look for them to take a QB in the second round. Colt McCoy or Tim Tebow would be my guess if that happens.

Cleveland also signed right tackle Tony Pashos. He is expected to start at right tackle so signing an offensive lineman in the first three rounds doesn’t seem likely. Joe Thomas LT, Eric Steinbach LG, Alex Mack C, are all locks at their positions so maybe they will take an offensive guard in the later rounds.

If anyone thought Cleveland would be taking an inside linebacker early in the draft, the signing of Scott Fujita says that probably won’t happen. Also the Browns traded outside linebacker Kameron Wimbley to the Oakland Raiders because they felt good about Matt Roth, Marcus Benard and David Bowens at OLB. Personally I’d like to see Bowens stay on the inside with Fujita and D’Qwell Jackson.

I was never one of the people thinking Cleveland needed to draft a running back and with the newly added Peyton Hillis, they probably won’t. Hillis, who was acquired from Denver in the Brady Quinn trade, can play both running back and fullback. Cleveland also has Jerome Harrison, Chris Jennings and promising rookie James Davis. Davis was lost for the season in the second game but showed a lot of promise. He was good enough to share playing time at Clemson with C.J. Spiller.

Another position I doubt the Browns will draft high is wide receiver. After watching game film from last season, Holmgren said the WRs were getting open, that was not the big problem. With Robiskie, Massaquoi and Stuckey, along with Cribbs, they will improve with a more accurate QB. I think Holmgren may take a WR somewhere after the 3rd round but not before.

Three positions Cleveland has not addressed so far are, defensive line, safety and cornerback. The Browns traded defensive end Cory Williams to Detroit so they are sure to be looking someone in the draft to take his spot. Depending on who’s available, it could anywhere from the first round on. My guess would be in the third or fourth round.

I said last year that along with a quarterback, safety was the Browns biggest need and I still feel that way. A top cornerback is close behind. With that said, I hope the Browns can fill those positions in the first three rounds. Players like Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, Joe Haden, Kyle Wilson and Patrick Robinson could be there when Cleveland picks in the first three rounds. They might have to trade up for Berry but he could slide.

As for a QB, it all depends on who Holmgren really likes. That will remain a mystery until draft day. The Browns definitely have the ammunition to trade up if it’s Bradford so I wouldn’t rule that out. Barring any more dealings, I look for Cleveland’s top three picks to be S, QB, CB in any order.

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