Cleveland: Drafting a Wide Receiver In The First Round Can Be Risky

gary wertmanCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 15: Brian Robiskie #80 of the Cleveland Browns warms up before taking on the Green Bay Packers during the preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 15, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
I have always been a firm believer in not drafting a wide receiver in the first round.  There are a lot of Browns fans who would like to see Cleveland trade down in the first round and take either Dez Bryant or Golden Tate.  For what it’s worth, I am totally  against such a move.

There are no sure things when it comes to the NFL draft. Cleveland has proven that time and time again over the years. With only two of their first round picks still on the team since 1999, the Browns have set the standard for ineptness when it comes to drafting  and developing talent. When it comes to wide receivers, their record is even worse.

Since 1999, Cleveland has drafted;    Kevin Johnson- 2nd rd, Darrin Chiavernini-5th rd., Quincey Morgan-2nd rd., Andre King-7th rd., Braylon Edwards-1st rd., Travis Wilson-3rd rd., Syndric Steptoe-7th rd., Paul Hubbard-6th rd., Brian Robiskie-2nd rd. and  Mohamed Massaquoi-2nd rd. While the jury’s still out on Robiskie, Massaquoi had a decent rookie year.

Drafting players can be hit and miss but Cleveland has had way too many misses. Now it looks like they will be searching for another receiver or two in the upcoming draft.  I don’t see this as a big need, but adding more speed could help, along with better play out of the quarterbacks.

Massaquoi should improve in his coverage recognition his second year and Chansi Stuckey was dependable after coming over in the Edwards trade. I think Robiskie, who has very good hands, can be a solid possession receiver. For whatever reason he was not on the field much his rookie year, poor hands was not it. If Cleveland can add a little more speed to this group, I think they will be just fine.

Looking at the wide receivers in the draft, assuming the Browns are thinking middle to late rounds, there are a couple I’d like to see Cleveland take a chance on. Taylor Price could probably be had in the fourth round. Price is  6-0 198  and ran a 4.4 forty at the combine. He has good hands and runs nice routes. Price played his college ball at Ohio University. Another player that interests me is Mardy Gilyard from Cincinnati. He is listed at 5-11 and 180. Gilyard had a nice senior bowl game and will probably still be there in the fourth round.

In today’s NFL with way too many diva wide receivers, don’t look for Mike Holmgren, Tom Heckert or Eric Mangini to spend a high pick on a wide receiver when you can find quality in the middle rounds.

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