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2010 NFL Draft: Why ESPN's Mel Kiper Is Wrong About Browns Picking Dez Bryant

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 30:   Wide Receiver Dez Bryant  #1 of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys catches the ball and runs in for a touchdown against the University of Oregon Ducks during the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on December 30, 2008 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Daniel WolfSenior Writer IApril 7, 2010

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. is one of the leading experts when it comes to the NFL Draft, but even he cannot always be right because there is no exact science to guessing what teams may or may not do when they are on the clock.

The Cleveland Browns have some pressing needs on both sides of the ball, none greater than finding their future franchise quarterback.

Next on the needs list has to be finding a a starting free safety to play next to starting strong safety Abram Elam in the Browns' secondary. This need should be the top priority in the draft and in the first round since Mike Holmgren has never drafted a quarterback in the first round of any draft since he's been in the league.

Then on their needs list it's a toss up on the priority of finding a starting right guard, a pass rusher, a wide receiver, and another possible defensive lineman due to the legal troubles of Shaun Rogers.

Focusing on the point here is the fact that Kiper has the Browns picking Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant at No. 7 in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft on April 22.

Here is Kiper's comment on the Bryant pick.

"I've talked to people around the league about Dez Bryant, and I can tell you the notion that there are concerns about Bryant's character is blown out of proportion. Here the Browns get the best WR in the draft, a threat they really need, and a player that, in a football environment, is a workhorse and a producer. I think K.C. will also be looking hard at Bryant at No. 5, but will ultimately pass and allow the Browns to get him."

Maybe Bryant's character issues have been blown out of proportion, but there are still some red flags, like cancelling his private workout multiple times which could mean he has issues in his preparation. Another problem is the excuses he made when he finally ran his 40- yard dash and complained that he had to run them in brand new shoes.

A problem with brand new shoes?

Sounds petty.

The Browns just got rid of Braylon Edwards due to off the field issues and on the field issues with dropped passes and a lack of focus.

If you watch some of Bryant's tape, one can see that on the field, Bryant has similar nuances and issues with drops and focus that plagued Edwards.

Now why would the Browns want to get rid of one player who was a distraction or another player at the same position that has similar nuances?

Kiper is off on this pick and even though safety Eric Berry is off of the board on his mock, picking Bryant just doesn't seem to make any sense, except to fill a spot in a receiver group that is young and still untested.

Surprising enough, this journalist would rather see the Browns fill their vacancy at free safety by choosing Earl Thomas instead. Kiper has Thomas going at No. 11 to the Broncos.

Even Kiper's analysis of Thomas make one wonder why Bryant would be a better fit for the Browns.

"There are scouts who will tell you Thomas is the best pure, instinctive football player in the whole draft," wrote Kiper. "He has big-time aptitude."

This alone should prove that Thomas is no reach at No. 7 anymore and if Berry is gone, then he should be the logical choice.

Kiper's ESPN colleague, Todd Mcshay, also had good words regarding Thomas.

"The free safety is mentally and physically prepared to make an immediate impact as a versatile ball hawk in the Jaguars' secondary," wrote McShay.

McShay has the Browns picking Tennessee defensive lineman Dan Williams at No. 7, which is a better choice than Bryant, but again the Browns need a defensive playmaker in their secondary and one that coordinator Rob Ryan can use in multiple schemes and areas of the field.

Both Berry and Thomas fit that mold and without a true free safety on the roster, the Browns should consider safety or trade down and that's it on April 22.

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