NFL Draft: Updated Needs Of The Cleveland Browns

gary wertmanCorrespondent IApril 10, 2010

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 04:  A fan of the Cleveland Browns cheers on his team as they play the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The NFL draft is now less than two weeks away. After several new players have joined the Browns through free agency and trades this off season, there are still a few positions that need help.

With the additions of Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme, the quarterback position looks set for this season. The team is still lacking a franchise QB but they do have experience at the position and a proven winner in Delhomme. Even if he is past his prime, Jake should be an improvement on what the Browns had last year. Mike Holmgren may want to take Colt McCoy or Tim Tebow in the second round but Mike Kafka could be had in the fifth. That would allow Cleveland to address more pressing needs.

The Browns are hoping Scott Fujita and Chris Gocong can bolster a line backing core that saw Kameron Wimbley traded to Oakland. With holdovers David Bowens, Matt Roth, D’Qwell Jackson and Jason Trusnik, I doubt the Browns will draft a linebacker in the first three rounds.

Offensively, Cleveland has added RB/FB Peyton Hillis, tight end  Ben Watson and offensive lineman, Tony Pashos and Scott Kooistra. Hillis joins a backfield of Jerome Harrison, Chris Jennings and James Davis. Drafting a running back is not a high priority. Pashos is expected to start at right tackle, leaving right guard as still a position of need. Tight end looks good with Watson and Evan Moore.

When Cleveland acquired Sheldon Brown from the Philadelphia Eagles, they eliminated the need to draft a corner back in the first two rounds. Brown will start opposite Eric Wright and should give the Browns a solid pair of corners.

Now, what are the Browns biggest needs as draft day approaches? Last year I felt that next to QB, the safety position was  Cleveland’s biggest weakness. With Brodney Pool no longer with the team, the position is now the weakest on the team by far. Cleveland has to take a safety in the first two rounds.

Age is creeping up on a few key  defensive lineman, which is also a little thinner with the trade of Cory Williams to Detroit. Kenyon Coleman (31), Robaire Smith (32) and  Shaun Rogers (31) are all over thirty. Rogers status is still up in the air with his arrest on a concealed weapons charge. Ahtyba Rubin played well at the end of last season at NT.  Help on the defensive line is needed and should be addressed in the first three rounds.

Cleveland has five picks in the first three rounds. One in the first, one in the second and three in the third. The Browns should be able to find some very talented players with those five picks. Safety, defensive line, offensive guard, corner back and wide receiver, in that order, are positions that need help the most.

With five selections in rounds five and six, Cleveland should be able to draft for depth as well as a possible QB for Holmgren to groom. Who knows, the Browns may get lucky late in the draft but they need to hit on their first five picks. Getting Eric Berry or Earl Thomas would be a great first round.


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