The 2010 NFL Draft is almost here.
And for our Cleveland Browns, this draft could not be more important.
Here is my assessment of the Browns' needs and some pick predictions.
Keep in mind as we go forward, Josh Cribbs and Joe Thomas are about the only players on this team that are not expendable/replaceable.
I do not need to tell you why the Browns should draft Eric Berry. If he is available, he should be the choice at No. 7.
I believe there is a 50-50 chance that Berry will be available when the Browns turn comes up.
At No. 4, Mike Shanahan is in charge of Washington. He is an offensive guy who just picked up his franchise quarterback. McNabb will need protection. The Redskins will go for a left tackle.
At No. 5, the Chiefs will also most likely pick a left tackle to protect Matt Cassel. There is a chance that Kansas City will trade this pick and that would most likely mean that a team is moving up to take Berry.
Seattle, at sixth, is also a possibility to take Berry. It will come to Pete Carrol's assessment of the team's biggest needs and whom they are targeting with their second pick in the first round at No. 14.
Should Berry not be available at No. 7, the Browns will some options.
They should look to trade down for the right price.
If not, I believe that CB Joe Haden from Florida could be the pick here. Even though they traded for Sheldon Brown, they may still pick another CB. It is rumored that Brown could move to safety if they took Haden.
Other possibilities could also be S Earl Thomas from Texas, DE Derrick Morgan from Georgia Tech, or even RB C.J. Spiller from Clemson.
But we will go on assuming that the Browns took Berry.
I almost picked Tim Tebow here just to stir up some controversy...
But Colt McCoy is the obvious pick here if he is still on the board.
He has some learning to do before he is ready to start in the NFL. But on the Browns he will spend his entire first season holding a clipboard, wearing a headset, and just simply learning.
McCoy may not be quite as sexy a pick as a guy like Jimmy Clausen, who loves to sling the ball all around the field with reckless abandon.
But in the end what you want on this team is a guy who is a winner. And that is what McCoy is—the winningest QB in NCAA history.
OG/OT Vladimir Ducasse, UMass
6'4", 332 lbs.
The main thing that I like best about Ducasse is that he can play both guard and tackle on the offensive line. This would give the Browns a lot of versatility and depth going forward.
The Browns have signed Tony Pashos and Eric Ghiaciuc for the line, but more depth and youth is needed.
CB Jerome Murphy, South Florida
6'0", 195 lbs., 4.58 40-yard Time
No matter what the Browns do with their first round pick they will need more depth in defensive backfield.
Murphy is a solid player whom the Browns really like. He would be great for depth at CB and could help out big in nickel and dime situations.
WR Taylor Price, Ohio
6'0", 204 lbs., 4.41 40-yard time
Price has very good speed and good hands—two things lacking in Cleveland's receivers.
His speed and quickness have the potential to do serious damage in the Browns' "hybrid West Coast offense."
Because it is nearly impossible to predict what specific players will be selected in the later rounds, I am not going to try. But I will break down the types of players that could be selected.
I tried to work out a scenario where Thaddeus Gibson could come home to Cleveland, but it is just not feasible to think that he will fall to the third round.
The Browns could try to find an edge rusher late in the draft if they do not take one earlier. They lost most of their pass rushing threat when they traded away Kam Wimbley.
Matt Roth is very nice young player who will likely start.
The other starting spot is still up in the air. It could go to Chris Gocong or David Bowens.
Or, call me crazy, but do not count out David Veikune. He barely made his way onto the field last season and has all the looks of a bust.
But if we are willing to give Brian Robiskie more time to prove himself, then why not Veikune?
He will be going into his second season after being selected in the second round in 2009. He had to make a position switch from DE in college to OLB in the pros. That transition takes time. And I, for one, am willing to give him some.
The Browns need to add some depth to the defensive line.
There is no guarantee that they will not deal Shaun Rogers at some point, and if they do, then count on them to pick a player for the D-line.
Terrence Cody from Alabama could be a pick if he's still around in the third round, though that is not likely.
Other players could be guys like Cam Thomas from North Carolina or Linval Joseph from East Carolina.
I like Abe Elam a lot. He is very nice player. But that is no reason to think that he can't be upgraded.
We cannot fall in love with players and forget that we are looking to improve, not have a team full of "nice" guys.
Larry Asante from Nebraska, Myron Rolle from Florida, or Kurt Coleman from Ohio State are all late-round possibilities.
Let me know your thoughts and opinions on what players we could or should be targeting at any point in the draft.
Here we go!