Rather than doing a concrete mock draft, this is more of a list of things Cleveland Browns fans should expect for the 2010 NFL Draft.
There will be trade ups and there will be trade downs. Tim Tebow will get drafted earlier than he should...and Jimmy Clausen will ride a unicycle while twirling plates on sticks. It will be something for everybody.
Other than that nobody really…and I mean really knows what is going to happen, but for Browns fans, certain offseason moves can offer better clarity for the next few days.
Although Cleveland has a need for a quarterback, the only one they’re interested in taking in the top 10 is Sam Bradford. It’s not going to be cheap for the first overall pick and Cleveland isn’t going to mortgage its future for one player. Adios Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen.
With the acquisitions of Scott Fujita and Chris Gocong, don’t expect the Browns to spend their No. 7 pick on a transitional 3-4 outside linebacker. So, say goodbye to Derrick Morgan and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Mel Kiper Jr. and others have had the Browns taking Dez Bryant for quite some time. Although it is a team need, there are other wide receivers they can snatch up in the second or third rounds without the question marks. See you later Dez.
Top 10 right tackle? No way. A top 10 guard? Insert laugh out loud acronym here.
There has been recent talk of Cleveland just standing pat and taking either Kyle Wilson or Joe Haden at No. 7. Only expect their names to be called if the Browns slide down as the trade for Sheldon Brown has made this less of a need. If either one is drafted at seven, expect Sheldon Brown to seriously become their new free safety next season.
Now, CJ Spiller is the wildcard player at the seventh spot for Cleveland. The running back position may very well be the least of the team’s needs, so why would the Browns use a top 10 pick in the draft on one? If anything, it would likely mean that Jerome Harrison might soon be on the way out.
So what does this leave us?
Eric Berry or bust, apparently. Some Browns fans believe that Earl Thomas would be drafted if Berry is off the board, but Thomas is just too much of a reach for pick number seven.
If Eric Berry is still available, expect Cleveland to just grab him, but not before they listen to offers. Berry is a very sought after prospect and some teams might be willing to trade up for his services, but in the end, Berry is a no-brainer for Cleveland.
It sounds like a magical fairy tale, however it might not be this easy.
It appears more and more doubtful that Eric Berry will still be hanging around for the Browns. If this is the case, and a name like Gerald McCoy hasn’t slid down for some reason…expect a trade down to the highest bidder. Jimmy Clausen will likely be the bait in this case, as Cleveland will try to trade down for pennies on the dollar.
Basically, you can throw the draft value chart in the toilet and flush it.
Supposing they do trade down, look for Jared Odrick, CJ Spiller, Earl Thomas, Kyle Wilson, Joe Haden, or possibly even a right tackle to be targeted.
If there is absolutely no trade down possibility, they’ll just take the best player available…and that can be practically anybody. It will be interesting to see who exactly they deem as the best player at that point.
Looking over the Browns roster you can see that although the offensive line looks pretty good, it’s in need of a youth injection. Tony Pashos is 29, Eric Steinbach is 30, John St. Clair is 32, and Floyd Womack is 31. A selection will be made on either a guard or a tackle within the first three rounds.
By trading away Corey Williams and not addressing the position in free agency, Cleveland will also use a pick in the first three rounds on a defensive end.
For the second round, most people have Colt McCoy pegged as the QB of the future. The problem is he might not be there at pick No. 38 and it’s a stretch to assume that the Browns would be willing to trade up into the late first round to get him. There’s only one QB in this class that they’re willing to trade up for…and that’s Sam Bradford.
With this being the case, expect the Browns to once again look at shoring up their lines. DE or OT will get a serious look in the second round, as will WR and CB. Actually, the guy you should expect them taking if he’s there is Golden Tate, but again…only if he drops to No. 38.
A nose tackle like Linval Joseph is also a possibility here depending on what happens with Shaun Rogers.
Expect to see DE Tyson Alualu, CB Devin McCourty, OT Rodger Saffold, or OT Bruce Campbell’s names being called. Campbell is an intriguing player that Heckert will take a long look at if he’s still on the board.
Darkhorse candidates include RB Jahvid Best, RB Ben Tate, CB Chris Cook, TE Rob Gronkowski, and OT/OG Vladimir Ducasse.
The third round is Cleveland’s money round. This is where they’re most likely to start snatching up some skill-position players, if they haven’t already. This is also the round I believe the Browns will move around and perhaps use a couple of those fifth and sixth-round picks to secure the players they covet.
Although the Browns don’t have much of a need for a possession receiver, the combination of Eric Decker’s sure hands, precise routes, and high Wonderlic score make him a player that Eric Mangini probably covets. If they all feel he’s worth it, you might see them possibly taking a chance on him somewhere in the third round.
As for the quarterback position, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to exactly which one they’re targeting. It can be anyone from Colt McCoy in the second to John Skelton in the sixth. No one knows.
Players they’re going to target in this round will most likely be OT Jared Veldheer, OG Mike Johnson, DE Lamaar Houston, RB Dexter McCluster, WR Jacoby Ford, WR Carlton Mitchell, WR Taylor Price, WR Eric Decker, and probably a quarterback.
Yes, expect a wide receiver in this round.
Fourth and Beyond
It’s difficult to predict moves in the later rounds, so expect a couple of players with lots of upside and maybe a project player or two. This also includes quarterback.
Look for Cleveland to spend picks on DE Brandon Deaderick, ATH Jameson Konz, CB Nolan Carroll, CB Syd’Quan Thompson, OT/OG Ciron Black, or S Myron Rolle at some point in the later rounds.
As for quarterback, look for one of these names to be called…Dan LeFevour, Jevan Snead, Mike Kafka, Zac Robinson, or Tony Pike.
However the draft pans out for Cleveland, it should be a wild ride. Expect playmakers, brute offensive and defensive linemen, and a quarterback for the future…just don’t expect too much out of these players and hold them to high expectations as rookies.
They all might not contribute in their first year, but everyone of them will be Cleveland Browns.