2010 NFL Draft: Is Cleveland Setting Up A Reunion in the Swamp on Day Two?
Could the Cleveland Browns first-round pick be setting up a Florida Gators' reunion?
Through all the Cleveland fans' begging, and all the pleading for Tennessee safety Eric Berry, it was all in vain as Berry was taken No. 5 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs.
What seemed to irritate fans most, however, was that Cleveland didn't trade down.
Last year it worked out as the Jets wanted Mark Sanchez, so Cleveland was happy to oblige and trade down. It doesn't always work that way though, you need a dance partner, and Mike Holmgren was stood up for the prom.
Looking at the players available at No. 7 reveals that there were no players that teams wanted enough and felt they couldn't live without.
The big five were off the board, and it merely left Jimmy Clausen, who every team in the league said "No, thanks" to, Rolando McClain, who was slated to drop to the 20's, Derrick Morgan who dropped to 16, and Earl Thomas who Seattle was content to wait until 14 for.
No teams will trade up for a player they can get five picks later—it's just bad business and terrible draft logic.
The best player available was Florida cornerback Joe Haden, who was considered a top-five defenseman until he ran a slow 40-time at the NFL combine, an event that too often overshadows an entire college body of work.
“He had hurt his back at the combine, but had told everybody he was going to run, so he did. “He ran at his workout and ran fast. We weren’t worried about that. We took the 40 as a positive. He told people he was going to run, and he ran," stated Browns' GM Tom Heckert.
To ease those fears however, Haden stepped up and ran again at his Pro Day, notching an impressive 4.41 seconds. He was also a finalist for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back.
Along with that, he racked up 34 pass breakups, eight interceptions, and 218 tackles in just 40 starts. He'll learn under a 31-year-old experienced Pro Bowl corner in Sheldon Brown.
Haden was the best player available. Case closed.
Cornerback has been addressed, so what does day two hold? There's still a huge hole at the free safety position.
Will it be Nate Allen in the second round?
Unlikely, since Texas quarterback Colt McCoy seems to be the target.
In the third round, however, is a promising young free safety prospect by the name of Major Wright.
Coming out of Florida's secondary, he is already very familiar with the playing style, strengths, and weaknesses of former teammate Joe Haden. In the third round he becomes great value with amazing upside, and he could very well be the most underrated safety in the 2010 draft.
Wright is an explosive presence in any secondary, each year improving his skills from the last. In three seasons with Florida, he compiled very impressive statistics and delivered a highlight reel of hits that the Berry supporters will love.
He put up 165 tackles, had 10 passes defensed, eight interceptions, and four forced fumbles.
With a glaring need at free safety and the recently acquired teammate in the first round, could Cleveland be looking to set up a Gators' reunion Friday?
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