Cleveland Browns 2011 Draft: Do Roster Cuts Have Influence on Drafting Process?

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IFebruary 10, 2011

Robert Quinn, DE/DT, North Carolina
Robert Quinn, DE/DT, North CarolinaStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns announced yesterday that the team has cut six veteran players in order to free up cap room and rebuild with an influx of younger talent.

The NFL draft is one of the key ways to get that talent into the organization and with four of the six roster cuts on the defensive side of the ball, it is reasonable to think that defense should be on the mind of the Browns front office.

Shaun Rogers was the most notable name to be sent away from Cleveland throughout the roster cuts and writers seem to wonder how Cleveland will go about replacing him.

The Browns will likely switch to a 4-3 defense in 2011, which leaves the question of who will fill in for the two linebackers and linemen that the Browns lost.

Athyba Rubin is expected to be the man to fill in one of those holes along the defensive line as his emergence in 2010 made the absence of Rogers seem irrelevant.

That leaves three more spots that need filling.

Cleveland owns the sixth overall pick in the draft and even though many speculate that Cleveland will go for a wide receiver or trade down, it is worth noting that some quality defensive talent should still be on the board.

Marcell Dareus is one of those defensive players.

Dareus was one of the most feared linemen in the entire NCAA last season as he recorded five sacks and a solid 30 tackles after missing the first two games and seeing limited playing time. 

Dareus could play at any position on the defensive line but may be best suited for defensive end because he is only 303 pounds.

Robert Quinn may also be available for the Browns at No. 6, as the former Tar Heel has received a great amount of public endorsement from former Browns coach, Butch Davis.

The 2011 draft picture for the Browns seems to be getting cloudier by the day, as it is becoming close to impossible to predict what direction the franchise wants to take. 

The good news is that Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert led a very good draft process last season and the future of the Browns organization seems to be in good hands.