NFL Mock Draft 2011: Cleveland Browns and the "Dog Pound" Need Help Everywhere
Last year, I did a mock draft for the Denver Broncos due to them getting so much attention leading up to the draft. This year, for some reason, I feel drawn to the Cleveland Browns. They have a very good spot in the draft this year at No. 6, and it seems they have decided to switch back to the 4-3 defensive scheme.
If the dog pound doesn't mind, I would like to give my best crack at a few players I think should be on their radar come April. Feel free to tell me how terrible it is, as you the fans have a much better idea of what is going on up there than I.
1. DE: DaQuan Bowers Clemson 6'3", 280
I don't think I'll get many arguments here. Cleveland needs help everywhere on defense, and Bowers is the best player available.
2. MLB Martez Wilson Illinois 6'4", 250
Again, having the No. 6 pick in the draft puts Cleveland in the perfect spot to pick up some very talented players. Keeping with the strategy of drafting defense, Wilson is simply too great a player to pass up. He will be the man in the middle for the next five to 10 years.
3. QB Andy Dalton TCU 6'2", 215
I think I heard Mike Holmgren say that he will definitely draft another quarterback this year. There are two quarterbacks that instantly come to mind that would fit his system—Christian Ponder and Andy Dalton. Although Ponder could be the better quarterback, he would come at the expense of Martez Wilson.
That's simply too much of a price to pay. Dalton is not far behind Ponder in skill set—if at all. He would offer some competition for the starting job to Colt McCoy and gives Holmgren another option down the road if McCoy is to struggle.
4. OT Joseph Barksdale LSU 6'5", 325
The Browns do seem to have one glaring need on offense, and that's the position opposite Joe Thomas. Joseph Barksdale is a very underrated player that would be able to play right away at the right tackle position.
5. DT Sione Fua Stanford 6'2", 308
I really think that Cleveland has enough guys currently on the roster to fill the two open defensive tackle positions. However, from what I've read, fans seem to want to bring in a new defensive tackle to add to the rotation.
6. (No. 163) TE Charlie Gantt Michigan State 6'4", 252
One need I think the Browns could fill is at tight end. Benjamin Watson is going on 31 and will begin to slow down this season.
It's very important to get Colt McCoy a legitimate target at tight end so the West-Coast offense can operate effectively. Gantt is a very good route runner, has great size and is also a very effective blocker.
6. (No. 165) DE Cliff Matthews South Carolina 6'4" 257
Cliff Matthews is another underrated guy that I think can play outside linebacker as well as defensive end.
He's one of those guys that you just have to find a place for, and he also brings a lot of value this late in the draft.
His best year was in '09 when he compiled 47 tackles and seven sacks.