The Cleveland Browns are ready, willing and able to take a wide receiver with the No. 6 selection of this year’s draft.
It’s like we are moving through the final pages of a mystery novel and we are now realizing that the clues were in front of us all along.
The biggest clue was January 13 when the Browns hired an offensive coordinator from the Rams named Pat Shurmur as their head coach.
Holmgren didn’t tab Shurmur for the Browns to draft two defensive linemen, a cornerback and a linebacker in the first four rounds. He picked Shurmur to jumpstart an offense which sputtered in all categories, but mainly in passing the football (29th overall).
Either AJ Green (Georgia) or Julio Jones (Alabama) will definitely be available when the Browns make their way to the podium tonight. If Green is there, he’s definitely the selection. Jones may be a very slight reach at No. 6, but the Browns will grab him if they fail to engineer a trade, probably with Dallas at No. 9.
The lone caveat here is if LSU CB Patrick Peterson slips to the Browns, which has little or no chance of happening. Peterson is the best athlete in the draft and the Browns would probably have to take him if he’s on the board.
The Browns’ receiving crew—including Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey and Josh Cribbs—is well below average and no conversion to a West Coast offense is going to make great receivers out of any of these guys.
The opportunity to add a talent like Green or Jones into this mix is simply too big to pass up. A big weapon on offense will also lighten the load on the overworked Peyton Hillis, who is the best up-and-coming ball carrier in the league.
The Browns can then address their decimated defensive line in the second and third rounds of the draft.