2010 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns Are Less Likely To Spend No. 7 Pick on RT

Nicholas GalizioCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2010

With the No. 7 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select…

Well, no one knows yet, but it probably won’t be an offensive tackle.

The chances of the Browns spending the No. 7 pick on an offensive tackle in the 2010 draft have become even less likely with the recent FA signing of RT Tony Pashos.

This is good news, Browns fans.

Granted, Pashos isn’t going to be looked upon as the long-term future at RT for Cleveland, but now more than ever, it makes no sense to spend an extreme amount of money on one at pick No. 7, especially this year.

Plus, it needs mentioning that Detroit, Tampa Bay, Washington, Kansas City, and Seattle all need a LT right now, and are all drafting right ahead of Cleveland, in that order.

If there's a run on OTs ahead of us, the Browns would more than likely end up picking the third or fourth best remaining one at No. 7. On the other hand, Cleveland could realistically get the fifth or sixth best one in round two and pay him much less.

Going by the numbers from the 2009 class and factoring in the Browns’ current draft positioning, we’re looking at…

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1st round RT—approximately five years, $40 million ($24 million guaranteed)

2nd round RT—approximately four years, $5 million ($3 million guaranteed)

When Cleveland is already paying Joe Thomas and Eric Steinbach over $7 million a piece, paying Alex Mack over $3 million a season, and is now adding $3 million in salary with Tony Pashos—adding another $7-8 million at RT is going to be too much money wrapped up in the offensive line.

Combining the salaries of backups, adding a top 10, first-round RT means the Browns would be spending well over $30 million on the offensive line alone. I want a great offensive line as much as the next Browns fan, but there are more economical ways to go about accomplishing this, especially when the OL is not one of the team’s major weaknesses.

If a trade down is once again in the cards for Cleveland, using a mid-to-late first round pick on a RT would definitely be more of a possibility. But even then, with this recent signing and the fact that Hank Fraley and Rex Hadnot probably won’t be back, you would have to think that Cleveland could just as easily spend the pick on a guard instead.

At this point, given the current state of Cleveland’s OL, paying $8 million a year for five years to a rookie RT would be an extremely risky financial move.

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