2010 NFL Draft: Browns Are Interested in Florida Prospects After Pro Day

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IMarch 18, 2010

When it comes to their roster the Cleveland Browns are a team who has desperate needs in two major categories: defensive secondary and future franchise quarterback.

With two holes in starting spots at safety and cornerback, the Browns are a big contender to pick Florida cornerback Joe Haden, who after improving his 40-yard dash time at Florida's Pro Day, is even more of a lock when the Browns are up to pick at the No. 7 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Both president Mike Holmgren and head coach Eric Mangini went down South to Florida to specifically watch Haden, quarterback Tim Tebow, and perhaps defensive end/linebacker Carlos Dunlap.

Haden looks to be their pick in the first round and he will start immediately opposite of Eric Wright, who himself is a rising talent at his position.

Many are assuming that the Browns may use many of their 12 draft picks to make a power move to get Oklahoma's Sam Bradford or Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen, but with new starting quarterback Jake Delhomme making $7 million in 2010 it is not looking likely. It may be Holmgren just throwing up smoke to confuse both the media and other teams.

Plus, a top 10 quarterback means top 10 money and there are several other later round quarterbacks who would be a low risk-high reward player if Holmgren can choose wisely.

Names like Colt McCoy, Dan LeFevour, Jarrett Brown, Tony Pike, and John Skelton have all been tossed around as possibilities for the Browns, but in lieu of Holmgren and Mangini's trip to Florida they might be getting more comfortable with the idea of picking Tebow in either Round Two or Three.

Tebow or another quarterback may be targeted in the third round since they hold three picks there.

If you quiet down for a moment this is where you can hear Browns fans screaming "NO!"

What Browns fans need to remember is the new slogan of "In Holmgren we trust" and his terrific track record with NFL quarterbacks.

Even though I wrote an article stating how Tebow may not be a good fit for Cleveland since he is a left-handed quarterback and Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas may have to switch to the right side to protect Tebow's blindside, Holmgren may want Tebow regardless.

Holmgren was very impressed with Tebow's new throwing style and quicker release, but he still did not say if he thought Tebow would be a quality NFL starter.

Also, Tebow's footwork was much better while taking snaps from under center. His accuracy and touch on his passes were another area with noticeable improvement.

Signs are pointing to the fact that Holmgren may think Tebow will excel as a quarterback since the Browns are one of five teams that are scheduled to see Tebow in a private workout.

The other teams are the Redskins, Seahawks, Bills, and the Patriots.

Finally, there has been a ton of drama surrounding Dunlap and now with pass rusher Kamerion Wimbley traded to the Raiders, the Browns may be looking to fill that void with a new pass rusher like Dunlap.

Many have questioned his maturity, but his interviews showed a more mature and driven athlete.

Some mock drafts have Dunlap as high the top half of the first round while others have him slipping into the top half of the second round.

Dunlap is a very fast and smooth player who has a tremendously high ceiling even though he has some baggage.

If Dunlap slips into the second round, then he too would be a low risk-high reward player for the Browns, who might also be in the market for a new pass rusher with Wimbley's departure.

Obviously, the Browns will probably not take all three of these players. Each have come from a highly successful Florida program run by Urban Meyer, and there is a very high chance that one of them will be wearing a Browns' jersey come training camp in August.

My money is on Haden, but the picture above also makes me wonder more and more about Tebow especially since both Holmgren and Mangini like high character players and there is no higher character player in this draft class than Tebow.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.