I’ve been reading a lot of hulaballoo about the Browns and their NFL Draft. I’ve read everything from DeVante Parker, Wide Receiver, and Todd Gurley, Running Back, in the first, to insane three team trades between the Browns, the Phillies, and the Titans that nets us a Quarterback in Sam Bradford who is perhaps average at best while giving up 2 first round picks or leaping up a few spots to get Mariota.
This is all quite silly. None of these Quarterbacks will make a difference at the Factory of Sadness for the value given up, given Winston’s off field issues and Mariota’s style of offense not letting him playcall at Oregon, and I do not believe the Browns should do that. I also do not buy the Browns dipping into a 1st round Running Back again after Trent Richardson despite Gurley’s potential and in part due to his injury history to the knee. A Running Back needs a good to great Offensive Line and/or a Fullback to open lanes and set up blocks for him. We have Terrence West and Isiah Crowell who will be sufficient. And let’s not forget the tremendous year Peyton Hillis had because the Browns Fullback Lawrence Vickers that year excelled, and Hillis has never lived up to it. He’s no longer with the Browns nor a starter and his career is in jeopardy. Not that there’s much confidence in the Browns abilities to Draft or succeed but I think they’re better than that.
The Browns needs do include Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Tight End, Right Offensive Tackle on the offense side. I’d argue a less pressing need but one that would be nice to fill is a 3 down all purpose Running Back and historically the offense has been anemic. On the defensive side we need a Nose Tackle, a Linebacker or two and a Defensive End. The Browns front seven need work as Jabaal Sheard and Rhubin have left and rank at the bottom when the opponent decides to run the ball. Less pressing concern is the Secondary which has been solid and will be exceptional if Justin Gilbert, Cornerback, can live up to his potential and take over for the loss of Buster Skrine. For the Special Teams a Kicker will be a plus.
The Browns have 10 picks in 2015. 1st, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 6th, 6th, 7th. Going by a position of need, taking a look at the talent available this draft I am confident the Browns can turn into a contender this singular year with this draft if they pick well even if the Quarterback position is lacking. I’ve also done mocks on http://fanspeak.com/?utm_source=OTC and while it may not duplicate what will happen in reality when the NFL Draft rolls around, it should give a good idea.
From what I’ve drafted and feel is possible my picks for the Browns is as follows…
1st: Danny Shelton, Nose Tackle
1st: Owamagbe Odighizuwa Defensive End
2nd: Philip Dorsett Wide Receiver
3rd: Donovan Smith Offensive Tackle
4th: Davis Tull Outside Linebacker
4th: Rory Anderson Tight End
5th: Taiwan Jones Inside Linebacker
6th: Terrell Watson Runningback
6th: Chris Bonner Quarterback
7th: Joe Cardona Long Snapper
This will address almost every single position of need and provide tremendous value in the later rounds which includes the Quarterback.
For the Offense. If the Browns will go for a Quarterback, then I say it should be at the latter half of the draft. Chris Bonner is a 6’6″ (or 6’7″ on a good day) QB with good arm strength to make all types of throws required in the NFL, sound footwork and offers some mobility in the pocket, and has made calls in an NFL style offense albeit at a smaller division school than what is preferred. That’s the one knock against him. I think if given a year or two to develop he could be a big sleeper and give the Browns what they need. In Philip Dorsett the Browns get a Wide Receiver that has incredible speed and ability to separate vertically that will stretch opposing defenses and cause havoc. His combine went well and he has shown ability to run routes and not drop a ball. This is the Wide Receiver the Browns should draft to help Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline. In Donovan Smith the Browns get a solid Tackle that can play Right or Left Tackle when the time comes moving Mitchell Schwartz to Guard as it is rumored they want to do. Rory “Busta” Anderson is a Tight End who can both separate and receive while relishes blocking, he’s a sleeper who is stated to be drafted higher than expected and can be a complete package though does come with injury history having torn triceps. The one Runningback you might not have heard of despite his potential is Terrell Watson and it’s because he comes from a small school. He’s slated to be gone in Round 6 or later yet at 6’2″ and 240 lbs this big bruising dude ran an excellent 4.51 40 yard dash implying great speed and his tape showed consistent ability to not be caught from behind. I think this offense will turn things around for the Browns and help in all facets.
For the Defense the Browns use a 3-4, which means three men in the front and 4 linebackers behind them for the “front seven.” Danny Shelton is a consensus top Nose Tackle with athleticism and draws comparisons to Vince Wilfork, an elite NFL Nose Tackle in the 3-4 defense which the Browns also use who has played for 10+ years and while not as dominant is still going strong. Helping him will be Odighizuwa at Defensive End who will compliment Desmond Bryant or Randy Starks on the other side as he is brought up to NFL standard. Odighizuwa while having some health concerns due to surgery on his hips rated highly at the combine and provides help both against the pass and the run. These two along with Taiwan Jones as Inside Linebacker who has worked well against running teams in college will quiet any concerns. Davis Tull OLB along with a healthy Barkevious Mingo on the other side will stop the Pass. Adding depth with Karlos Dansby, Christian Kirksey, and Paul Kruger at the Linebacker position, I think this will make the Browns defense in the top 5 of the NFL on all ends of consideration.
Joe Cardona generates buzz at being an exceptional Long Snapper. So much so that a position that is hardly drafted it is rumored he can be in the later rounds. Though he does pose a risk with his military career if he’s called to serve. But he is strong and accurate.
If in 2016 they still need a Quarterback then at that point it can be considered to trade up for a potential elite one. I would also consider Joey Bosa or Shawn Oakman at DE. Joey Bosa may not be feasible as he is rumored to be a top pick. Shawn Oakman may be available mid 1st to 2nd and at 6’9″ is a massive person who could have been a 1st rounder in 2015. I’d also consider a back up center, safety, and kicker in this draft.
In two years the Browns can be at worst a winning team and contend if they make smart decisions this year and next. This is just an example of what is possible and the Factory of Sadness can turn things around to produce a happy product.