Hey guys, I don't usually make fanposts or anything but today I am particularly bored and figured I'd give it a go.
Obviously the Browns have a litany of needs that need to be addressed that, in my opinion go something like this: 1) WR 2) QB 3) OL 4)LB 5)DB 6)DE. Obviously theres some room for debate as far as what should be a priority, but I think this is a fair jumping-off point for discussion.
The problem is that with so many holes, its clearly not possible to fill them all this off season. I think we ought to focus on three or four positions and dedicate ourselves to solving them primarily through the draft and then seeing where we're at after next season.
With that in mind, there are a couple things I wanted to talk about. I think this draft is much deeper at WR than it is at QB and we're much more likely to get a solid WR who can provide a long term answer for us with our second first round pick than we are at QB. Therefore I think its plain to see that we ought to be prioritizing grabbing a QB with our first pick in the first round.
Robert Griffin III was a guy whos name was being bandied about a lot around here as a potential answer to the QB question that has been hanging over the Browns since our return. Colt isn't going to get it done here, and I think thats becoming increasingly obvious. I think he could be a starter one day, but not in Cleveland. However, Griffin's draft stock has been going through the roof and in most mock drafts I've seen, we're drafting somewhere at the bottom of the top ten and he's going much earlier than that to Washington or even Jacksonville. Berkley is also slotted to go ahead of us, and obviously Luck is supposed to be the first overall pick to Indianapolis.
Another option that I think isn't talked about enough is hitting free agency and grabbing a guy like Matt Flynn who has shown a lot of promise in his limited opportunities and could probably be had for a reasonable price. You have to remember, youre not just paying for a QB but youre also paying for an opportunity to use your draft picks to address other needs. If we could grab a WR with our first overall pick, that would put us in the running for a guy like Mark Barron out of Alabama or maybe if we're lucky, even a guy like Luke Kuechly out of BC.
Say that can't be done though. Would trading up be a possibility? Would Jax, Washington, Indy or any other team ahead of us be interested in allowing us to trade up to their position? In 2010 Josh McDaniels moved from the 43rd selection to the 25th to grab Tebow for just third and fourth round picks. Considering we've got an additional first round pick in our pocket, I'd be willing to part with that much as well as so much as a 3rd or 4th or two next year in order to be in a position to take RGIII considering I dont think there's a lot of talent warranting first round picks outside of Luck, Berkley and Griffin - I think Jones is a bust in the making, Gabbert without the looks.
That would leave us in a position to take a guy like Michael Floyd or Alshon Jeffrey with our second first round pick as many drafts have both of them sliding to our spot. We might even consider trading down a spot or two and banking on landing a guy like Kendall Wright out of Baylor and then using a 3rd or whatever we acquire to reach for a guy like Broyles out of OU who showed a lot of potential before his injury.Think about this as well - if we traded down just a few spots from our second first round pick for a 3rd, which I think is a reasonable going rate, we'd have two picks a round for three of the first four rounds thanks to acquiring an additional fourth round pick from our trade with Atlanta last year.
That all would leave our 2nd round pick available to pick up a suitable right tackle. We don't need a world beater, especially considering whoever we have at QB won't be asked to do a ton of huge drops back, more 3 step drops and get the ball out. We need a guy who can simply hold it down. In other words, we don't need another Joe Thomas or another Alex Mack, we need another Eric Steinbach. Someone like Andrew Datko may be available early in the second round as his stocked has slipped following an injury. Indeed, the way things are shaping up now, some of the best tackles in the draft will still likely be hanging around in the second round.