Kevin C. Cox
Is it getting to that point of the season already? For the Cleveland Browns, I guess you could say "yes," since a 2-7 record half-way through the season doesn't bode well for your playoff chances.
If the season were to end today, the current NFL Draft order has the Browns picking third overall, according to Mocking the Draft. Mel Kiper from ESPN talked about every team's draft needs at this point in time. Here's what he had to say about Cleveland:
Top emerging needs: G, DE, OLB, WR
Analysis: The Browns are relying on a lot of young players, counting the unusual case of Brandon Weeden as "young" based on his NFL experience. Some of the areas where they statistically could use an upgrade are ones they can't just target the draft to help. For instance, they drop balls at a ridiculous rate in the passing game, but Josh Gordon is young, and they still need to see if Greg Little can take the next step and be consistent enough to match his talent level. I think pass rush and the interior of the offensive line are areas they need to address. They could use another sack artist, and they need to maximize the opportunity to turn Trent Richardson into a star.
Drafting tomorrow: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
It's good to see that quarterback isn't one of Kiper's emerging needs for the Browns, although he doesn't list quarterback as a need for the Jaguars despite Blaine Gabbert looking awful. Right now, I think taking a flier on two pass-rushing specialists is the way to go for the Browns. The offense has settled into things, and we don't need another high draft pick on the offensive line. Wide receiver is certainly still shaky, but we already have too many cooks in the kitchen this year; let's let the unit keep playing and then make a decision on which core 3-4 receivers should be kept in the regular rotation.
What do you think about Kiper listing Warmack as the Browns' pick if they were drafting tomorrow? Note that Kiper's selection does not consider where the team would currently be drafting; he is just speculating which players would be good fits for certain teams. Is there someone else you have your eye on?