I decided that in an attempt to pass the time until the start of another Cleveland Browns Super Bowl campaign (AKA the 2012-2013 football season), I am going to change my name to Tom for a few minutes and assume the position of “General Manager” of the Cleveland Browns and let you in on my plan for the perfect offseason.
This will be lengthy. I’ll talk about what I think our needs are, what I think we should do in free agency, and what I think we should do in the draft. Feel free to skip whatever you want.
As I see it, here are positions of need for us:
QB: Yes. We all are aware that Colt McCoy is not looking like the guy in Cleveland. Furthermore, we have a backup QB that is approaching the twilight of his nothing-to-write-home-about career and does not want to mentor anyone. We need at least one QB, if not two.
RB: Let’s be real. Peyton Hillis is a big question mark; no one is sure whether we will bring him back or whether he wants to come back. But even if we assume he is coming back, there are still some holes. Montario Hardesty is essentially always a threat for injury. Chris Ogbannaya showed he can be a steady back. We have no idea what we have in Brandon Jackson. So we have one decent back, maybe two.
WR: Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Well, we actually have talked about the elephant in the room. Biggest need- We need playmakers. Period.
OL: Starting RT and depth.
WLB: Scott Fujita is a phenomenal team leader, but he’s not the impact player we need at that position. He’s also not getting any younger.
DE: We basically have Sheard and Mitchell. It’s a nice start, but we need more talent at the position.
CB: This position is a strength on the team, but we could stand to replace Sheldon Brown. He’s getting older and it was starting to show last season.
I think we can go into the draft with some holes filled through free agency. I don’t expect a huge free agency addition (no DeSean Jackson, no Matt Flynn, etc). But here are some guys I think we could potentially target:
Donovan McNabb (QB)- We aren’t finding a franchise QB in free agency. McNabb is not a starter and he will not get a starting role on any team in the NFL. But he’s a guy that spent almost his whole career in Philly, running an offense quite similar to Shurmur’s offense, and he could be a great mentor for whoever the starting QB will be next year.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (RB)- He’s a guy that I think we should go after if Peyton Hillis walks. I don’t know a whole lot about him, but I know he scored me lots of TDs in fantasy football. I think he’s a tough runner and a year ago he rushed for over 1,000 yards. He also had 9 receptions for 159 yards this year.
Dwayne Bowe (WR)- Should KC let him walk, I think this is a guy we need to go after. He’s a big dude and he can be our #1 WR, plain and simple.
Robert Meachem (WR)- Marques Colston was tempting in this spot, but in the end I think NO is going to re-sign him. Meachem becomes replaceable in a stacked Saints offense. He can be a legit deep threat, and we need that.
Carl Nicks (G)- A little birdie tells me that the Saints gave their other guard (Jahari Evans) a fairly lucrative deal recently, so signing their other guard will be a tough sell given that he will command lots of $$ (Birdie: http://www.footballsfuture.com/2012/fa/ol.html). It would look really nice to have Nicks starting in place of Lauvao.
Mario Williams (LB)- I don’t think that any Browns fan would rather see Scott Fujita instead of Mario Williams at LB. My head tells me the Texans will try to keep him around, but my heart tells me I want to see him in orange and brown next year.
Brandon Meriweather (FS)- This guy went to the Pro Bowl in 2009 and 2010 with NE, but kinda fell off the boat this year in terms of production when we went to Chicago. I don’t see anyone that really jumps off the page at me at safety, so I think we should take a flier on him. If he returns to Pro Bowl form, great! If he doesn’t, at least there’s someone to compete with Mike Adams and Usama Young.
And now, the moment you’re all waiting for. I know you’ve all been thinking “OMG when is shep615 going to post a mock draft? I’M DYING HERE!!!1!1!!!one” Well, wait no longer.
Round 1, Pick #4: I really wanted to turn this pick into 4 picks by trading down, honestly. But I couldn’t really justify it. And it’s for the same reason that we will easily outbid Washington to slip into the #2 pick. I looked at the playmakers on offense and I saw 3 that make any sense for us to take anywhere in the top 15: RGIII, Justin Blackmon, and Trent Richardson. I don’t want Trent Richardson because in the end I think we will be looking good at RB, and I would feel the wrath of B19K and many others if I picked a RB in the first round. I don’t want Justin Blackmon because I already filled the #1 WR need in free agency, and in the end I don’t think he necessarily fits what we need. So the only choice I had was… TRADE #4, #22, and Round 3 Pick 4 to St. Louis for
Round 1, Pick #2: Robert Griffin III (QB- Baylor)- I don’t think I need to say much here. I’m a believer in RGIII. We outbid Washington with two first round picks. Blackmon is the guy for St. Louis, and I think the Rams are in the same boat as us in that they need playmakers for Sam Bradford. Richardson makes no sense, and Blackmon would be gone if they traded with Washington. We win out. We have to give up the other first round pick to outbid Washington while only giving up 3 picks, but it’s a small price to pay for RGIII.
Round 2, Pick #5: Whitney Mercilus (DE- Illinois)- I hope he falls to us in round 2. He looks like a pass rushing beast, and think about it: If you’re an opposing quarterback, you’re either going to have a dude named Sheard in your face or a dude named Mercilus. Sheard sounds like you’re going to get sawed in half, and I’m not sure exactly what Mercilus sounds like. But with a name like that, you know it’s not going to be pretty.
Round 4, Pick #5: Josh Kaddu (OLB- Oregon)- What I’ve read about him is that he has the athleticism and the build to be a LB in the NFL. He’s got good speed and burst. The knock on him is that he’s raw. His technique could use some work. Good thing Fujita is around to show him the ropes.
Round 4, Pick #23: Dan Herron (RB- OSU)- Eh, why not? Could compete for #2/#3 spot behind whoever starts at RB next year.
Round 5, Pick #4: DaJohn Harris (DT- USC)- He’s 6’3” 308 lb. Could provide some nice depth behind Rubin and Taylor.
Round 6, Pick #5: Tony Bergstrom (T- Utah)- Depth on the O-Line. He’s big (6’6” 315 lb.) and he has a beard. Enough said.
Round 7, Pick #4: Derek Dennis (G- Temple)- It’s late and I want to be done so I just picked someone.
So there you have it. What do you think?