I'm dreaming about having the best defense in the NFL, and I don't think it's that far from reality.
Most of the online mocks seem to have the Browns going QB then WR or WR then QB. Most also address the O-Line with one of the first 3 picks. The first 3 picks are key as the Browns are incredibly getting 3 of the top 35 choices, though unfortunately they are also only getting 3 of the top 70. The top 35 players in the draft are most often considered impact players, and as deep as the draft seems right now this year should be no different.
Assessing the Browns defense right now...well it may not be very good. Try watching the 4th quarters of our last 7 games and then tell me it's good. It only features one Pro-Bowler--Haden. It does not seem all that deep. And I don't care about yards allowed or points allowed or stats from last year. Maybe the starting quarterbacks went 4-12, but so did the defense.
Imagine this draft scenario: 4th-K. Mack, 26th-R. Shazier, 35th-K. Fuller. And just for fun, try replacing the names Mack with Clowney, Shazier with Mosley, and Fuller with Verrett. The idea here is to draft 3 impact defensive players to consider the affect that would have on the team overall.
Think of our base 3-4 defense. We have an above average group of 7 rotating on the line. In this dream scenario, the LB's would be Mack and Mingo on the outsides with Dansby and Shazier in the middle. Kruger and Sheard would become situational pass rushers. Imagine the blitz packages. Pettine got 57 sacks out of the Bills last year. What could he do with this group?
The secondary would feature Haden and Fuller on the outsides with Skrine as the nickel corner. Gipson and Whitner would round out the back end. And with pick 71 maybe throw in Dion Bailey or Ed Reynolds to give us not only one of the deepest front sevens in the league but also one of the deepest secondaries.
The offense features 4 returning pro-bowlers and has added Ben Tate and Andrew Hawkins. Of course in my dream scenario the last 6 picks of the draft would have to be all offense--a couple of intriguing QB prospects, a couple of O-line prospects, and a couple of skill players.
Maybe the Browns defense is not as good as we take for granted and needs this kind of overhaul. Having a GM who played defense and a Head Coach who came up as a D-coordinator, maybe this dream will come true. After all the most memorable thing about the Seahawks last year, and the great Steelers and Ravens teams I've seen are the seemingly endless waves of excellent defensive players they had. Does this dream scenario make for the best defense in the AFC? You tell me.