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Best Available Players on Day 3 for the Browns

Joshua Perry leads the group of best available players for the Browns.

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Day 2 of the NFL Draft proved to be no less crazy than day 1 for the Cleveland Browns. Will day 3 be just as interesting?

The Browns selected defensive ends Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib, offensive tackle Shon Coleman, and quarterback Cody Kessler on Friday, and picked wideout Corey Coleman on Thursday.

So, judging by the team's needs, the Browns should look closely at linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, and running backs at the start of day.

Of course, the Browns might choose not to address some of those needs, since this rebuilding project will take multiple draft classes to complete.

The Browns have eight (!!) picks in the fourth through seventh rounds:

  • 4th Round (No. 99 overall) - 1st pick of round
  • 4th Round (No. 100 overall) - 2nd pick of round
  • 4th Round (No. 129 overall) - 31st pick of round (from Panthers)
  • 4th Round (No. 138 overall) - 40th pick of round*
  • 5th Round (No. 168 overall) - 31st pick of round (from Panthers)
  • 5th Round (No. 172 overall) - 33rd pick of round*
  • 5th Round (No. 173 overall) - 34th pick of round*
  • 7th Round (No. 223 overall) - 2nd pick of round

*compensatory trick, cannot be traded

More coming on this later, but here are characteristics to look for in Browns picks in the last four rounds: Coachable, solid stats in college, and played in a 4-3 defense or pro style offense (or at least threw the deep ball frequently). These three characteristics are true of all five players drafted thus far, with few exceptions.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 players available for the Browns who fit the team's top needs.

Full Lists: SB NationPro Football

1. Joshua Perry, LB, OSU

The Browns have not yet selected a true linebacker, and Perry fits the mold. He's great in stopping the run and dropping back in coverage. Not a flashy playmaker but a solid producer.

2. Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech

At 5'10, 215 pounds, Dixon is a reliable workhorse at running back. A four-year starter, Dixon is not flashy or super athletic, but he's a great blocker and receiver. Dane Brugler ranked him as the 4th running back, albeit in a weak year for backs.

3. Mike Thomas, WR, Southern Miss

Yes, the other Mike Thomas. I'm a big fan of Thomas, a poor man's Odell Beckham Jr. Thomas made some incredible catches at Southern Miss and rates highly yards per catch (YPC) at 19.6 in 2015.

4. Jeremy Cash, S, Duke

At 6'3, 212 pound, Cash is a tweener. Cash played a safety/linebacker hybrid role at Duke, often lining up near the line of scrimmage. A smart run defender with a quick first step, Cash could be a solid pro if used correctly.

5. Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State

Ranked highly by both Dane Brugler and Pro Football Focus, Higgins enjoyed tremendous production at Colorado State as a sure-handed wideout. The Texas native is also considered one of the best route runners in the draft class.

6. Kalan Reed, CB, Southern Miss

Most of the premier corner prospects are gone, but Reed is a steal in the fourth or fifth round. A big producer for the Southern Miss secondary in 2015 with 23 passes defensed, Brugler says, "his explosive traits and playmaking instincts convert well to the NFL level – true sleeper prospect in this class who will likely out-play his draft position."

7. Jerrell Adams, TE, South Carolina

Sure, the Browns have Barnidge, but a backup for the 30-year-old might be nice. And read this, from Pro Football Reference (emphasis mine): "Adams is a strong run blocker on the edge, while showing some wiggle at the top of routes, both on tape and during Senior Bowl practice. He’s the best all-around tight end in the draft."

8. Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona

Though Scooby is the best name in the 2016 NFL Draft, he's not here for his name. Wright has great instincts and is a terrific tackler. At 5'11, 239, Wright is a bit short, and he also played in a 3-3-5 at Arizona, but his instincts and tackling ability inside make him an attractive pick.

9. Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

If I was ranking by talent and not by fit with the Browns, Billings might be at #1. An incredibly strong player, Billings is the best nose tackle in the draft, according to PFF. The only reason he falls here is the Browns already have Danny Shelton and drafted two defensive ends on day two.

10. Jatavis Brown, LB, Akron

A local product, Brown performed magnificently at Akron. A weakside backer in Akron's 4-3, Brown has remarkable athleticism and explosiveness, paired with football smarts. Brown will be an attractive option for the Browns in the fifth round to consider.

11. Cardale Jones, QB, OSU / Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford

A double bonus at the end of my list. The Browns should use another pick on a quarterback. Period. As The Washington Post adeptly pointed out, the Browns should consider baseball teams' approach to pitching: Draft for quantity over quality so you have more chances at finding The One.

Both Jones and Hogan have big bodies to withstand punishment in the NFL. Jones also has a cannon for an arm, while Hogan possesses patience and athleticism in the pocket.

Why not take a chance if one of these two is available at the end of the fourth round? It's well worth the gamble, in my humble opinion.

Anyways, what do you think? Who do you want the Browns to take? Let your opinion be heard in the comments section below.