Thursday, April 19, 2012

On The Clock: Cleveland Browns

With the Minnesota Viking's top three potential picks out of the way, I turn my attention to the Cleveland Browns. Before I start, I have to address something that came up while starting this article. The Cleveland Browns have to be the team in desperate need of a new name and logo. Their logo, jerseys and name have to be the most bland, awkward and ugly of the entire NFL. Sorry Browns fans but it is time to face the music.

Let's take a look at the 2011 Cleveland Browns and their off-season. The Browns continued their history of struggling in 2011. Peyton Hillis was often injured and left for Kansas City this off-season. Colt McCoy looked good at times and awful at others before being replaced at the end of the year because of a concussion. He finished the season with 2,733 yards, 14 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 57.2 completion percentage. To be fair though McCoy's receivers are young and inexperienced. Greg Little had a nice rookie season but should not be relied on as a number 1. The run game was nearly non-existent, ending the season 28th in the NFL with 1,531 yards. The Browns could also use help on defense where they finished the season with 32 sacks (23rd in NFL) and only 9 interceptions (28th). Surprisingly, they only allowed 332.4 yards per game (10th) and 19.2 point per game (5th). Let's take a look at who the Browns should be targeting at the number four spot:

1. Ryan Tannehill - Quarterback - Texas A&M - For some reason I think this will be the pick for Cleveland. It will be quite a reach but this off-season has shown that they do not have faith in Colt McCoy. They were very public about trying to trade up to the number 2 pick, presumably to take Robert Griffin III. The Browns were also looking into signing Matt Flynn  this year. It seems as though the Browns are ready to replace McCoy as quick as possible. Tannehill is an interesting prospect. I previously detailed Tannehill but he has a great arm, is fairly mobile and his athleticism is off the charts. He began his career as a wide receiver and finished it as two year starter at quarterback. He may need time to develop into a franchise quarterback but could come in and start immediately. The other reason I think Cleveland will draft a quarterback here is to calm the fan base. They were fairly upset about not trading up to get RG3 and were relying on Matt Flynn to be their savior. The Browns struck out on both accounts and Tannehill will be their attempt to make amends with the team. If they do not draft Tannehill they could look at another option for their offense with

2. Trent Richardson - Running Back - Alabama - Richardson happens to be the least talked about prospect in this year's draft. Every one talked about his 40 time but not much else. To me, he seems to be the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. He has the ability to run right over defenders and can handle being a feature running back. Richardson was previously detailed by me as well. He would give the Browns something they have not had in decades. A franchise running back. He would also give McCoy help by providing a run game. He can also catch out of the back field. The Browns could draft Richardson in the first, another wide receiver in the second and a defender in the third. If they are going to stick with McCoy they need to provide him with offensive firepower. If they decide to not go with offense, they could look at taking

3. Morris Claiborne - Corner back - Louisiana State University -Claiborne was previously detailed in my Minnesota Viking's post. The Browns could use a young corner back that could become a super star in a year or two. They also play in a division featuring Big Ben, Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton. All three quarterbacks have the ability to burn the Browns defense. Claiborne can also help in blitzing the quarterback. He is a sure tackler, can shut down most receivers and has the hands to catch or knock down anything thrown at him. The Browns could look at protecting Colt McCoy and take Matt Kalil if he somehow slides past the Minnesota Vikings. 

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