Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah once wrote: “if you’re picking 22nd overall in the draft, you better make sure you like 22 guys.” So with the Browns picking 7th in the first round this year, it is vital that the Browns have 7 names they would be excited to hear Roger Goodell announce as Cleveland’s selection on April 22nd.
And seeing as how I love lists, I decided to make one of the “Select Seven” guys who would work out the best for the Browns. The way it works is that if the Browns had the top pick, who would they take; then if that guy is gone, who would be next in line, and so forth.
So without any further ado, here is my “Select Seven” for the Browns in 2010:
1) Sam Bradford – QB, Oklahoma Sooners
– Bradford is the top signal caller in this year’s draft class and is the only true “franchise” quarterback available. He has a rare accuracy and has a stronger arm than most give him credit for. The guy is also a winner, as he led his team to the national title game as a redshirt sophomore while winning the Heisman trophy. The general rule in the NFL draft is that if you don’t have your franchise guy behind center, you simply don’t pass him up. Especially if Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace sit atop your depth chart.
2) Ndamukong Suh – DT, Nebraska Cornhuskers
– The recent arrest of Shaun Rogers makes this look smart, but I would have had him up here anyways. Suh is an absolute beast and is viewed as the surest thing in this draft. I’ve always believed that great teams are built in the trenches and having this guy in the trenches on your side is sure to stack the cards in your favor.
3) Gerald McCoy – DT, Oklahoma Sooners
– Another elite talent that is too good to pass up. There is a general consensus that Bradford, Suh and McCoy will be gone in the top three, so unless Holmgren believes enough in one of them to move up and pay the king’s ransom, I don’t see any of these guys in a Browns uniform, unfortunately.
4) Eric Berry – S, Tennessee Volunteers
– Berry is the one of those ballhawks that just always seem to be in the right place to make big time plays at all the right times. I know these types of safeties far too well after having to play both Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu twice a year for all these years. And I say its about time to add one to our team. As mentioned before, Bradford/Suh/McCoy will all definitely be gone early, Berry is the first player on the Select Seven to have a legitimate shot at being the Browns pick at #7.
5) Russell Okung – OT, Oklahoma State Cowboys
– Staying true to my values of establishing the trenches, I’ll go with the guy that can solidify our offensive line. I know he play LT in college and the last thing I am suggesting is to bring in someone to compete with Joe Thomas. That would be sacrilegious. But as the top tackle prospect in the draft, Okung could be moved to the right side and give Cleveland a pair of young and talented bookend tackles unparalleled in the league.
6) Joe Haden – CB, Florida Gators
– Before the combine, Joe Haden was widely regarded as an elite corner prospect. Then he ran that pesky 4.6ish 40 time and suddenly the player everyone thought they knew on tape came into question. He claimed he tried to run with a lower back strain, but people seemed to roll their eyes. But when Haden responded with 40 times in the high 4.3s/low 4.4s at his pro-day, the lower back strain excuse didn’t seem so farfetched. But it feels as though he has not completely regained his pre-combine status among all the draft gurus out there. As for this guy, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, look at the pro-day numbers and stick with the first reaction people had when looking at him on tape: this guy is a stud. With the newly acquired Sheldon Brown, Haden won’t be forced into a starting position and will have to work that much harder to earn a starting spot, something that I believe hindered the development of Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald.
7) C.J. Spiller – RB, Clemson Tigers
– Now this is not a knock on Jerome Harrison. I’ve been a huge J.H. fan since we drafted him in the 5th round in 2006 (He had more all purpose yards than Heisman winner and #2 overall pick Reggie Bush his senior year!). This is simply a pick where I’m not quite excited about anyone else at this pick, and Spiller is the best running back available. Even though we have Jerome Harrison (and Peyton Hillis, I think he can prove to be a solid pick up), I think spiller can add some excitement and a spark to this offense. Even though the Panthers had DeAngelo Williams, I don’t think they regret taking Jonathon Stewart.
*Note: These are all 7 guys I’d really like to have on our team, but I’d say that there are really only 4 that I’d love to see in Berea. So if Berry is off the board (assuming Bradford/Suh/McCoy are all already gone as well), I would be in heavy favor of trading down. I believe we could get similar graded talents a few spots back while acquiring additional picks and saving some cap space – because these rookie salaries are absurd!
As for targets after a trade down, off the top of my head there are some more offensive tackles (Brian Bulaga, Anthony Davis, Trent Williams), some defensive linemen (Derrick Morgan and Jared Odrick), and defensive backs (Earl Thomas, Kyle Wilson) that could all be available.