Will the Cleveland Browns Look to Address the Offense in the 2013 NFL Draft?
If the Cleveland Browns are able to add another outside linebacker on the rise, Victor Butler, their pass rush will be vastly different than when the NFL free-agency period began. They still need to determine who will join D’Qwell Jackson in the middle of the linebacking corps. They could address that need in the third or fourth round of the draft if they feel like that guy is not necessarily already on the roster, though they do currently have a lot of players to compete for that spot.
With their first-round pick the Browns are looking at Dee Milliner, who would pair well with Joe Haden as a starting cornerback pair. Perhaps they would draft a corner in the third or fourth round. If so, the Browns might be taking a look at Milliner’s Alabama teammate, Chance Warmack. Either of these players can be chosen with the sixth pick. While some might disagree with taking an offensive guard at six, solid front-office members know that you draft for Monday. Come Monday, if Warmack is making the offensive line elite by opening up more holes, providing a broader range of play calling for coach Norv Turner, and giving quarterback Brandon Weeden the time to find his deep receivers, then I am sure that no one will complain about adding Warmack with the sixth pick.
It is difficult to say whether or not Trevin Wade is ready to start opposite Haden. Buster Skrine was penalized a lot in 2012. Free-agent addition Chris Owens is a solid slot corner. Playing the slot takes a certain skill set; it is not your ‘third best corner’ so, allowing Owens to play in the role in Cleveland is ideal. Drafting Milliner may actually provide the best complement to an improved pass rush, as well as solidifying the defensive backfield.
The Browns may look to trade down, but they need to find a partner and it will depend on what they get in return. If they trade down, perhaps they will look at Tyler Eifert or Zack Ertz to give them their tight end of the future. Drafting a tight end would allow Kellen Davis, Jordan Cameron, Dan Gronkowski, and Gary Barnidge to compete for the additional needs at tight end. Davis signed a one-year contract so if he has issues during training camp with drops or being a fit in the offense, he may not necessarily make the team.
I like Travis Benjamin split outside, so if they wanted to add to the slot receiver position, perhaps trading down and drafting Tavon Austin is an option. Like their current depth at linebacker or tight end, it is very possible their current roster of wide receivers can get the job done.
Jason Pinkston‘s health will affect the status of drafting Warmack and whether or not the Browns can address that position later in the draft. Cornerback, guard, and middle linebacker appear to be the most unsettled positions, but if Milliner is available he seems like the player that could alleviate the most concern.
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