Three years ago, the Cleveland Browns selected a cornerback from the Florida Gators with their seventh overall pick. His name is Joe Haden and he is easily one of the top defensive backs in the NFL today. In 30 days, it’s time for the Browns to let history repeat itself.
From the Alabama Crimson Tide, DeMarcus “Dee” Milliner should be sitting there with opens arms when Cleveland goes on the clock. Can you picture Milliner putting on his new draft day cap doused in orange and brown colors? Would you be the least bit excited heading in to the season with Milliner and Haden manning the corner positions?
Can you even imagine how much better the defense would be with another shut down corner? This could very well happen.
In 2011, the Browns were one pick away from collecting star defensive back Patrick Peterson. When Peterson was snatched up by the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland elected to trade down and select defensive tackle Phil Taylor with the 21st pick. The Browns just missed out on having arguably the best corner back tandem in football.
They must not let that happen this year. Milliner is going to be there and this kid is the surest player that will be there at the sixth selection. It seems like all of the teams ahead of Cleveland have their sights on other players.
If you believe the Browns do not need help in the secondary, look no further than last year’s poor defensive pass rank. Cleveland ranked 25th in the NFL in 2012, giving up 245.2 yards per game. The Browns did rank 11th in the league with 17 interceptions, but only 11 of them were picked off by defensive backs. Part of the reason may have been because Haden only played in eleven games, but still — no excuses.
It’s time for the orange-and-brown defense to become a threat. How that is done is by finding the closest thing to a clone of Haden. This is where Milliner fits right in. If Milliner is there at six, it would be ludicrous not to take him.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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