In one day, the 78th annual NFL Draft will take place and the Cleveland Browns will attempt to get it right once again. One of the most historic football teams in all of football, the Browns have been the laughing stock of the league since their return in 1999. With a great draft, the Browns can end all the laughter.
As it stands, Cleveland holds the sixth overall pick and there are many opinions on what to do with that pick. The obvious choice here is Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back, DeMarcus Milliner. However, the more and more I look at this, I believe the Oakland Raiders are eyeing up Milliner.
If Milliner is gone by the time the sixth pick comes around, Cleveland needs to trade the pick. With the sixth pick, Cleveland could trade the pick to the Miami Dolphins for Miami’s 12th overall (first round), 54th overall (second round), and 111th overall (fourth round).
So, my first choice is Milliner, but Cleveland will select Xavier Rhodes from the Florida State Seminoles. Rhodes is ridiculous and will tandem with Joe Haden in the secondary very nicely. The physical Rhodes would add instant credibility to the Cleveland defense. Some even say Rhodes is a better all-around corner than Milliner. New defensive coordinator, Ray Horton is salivating at this pick.
The Browns now find themselves in the middle of the second round at 54th overall, and DJ Swearinger from the South Carolina Gamecocks would be a good choice. Swearinger is the top hitting safety in this draft hands down and this will be like having two TJ Wards’ in the secondary. However, Swearinger has much better coverage skills and awareness.
Here is my surprise prediction.
The Browns get back in to the second round by trading defensive tackle Phil Taylor to the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick loves hefty nose tackles and trades the 59th overall pick to the Browns for Taylor and Cleveland’s 227th overall pick.
The team parlay the pick into Margus Hunt, a freakish defensive end from the Southern Methodist Mustangs. The Browns took a dispensable player in Taylor and turned him in to their future rushing specialist with tons of potential.
Through the rest of the draft, the Browns will stick to an offensive game plan. Brandon Weeden will be given an athletic tight end in Gavin Escobar from the San Diego State Aztecs. Escobar may be have the best hands out of all the tight ends in the draft. Although he isn’t fast, Escobar is athletic and very comfortable at the position. Head coach Rob Chudzinski loves tight ends and Escobar is a great fit.
For a wide receiver, Kenny Stills of the Oklahoma Sooners is someone I have been high on for a long time. Stills has the NFL bloodlines and skills to be an effective receiver in the league. It would not be a surprise if the team also took Stills’ former signal caller, Landry Jones, perhaps with a 111th pick from the predicted trade earlier.
As for local stars, the team may find Kent State Golden Flashes‘ Brian Winters waiting for them late in the draft. Winters has exceptional pass and run blocking abilities. This is a great value for the plug-and-play guard that may start right away.
There’s also Ohio fan favorite John Simon from the Ohio State Buckeyes. I loved watching him play in Columbus, and he is a born leader on the football field. Fans will fall in love with his work ethic and high motor. Simon fits very nicely in to a 3-4 scheme.
With my predictions, the Browns would address their needs and concerns very wisely by taking quality players that fit in to what they’re trying to accomplish. As long as they let the draft come to them, many Browns fans will be happy.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer. Please Follow Me on Twitter @ryanpruiz24