Cleveland Browns Draft Needs

The upcoming 2009 NFL Draft is going to be very important for the Browns, mainly because it will be the first of the Kokinis-Mangini regime, giving fans an idea of how the next three years or so will shake out.  Granted, the new GM will be at a slight disadvantage having been dealt a team without picks in the third, fifth, and seventh rounds.  Something tells me there will be moves made to obtain draft picks.  Here are some of the biggest draft needs of the Browns:

Linebacker – The great teams in the AFC North are known for having great linebackers.  The corps of the Browns, however, are known for being beyond previously-known levels of suck.  The defense needs a presence and that is certainly lacking among the linebackers.  There is no such thing as a rush to this defense and when Willie McGinest is being talked about as your best linebacker at some points, there is a serious problem.  Beau Bell, although he never played a snap during his rookie season, should be ready to provide depth in 2009, but the inside is still weak (then again, the outside is even more so).  If Aaron Curry is still available at five, although I would not expect him to be, look for him to be donning the brown and orange.  I do not believe that Rey Maualuga is a top-five talent.

Secondary – The secondary as a whole is in need of a major overhaul.  Thus, the reason why I have the Browns taking Ohio State CB Malcolm Jenkins with the fifth overall pick; that is, if they do not trade down, and also because I have Curry already taken in my mocks.  Eric Wright is developing into a solid cornerback and while I will agree that Brandon McDonald finished the season on a strong note, most of his season was a nightmare.  Does anyone remember how laughable that Broncos game was?  If the Browns are going to get serious about the defense, the secondary needs depth, and Jenkins will provide that.  The safety position is also one in a state of flux, and Taylor Mays was ideal for some time before he decided to stay at school for fear of making the almighty Pete Carroll upset.  However, the Browns should probably be more concerned with re-signing S Sean Jones.

Wide Receiver – All of a sudden, this has become one of the weaker units on the team.  Braylon Edwards can’t seem to catch balls like he does in those Five Hour Energy commercials and Donte’ Stallworth was a significant bust.  The return of Joe Jurevicius (hopefully) is much needed, but no one knows how long that will last.

Offensive Line – The right side of the line is a disaster.  A new right offensive tackle and right guard would do wonders to an offense that went from high octane to setting new records of futility in just one year.

Defensive End – The Browns need playmakers at defensive end, or at least someone who knows what it means to put pressure on a quarterback.  Julius Peppers is out there and wants to play in a 3-4, but is he just a pipe dream?

Running Back – Jamal Lewis is certainly not getting any younger, but at least he buys you a year to tend to more pressing positional needs.  However, what the Browns do in free agency could dictate what they do in the draft in regards to a running back.

The Browns can go in a number of directions with the fifth overall pick.  Everyone has seemingly fallen in love with Aaron Curry, but I wouldn’t expect him to fall to five.  If that does become the case, Jenkins is the next forseeable option.  However, I’m of the belief that the Browns will explore every opportunity to make a few trades and obtain as many picks as possible.  In other words, for the love of all things that are holy, please trade Derek Anderson.  A team like the Jets is in desperate need of a quarterback and Anderson will likely bring in a few picks – perhaps a third-rounder or even a second-rounder to a crazy enough team

What do you think?

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Tags: 2009 NFL Draft Beau Bell Cleveland Browns Cornerback Defense Linebacker Running Back Secondary Team Needs Who Will The Browns Draft Wide Receiver

  • Dave Jerse

    I agree with all the needs and Aaron Curry would be my first choice as well but I believe K.C. will take him so they don’t put up the money for the high rookie QB. If he is not there Jenkins seems to be the logical pick if we stay at five. We should be taking defense in the first two maybe three picks, after that offensive line should be the next thought. Braylon had an extremely bad year but what he did last year I can’t see being a fluke so receiver can wait til the end and same with running back because you can get a late round back and they can be productive. Julius Peppers is a dream but dreams can come true.

  • Joe Gombach

    I agree with you. I see the Browns taking Curry at 5 if he’s there. If not Jenkins. If they get Curry I think they’ll play him in the inside and then take an OLB with their number 2. Between Clay Mathews, Michael Johnson, Paul Kruger, Larry English and Clint Sintim 2 or 3 of these guys should be available (of course you have to hope for Mathews). The rest of the draft I see the Browns taking the best available between an O-lineman, RB, TE. I would expect them to take a qb sometime in the late rounds.    

  • clayton

    Linebacker, linebacker, linebacker!!! The pass rush is totally absent. And why does it have to be aaron curry? He is very good don’t get me wrong. But he is like rogers in that he specializes in tackles and not sacks or pass rush or turnovers. How about aaron maybin from penn state? Look at his numbers against those of curry. And maybin is only a sophomore!

  • Dave Jerse

    Yeah we do need linebackers and Curry is the best one. He might not be the best pass rusher but there are plenty of them in the later rounds. That’s why we get a pass rusher in the early second and trade Anderson and Winslow for picks. You might ask why trade Winslow, well he is a great player but he has the wrong attitude and we need a TE that can do both block and catch. Do you really think Mangini wants to take another high DE and hopefully successfully convert him to an OLB, he tried the with Vernon Gholston and he barely played last season. So they should take a safer pick in Curry if he is there. If not look for the trade down and if that fails you take Jenkins.

  • Jeff

    I don’t agree that the right side of the offensive line is terrible.  Kevin Shaffer is underwhelming, but I expect Ryan Tucker to either replace him at RT or support him at RG next year, and that should shore things up.  The hole on the offensive line is at C.  Hank Fraley was absolutely abused last year.

  • kevin

    I think trading Anderson is a mistake. Any QB would look horrible with the way the recievers caught the ball last season. I don’t think Anderson is the franchise QB, but I think he is much better than Quinn. Quinn is so over hyped it is not funny. Quinn will have a marginal career at best. I would trade Quinn while other teams think he has a great future ahead of him and keep looking for a franchise QB, while starting Anderson. Regardless of the starting QB in 2009, they will need help from the receivers and line. I just hope the Browns address the need ar WR.  It seems all Browns fans love Quinn. As soon as he starts throwing interceptions and can’t hit the receiver on the deep ball, fans will turn on him.

  • Dave Jerse

    Quinn might be over hyped but we don’t know because he hasn’t had a lot of playing time. Anderson is not our future at QB because he is not good. HE makes bad decisions and all he has is just a strong arm and height. He had one good season just because the whole team was playing good but when his line fell apart he fell apart like a house of cards. When Quinn came in he didn’t fall apart when the line did so that is why he is better than Anderson because he can handle pressure.

  • clayton

    There is no question that quinn is overhyped and unproven, but I thought that he gave the team a spark that anderson never did. The receivers let anderson and the team down, no question. But anderson also made way too many mistakes for a guy who’s not a rookie. Remember that ravens game? Pathetic can’t describe it. He goes back into the pocket with the pressure on and then ruins any chance at driving the ball to win the game by throwing it directly between the numbers of a raven with no brown even within the tv screen! I could have picked that and ran in for a touchdown. He has never, ever stepped up when it is crunch time to make the difference in the game. The best he looked all season was the giants game for two reasons – edwards actually managed to bring himself to catch a football, and the giants defense was asleep at the switch. Bye derek. Best of luck

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  • panthertim

    The Panthers are franchishing Pepp so the only scenario Panther fans see Pepp in Cleveland is with Brady Quinn and a draft pick in carolina

  • utbongo12

    If the Browns are unable to trade down in the draft, I say we draft the best offensive player we can with are first pick. I dont see any defesive player in the draft worth a number 5 pick. Hopefull we can get some more picks for D.A. and try to fill one of the linebacker spots in free agency.

  • paulbip

    DA had half of a good season.  He doesn’t have the brain of a QB. When everyone adjusted to his play, he stunk out the joint.  Never take a CB at five unless he is Dion Sanders.  If a QB is taken before us, we will have a chance at Curry.. the best player in the draft.

  • Jake

    Bottom line is Anderson will be traded before March 15th. On the 15th the Browns owe him a $5 million bonus and there is no reason that they are going to pay that and loose the cap space for someone who is going to hold a clip board. Trade him now and try to get something for him. Hopefully we can get a 2nd of 3rd rounder, but I’d really take anything. I think that Cleveland really needs to address the running game. if we have a solid rushing attack it will open up the pass and take pressure off of Quinn. Remember how good he looked against Denver when we actually had a run game. I say take Wells from OSU. He’s a hometown guy and will the give the offense the spark it so desperately needs. I know people are going to say we need an OLB or CB, but look take a look at the free agent market. Asomugha is a free agent and so is McCallister just to mention a few at corner. Peppers is available and right now he’s asking to not be tagged. Who knows? Everybody is so high on Curry, and saying he’s the best prospect in the draft. I don’t see it. He played in a week conference and please look at Cleveland’s history at drafting OLB in the first round. Courtney Brown, originally a LB at Penn State, and Wimbley was a great choice. I’m not even sold on the 3-4 in cleveland. We don’t have the speed outside or size on the line to get it done efficiently. change to the 4-3 and pick up some free agents and another DT or DE later in the draft! Beanie all the way 

  • Jake

    I know that I’m going to probably get reamed and my fanhood questioned for this comment, but what about trading Anderson, Braylon, and Winslow. We could definitely get another high pick this draft, a high pick next draft and maybe trade for that OLD or CB in the process. Braylon can’t catch and if anyone has seen his interviews, he’s already blaming the fans for not supporting him. Winslow is a head case and as soon as his contract is up we all know he is going to jet, why not get something for him. Its always an option. I think that locker room need to be shaken up like this. Its a way for Mangini t take hold and show its really his team. I like the sound of Edwards and Winslow to Oakland for Asomugha and a 3rd or 4th round pick

  • stevedimatteo

    Jake – I agree that the running game needs work, but no matter what it is not the most glaring weakness on the team.  If they can address some of their defensive problems in free agency, that’s great.  But the Browns probably won’t be huge players in the free agency game, so I still think defense is top priority in the draft.  As for trading Anderson, Braylon, and Winslow, I still think Braylon has plenty of value to the team.  An Anderson trade I like and I can consider trading Winslow as well, especially once he starts demanding that new contract again.

    Paulbip – The rise of Mark Sanchez makes it seem possible that Curry could fall to the Browns.  I really think it’s a matter of what the Chiefs do.

    Clayton – Is Aaron Maybin really a top-five pick?  There’s a very outside chance, however, that he could be in the second round.  Additionally, it would be great for the Browns to trade that fifth pick and get in the position to draft a player like Maybin and still have additional picks in the second or third round from a trade of, oh, let’s say…Derek Anderson.

    Thanks for the comments, everybody!  I still think, no matter what, the first pick of the Browns must be on the defensive side of the ball.  There are just too many holes that must be addressed.  Ideally, we will see Anderson traded for picks – let’s all hope for a second-rounder…

  • paulbip

    Stevedimatteo, I agree that KC is the key to our draft.  I’m getting scolded by browns fans by saying that DA is a 4th rd. pick.  If  the Browns pay off his 5 million he will be worth a 2 or 3 round pick in the draft.  I would love to see a low 1st round pick and it may still happen, but the Browns will have to cough up the 5 mil.
      People are all crying to draft D, but look at how bad our offense was.  We set an NFL record for consec quarters with no TD.  The right side of the OL is a disaster.  3 QB’s were sent to the hospital!  We may still be able to get Unger (C,RG,RT) or Mack (C.RG) with the 2nd pick. The RB from Pit may also be there.

  • paulbip

    Correction  By low 1st round pick I mean low like 25 to 30.

  • http://D.P.D. Dan Taylor

        I have wrote for BrownsGab the last 2 years, and have said all along that DA needs to go. Sure he had 29 TD’s and almost 3800 yards passing in 07, but he also had 19 ints (2nd highest total in NFL), a 56% completion % (with plenty of time to throw and still ranked 31st out of 32 starters),  but his lack of ability to hit the dump offs to the backs and the short slants across the middle, turned me against him big time. 08 was even worse. With the lowest QB rating and the lowest completion % in the NFL in 08 too, how can anyone think he’s going to be any better at all?

  • draftguru

    Brady Quinn and DA is not the future of the Browns both stink it up pretty good. If they need to keep one of them I would keep Quinn. I am not too convinced Mangini and Kokinis know what they want to do with this team or how to go about putting things together to make a contender.