I knew it. I knew the Browns were going to double dip on the D Line just like they double dipped in the secondary last year. 2010 Cleveland takes Joe Haden and TJ Ward with their first two picks. 2011 it’s the defensive line that gets addressed with Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard taken with the Browns first two picks. The 2010 draft had a ton of DB prospects. This year it was a deep draft for D Linemen. Next year maybe the draft will be rich in linebackers or offensive skill positions. Whatever it is, it’s a safe bet the Browns will double dip again with their first two picks.
The strategy paid off beautifully last year. Haden and Ward turned the Cleveland secondary from a laughing stock into a unit on the rise. The Browns went into the 2011 draft with a D Line that may have been the worst unit in the league. If Taylor and Sheard succeed the way Haden and Ward did that unit will suddenly turn into a strength. If one of them busts Cleveland still got some help to their biggest area of need.
With the second 2nd round pick, Cleveland got Colt McCoy another target in North Carolina’s Greg Little. Little was a bit of a surprise for me. He’s got incredible measurables but there were other highly touted candidates still on the board. Little reminds me of last year’s 6th round pick Carlton Mitchell who didn’t play that much. But that was with Brian Daboll running the offense. Both Little and Mitchell are prototypical West Coast Offense prospects. Maybe now that the Browns finally have a West Coast guy running the show, these players will begin to shine.
Cleveland didn’t have a 3rd round pick because they used it to trade up to get Taylor. That’s a shame because there were a lot of steals to be had in the 3rd round this year.
Day 2 is now in the books for the Browns and I’m a little nervous about Day 3. Last year Cleveland had one of its best drafts since it returned to the league but it did all the damage on Days 1 and 2. Of their Day 3 picks from 2010 one is still on the active roster (Mitchell) one was on the practice squad (Larry Asante) and one didn’t make the team at all (Clifton Gathers.) If the Browns hope to climb out of the basement they need to connect on their Day 3 picks. Hopefully things will turn out better. The Browns have 5 Day 3 picks. They have 2 picks in round 4 whereas last year they didn’t have a pick in the fourth round.
Look for Cleveland to round out its roster. Cornerback and Right Tackle are high on their list. Also look for them to take a running back to add depth to a thin backfield. Pass catching TE is a possibility. Also look for Cleveland to maybe take a kicker.
By Hell’s Grim Tyrant – Jabberhead, SJ Contributing Author