Like many others in Northeast Ohio, I can’t get enough of the Browns, even though they’re an NFL laughingstock right now.
As next week’s draft stands now, GM Tom Heckert has three of the first 37 picks. While I’d like to see him stand pat at No. 4 and grab Alabama RB Trent Richardson, I’ve also seen enough from his first two drafts to trust Heckert and whatever decisions he’s going to make, or not make.
There has to be a wide receiver in that first group, and I wouldn’t disagree with going one more, coming away with the two-round trio of Richardson, wide receiver, wide receiver. Then, the Browns still have nine picks, even if nearly half are in the sixth or seventh rounds.
That, I guess, is where you’re really counting on Heckert to come through. Obviously, the Browns can’t fumble any of the first three picks, but after that is where the difference lies.
Nine picks, with even a 50-percent success rate, adds four players. If Heckert comes out of this draft with seven players on the opening day roster, by volume alone, some of the many positions where the Browns need help will get it. Plug the hole at right tackle, as well as the three new playmakers, and it’s put-up or shut-up for Colt McCoy.
That’s where the true gulf between the Browns and the rest of the AFC North developed. With even Cincinnati starting to have good drafts, it’s a must that Heckert hold his own. The year Eric Mangini picked WRs Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie in the second round, the Steelers scooped up All-Pro Mike Wallace in the next round. The next year, 2010, Pittsburgh added Antonio Brown with a sixth-round pick. Wallace and Brown, I think, are one of the top 1-2 pairings in the league, and only getting better.
Lots of Browns fans have kicked around the possibilities with the first 3 picks, nearly all in favor of three offensive players, with at least two playmakers. But Heckert’s job is to dig out some gems later on. The current Browns are thin, in talent and in depth, and it’s important — I’d even say critical at this point — that by the end of next weekend they get a big infusion of both.
Category: Cleveland Browns