Since they returned to the league in 1999, the Browns have mostly resembled a ship abandoned by its crew in the middle of the ocean. They've drifted aimlessly, moving forward only because the years keep passing and they've moved no closer to their presumed goal of winning the first Super Bowl in either iteration of the team's existence.
By hiring Mike Holmgren, the Browns feel they've got a captain who can finally take hold of the rudder and get them headed in the right direction. His first offseason has been full of interesting decisions, none more so than the decision to swap out Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn for Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace. That duo would make it seem like the Browns are in the market for a franchise quarterback but that might not be the first order of business on draft day.
This is a team that needs playmakers all over the place, not just at quarterback, and if Holmgren, whose quarterback bona fides are as good as they get, isn't in love with someone he isn't going to try and fit a square peg into a round hole. The team needs help in the secondary, could use a pass rusher with the ability to disrupt opposing offenses and once you get past Jerome Harrison they don't have much at the skill positions either.
In short, the Browns can go a lot of different directions to jumpstart Holmgren's construction process. Which direction do you think they should go? Should the Browns bulk up on defense to give their offense time to form an identity or is putting points on the scoreboard the first priority?
Previous Pick: Seattle - C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson; Next Up: Oakland
(Note: The poll is now closed. Click here for the latest on the 2010 NFL Mock Draft, Fans' Picks Edition)
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State - Bryant's skill level is beyond question, but issues about his character and determination continue to dog him after he failed to produce eye-popping numbers during a Pro Day workout. He's the best receiver in the draft and the Browns have a serious need, but would selecting Bryant be putting the cart before the horse on offense?
Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame - "I wish I liked him more." That's what Holmgren had to say about Clausen, which is either one helluva smokescreen or a pretty clear statement of intent to pass on the Fighting Irish signal caller. The gut feeling is that it is the latter, but you can only believe about a quarter of what you hear in the days leading up to the draft so he's in the mix for the purposes of this exercise.
Joe Haden, CB, Florida - The acquisition of Sheldon Brown from the Eagles may satisfy the need for a day one starter, but Haden's impressive college career merits at least a look from a team that could use all the secondary athleticism they can find. Much has been made of his 40 times, but anyone who watched Florida play knows that Haden is a football player capable of succeeding in the NFL. One more note -- Holmgren drafted a lot of defensive backs early while with Seattle.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/LB, South Florida - This seems like a bit of a long shot, but the Browns don't have much in the way of edge pass rushers with Kamerion Wimbley traded to Oakland. The reason it seems unlikely is that Pierre-Paul is a real boom or bust prospect and the Browns need to get a starter with this pick.
Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee - Shaun Rogers left a Shaun Rogers-sized hole in the middle of the defensive line and Williams could certainly fill it. That said, Williams at seven feels more like a need pick than a best player available.
The updated draft board:
|1.||St. Louis Rams||Sam Bradford||QB||Oklahoma|
|2.||Detroit Lions||Ndamukong Suh||DT||Nebraska|
|3.||Tampa Bay Bucs||Gerald McCoy||DT||Oklahoma|
|4.||Washington Redskins||Russell Okung||OT||Oklahoma St.|
|5.||Kansas City Chiefs||Eric Berry||S||Tennessee|
|6.||Seattle Seahawks||C.J. Spiller||RB||Clemson|