Sep 15, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns huddle during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Mel Kiper's Team Needs: Cleveland Browns


Mel Kiper Jr’s NFL Mock Draft 4.0 came out last week and we covered it here. Today Kiper presented a list of team needs (Insider, cost $) as the NFL Draft approaches in a little over two weeks. None of the needs listed should be a surprise but take a look at Kiper’s explanations:

Quarterback: Brian Hoyer played pretty well last year, but that’s a very limited sample size, and ceiling is a significant question. Neither quarterback currently on the roster was drafted. I would be shocked if the Browns don’t add a quarterback by the end of the first round.

Not a surprise to see QB listed at the top of Kiper’s list. Last year Hoyer’s success is a blessing and a curse. He looked good and could be a starting level QB but he got injured quickly and his sample size is small. Kiper notes that he would expect a quarterback more at 26 then at 4.

Cornerback: The distance between Joe Haden and everyone else – Buster SkrineLeon McFadden, etc. — is pretty significant. The Browns could add more than one player here given it’s a deep position and they have a bounty of picks.

Another big need is at corner where the Browns tried to upgrade this off-season but were unable to. Adding a corner or two in a deep draft would solidify the secondary. The Browns could easily get their #2 and #4 corner in this draft. It also would not be a surprise to see them take a corner to convert into a free safety in Pettine’s defense.

Wide receiver: Similar to the situation at cornerback, there’s one really good option in Josh Gordon, and then the drop-off is significant. Greg Little is still more potential than performance, and the depth chart is uninspiring thereafter.

Pretty clear need for more receiver help. Kiper forgot about Andrew Hawkins, but Browns fans may be more excited for him then nationally. Hopefully local is right. The Browns are blessed to not need a #1 guy as Gordon has proven to be just that. They are in need of a solid #2 as well as depth throughout after Gordon and Hawkins. Little, unless his hands drastically improve, will be camp cut.

Guard: A healthy Jason Pinkston changes the equation here, but Pinkston hasn’t been healthy, and the Browns will suffer up front if they don’t add some playable depth here.

Unlike many Browns fans Kiper doesn’t have right tackle listed here, showing confidence in Mitchell Schwartz. Instead he lists guard play, which Browns fans would agree has been problematic. Whether Pinkston is a game changer in that area or not is another question. His ankle injury last year, and late season concussion, are cause for concern. If Pinkston is healthy he could be a great fit in the Zone Blocking Scheme with John Greco at the other guard spot.

No surprises here but do you agree with the 4 spots he chose? If not what area needs addressed more? What order would you put the top 4 needs in (regardless of who is in this draft)?

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Tags: Cleveland Browns Mel Kiper

  • William Scott Eltzroth

    I see him as being close on the greatest needs. With his list as Q.B., C.B., W.R. then guard is very close to what I`m believing. My order would be more like this little adjustment.
    W.R. is better off than these positions after signing Hawkins and Burelson. The thing is it`s still in need of talent, and one way is to cut Greg Little as addition by subtraction.
    The Q.B. is obvious and that`s even believing that Hoyer should start this season then next year having the drafted Q.B. challenge him. C.B. I agree we need 2 because of the league going into pass happy mode.
    No way can we not add some top M.L.B. player or 2 after watching them lose games for us last year by not being able to cover anyone. No high draft at M.L.B. = no competing on Sundays.
    We do have some young stud type players that were on the team last year at O.T. and O.G. Because of them, it lessens the emergency need at the O.L. position and drops it to 4. W.R. is a need, but now it`s a less of a need today. That`s how I see it and I`m sticking to it…GO BROWNS…..
    P.S. I would next after W.R. say F.S./S.S., R.B., O.L.B., T.E., F.B., D.E., N.T., P.K., Punter then L.S.

  • Jarod Cook

    They situations at QB, CB, and WR are obvious to anyone and I’m not going to waste time talking about them. As for the issues on the OL last year it should’ve been obvious to anyone that the Achilles heal was the Guards. Schwartz, Thomas, and Mack all actual graded out well last year but were left high and dry many a times by the guards lined next to them. Taking a elite OT prospect at #4 in the draft, and moving Schwartz into RG will help the OL immensely. LG can be figured out in training camp, and who’s ever picked should be helped out by the fact he has a pro bowl player on either side of him. It should also help Mack out at center, seeing as he won’t have 2 JAG’s lined up on both sides.