We are inching ever closer to the NFL draft, just days before Mother’s Day we will be celebrating the Father of all off-season events. Yahoo Sports worked their way through each team to identify their needs as well as some fits in different areas of the draft that could fill those needs. We will take a look at them here, click here to check out the report yesterday that the Browns themselves have identified their Top 3 needs for their Top 3 picks. On to Yahoo’s article for the Cleveland Browns:
No. 1 Team Need: Quarterback
Brian Hoyer impressed in limited 2013 duty with a quick trigger and aggressiveness, but tore his right ACL in October and isn’t a long-term answer.
Cleveland has flexibility as it pursues its franchise solution.
Interesting that the national publication disagrees with many in Cleveland about Hoyer’s future. Many Cleveland fans think, or hope, that he could possibly be the long term answer. He isn’t old, he showed a quick release and decision making and has been trained well. His ceiling isn’t as high but his floor isn’t as low either. Silva is right that the Browns do have flexibility with the position. Lets look at who they see as a fit in different parts of the draft:
First day option: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
Second day possibility: Derek Carr, Fresno State
Third day flier: David Fales, San Jose State
The first two are not surprises as they have been linked to the Browns in different ways, at different times. Interesting that he notes Bridgewater and not Johnny Manziel but then admittedly states he has no idea who Ray Farmer might like, he isn’t alone. Carr could easily be taken at #8 to the Vikings or #20 to the Cardinals but also could fall to the Browns in the 2nd round. If other QBs fall down in the first Carr could see a slip as well.
No. 2 Team Need: Cornerback
Joe Haden is entrenched as a top-dozen NFL corner, but Cleveland has little behind him. Buster Skrine is a nickel back at best, and 2013 third-round pick Leon McFadden got torched down the stretch. Opponents knew to attack Skrine and McFadden and had success doing it. Shoring up No. 2 cornerback could make Cleveland a dynamite defense in coach Mike Pettine’s first year. They’re obviously interested in upgrading this position after flirting intensely with Darrelle Revis.
They are 2 for 2 on the Browns reported list of priorities in the Draft, maybe they weren’t surprising but good to know we are all on the same page. How the Browns sought Revis, and reportedly other corners, is a good hint that they see the need across from Haden. Unfortunately for the corner that is drafted, unless he is stellar right off the bat, he will be tested and beat quite often as teams avoid through towards #23. He will have to have a short memory.
First day option:Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
Second day possibility:E.J. Gaines, Missouri
Third day flier: Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
A myriad of CB options available to the Browns. Fuller has been a name that has been all over the place in the first round, in the teens and down to #32 in Mock Drafts. He has a lot of people believing in him, including Norris. Gaines and Colvin, though injured now for the latter, could still provide some solid cover skills, as well as some run support from the former, with later picks.
No. 3 Team Need: Wide Receiver
Beyond TE Jordan Cameron, returning NFL receiving yardage leader Josh Gordon has little help. Greg Little has been a complete flop as a starter. New slot man Andrew Hawkins offers dynamic talent, but isn’t an every-down receiver. Situational burner Travis Benjamin tore his right ACL in October. Cleveland could use a No. 2 receiver who poses a complementary threat. New GM Ray Farmer must also factor in Gordon being one off-field hiccup away from a lengthy suspension.
Silva is accurate with all of his points, though Cleveland fans think Hawkins will be just fine as an every down slot guy. Farmer and Pettine do have to weight their options slightly with Gordon. If they believe he could/will slip up, receiver has to be higher on their list. If they think he has his act together then finding a solid #2 at 26 or 35 is a fine decision.
First day option: Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Second day possibility: Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
Third day flier:Devin Street, Pitt
The first shocker of their report is Evans ahead of Sammy Watkins. Norris gives some reasons including Hawkins ability in space, Evans ability to make catches coming back to the ball and his redzone threat ability. Most have Watkins rated higher but some teams have Evans above him and it would not be the biggest shock if they went off the board in a different order. If the Rams go receiver Evans may fit better compared to what they already have on their team.
Yahoo hit on the 3 areas most have concerns about, what other areas are you concerned with?