Aug 31, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Eastern Illinois Panthers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) celebrates following a 40-18 win against the San Diego State Aztecs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Three Players I Wouldn't Draft for the Cleveland Browns First 2 Rounds


The NFL Draft is less then a week away, and this writer will be in New York City to cover both the draft and the excitement around the draft. What kind of things might you want to see? What have you always wondered about? Have you ever wanted to attend the draft? Have you ever attended the draft? I want to provide you with the best coverage I can of the things that are not covered by mainstream media, so tell me what you want to see.

Today’s article is simple. There are a number of players that the Cleveland Browns could draft in the first 2 rounds that I wouldn’t. Not saying I am right or even that I have any special information but given all the information these are 3 players I wouldn’t draft:

Kelvin Benjamin

Benjamin is a large wide receiver prospect that has been Mocked to the Browns at #26. Adding him to Josh Gordon has been said to give the Browns a pair of receivers like the Chicago Bears have. Benjamin had a break out season last year with 54 catches for 1011 yards and 15 TDs. Total for his college career though he only has 84 catches, 1506 yards and 19 TDs. Much can be attributed to poor QB play at Florida State before Jameis Winston came but it raises red flags.

Benjamin could develop into a dominant receiver in the NFL but that is not the primary need for the Browns. While the Browns can always benefit from more talent with Gordon on the team they should go for someone whose physical ceiling may be lower but his production will be steady. There are plenty of receivers in this draft that fit this profile. Many also don’t have the issues that Benjamin has with consistency, route running and catching the ball with their hands. Those issues are enough to take him off my board in the first 2 rounds for the Browns.

Taylor Lewan

Lewan is considered one of the best tackles in this year’s draft. He has prototypical size and strength as well as a nasty streak. My problems with him go far beyond the fact that he played for that school up north, its in his character. His effort level fell off as the team became less competitive. The criminal acquisitions against him cannot be overlooked. Whether he is ever found guilty, or even brought up on charges in court they are concerning. Character matters. Many players make poor choices but those of Lewan put him outside of a player I would draft.

Obviously the Browns are unlikely to draft a tackle high but rumors have had Lewan going even higher then Jake Matthews. Whether he grades out better then Matthews, his legal and character concerns outweigh the rest. If I were running the Browns I would struggle to even draft him with the 26th or 35th pick. I value character higher then NFL teams do, and realize that, which is why this is my list.

Jimmy Garoppolo

This one is far less intelligent and far more a “feeling” based on a few factors. Jimmy is being lauded as the next small school prospect to make it big. He has a good arm with a quick release that has made him the darling of many in the NFL. The problems with Garoppolo is less with his arm and release and more with his decision making and feel under pressure. At a smaller school he was still rattled often by pressure, rushing both his feet and throws. Many see a quick release, I see someone who doesn’t go through his progressions out of fear. He also wasn’t highly recruited out of high school, and barely noticed until the Senior Bowl.

The Browns are likely to draft a QB in their first 3 picks. Garoppolo would be a perfect 3rd rounder but will not likely fall to that point. What separates Garoppolo from Colt McCoy? Charlie Frye? or even Brandon Weeden? He may individually have certain traits better then each of them but overall does not impress me. Again this is more of a “feel” based statement.

The goal of this article was not to convince you why the Browns shouldn’t draft these players in the first 2 rounds but why I wouldn’t if I were the Browns. I’m sure you have arguments for or against each of these players depending on how you stand.

What do you think of each of these guys? Who are the players you wouldn’t draft in the first 2 rounds?

Tags: Cleveland Browns

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