Yesterday, we took on the ever-popular debate of need versus player, but in general terms. Today, we get a little more specific and debate which way the Browns go if things go as many suspect…
Scott: Focusing solely on the first round, let’s say we have the following hypothetical: Cam Newton to Carolina, Von Miller to Denver, Marcel Dareus to Buffalo, AJ Green to Cincinnatti, and Patrick Peterson to Arizona.
No trades were able to be consumated – teams want to move up, but they don’t want to pay to move to sixth overall. Which direction do you go and why?
Kirk: I think long and hard between Julio Jones, Nick Fairley and Robert Quinn. Fairly seems to get enjoyment out of yellow laundry on the field after personal fouls and I don’t think he has the best character. Quinn has question marks too – I’m not overly concerned about sitting out last season, but he just doesn’t pop off of the film to me. This leads me to Jones, who I’m definitely not as high on as I am Green, but I think he’s a great fit for our new offense. Thus, I go Jones and hope a defensive end slips to us in the second round.
TD: At that point, with two true “studs” off of the board, you have to grab the speed pass-rusher in Quinn. I loved watching Fairley this season at Auburn, but I don’t know why he feels like Dan Wilkinson or Gerard Warren to me as we get closer to draft day.
The Browns haven’t had a legitimately feared pass-rusher since many of the WFNY guys were in diapers. Quinn can be that player, especially with the one-year suspension and the chip he will carry on his shoulder.The Browns have a lot of holes, but an outside pass-rusher has been one since the 80s.
Craig: After considering Da’Quan Bowers and Fairly heavily, I go with Quinn as well. I skip wide recevier and take the best possible defensive lineman. In my mind, between Bowers’ injury issues and Fairley’s penchant for the 15-yard penalty, I am going with the guy who I can see making a difference right away. The fact that he is known to have a good attitude and work ethcic to go along with freaky athleticism is icing on the cake.
DP: Even though the national pundits have us taking Jones, I too ton’t think I can go for a wide receiver that high unless it’s Green. Six months ago, I would have said Fairley, but I share a lot of the misgivings that the other guys do. It would come down to Bowers and Quinn for me – even though I shiver at the thought of another Quinn in the first round, I think that’s the choice.
TD: Exactly. As much as I like Julio Jones, I’m still feeling the sting of the Braylon Edwards experience. I just can’t take a wide recevier that high in the draft.
Kirk: I understand that, but I’m scared Quinn is a one-dimensional players and may not be well-rounded enough to warrant the sixth-overall pick. I’ve seen defensive linemen fail just as often as wide receivers (Courtney Brown, Warren…). If you want a pure pass-rusher, maybe Marcus Benard is that – who knows? My other thought is that wide receivers are usually deep, but in this draft, it seems particularly deep on defensive linemen.
TD: I love Benard, but I think he’s more of an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He should be okay transitioning to the 4-3, but it’s easier said than done. Also, if you add Quinn on the edge, wouldn’t that help open things up for Benard on the other side?
Andrew: I’ll side with Kirk and vote for Jones. I know the risks, but I feel that there is just as much risk in a pass-rusher. I think the receiver failures are more high-profile and well-documented, but look back on and draft and you’ll find highly-drafted defensive ends and tackles who have been complete busts.
I don’t see Quinn as a sure thing by any means. So for me, personally, I want to see the offense upgraded. The Browns need to take some pressure off of Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis; adding a big, athletic, physical receiver like Jones is a way to do just that.
I don’t know if Jones can run routes like Hines Ward, but he’s a capable blocker from that position and he’s likely to be physical in the same way Ward is. I’m not saying he’s the second coming, but I see similar qualities there.
DP: The way I look at it, the only two guys I’m “sold” on are Green and Peterson. It feels a lot like two years ago where I was holding out hope that Aaron Curry would make it to fifth-overall because I wasn’t excited about anyone behind him.
Andrew: That’s how I felt about Eric Berry last year, too. Back-to-back gut punches. There’s a good chance that happens again this year because I agree that Green and Peterson are the two guys I want most. And nothing against Joe Haden, who we’ve all grown to really like and has performed quite well, but it does seem that the Browns are always having to settle just after missing the guys they really want.
TD: That’s the exact same way I feel, but under this scenario, both guys are gone. I think they want Green badly, but won’t seel their souls a la Butch Davis to get him.
DP: I’m still holding out hope that the GM-less Bengals and Carson Palmer at at a point where the Nasty decides to take a flier on Blane Gabbert. It would really make things a lot easier…