Jumping ship after months of having the Cleveland Browns pegged with a pass-rusher, ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Todd McShay says that the Orange and Brown will now land cornerback Dee Milliner with the sixth-overall pick this spring.
Analysis: I wasn’t as high as some others on Browns QB Brandon Weeden during last year’s draft process, but even I believe he deserves at least one year to prove what he can do under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, whose system should play to Weeden’s strength as a big-armed passer who can drive the ball downfield. That leaves cornerback as a top need area, and Milliner is a no-brainer if he’s available. His instincts, recognition skills and discipline are impressive, and he’s reliable in run support. Milliner would be an excellent complement to current Browns starter Joe Haden.
Ignoring that giant first sentence that is just a way to say “no” to West Virginia’s Geno Smith, this would provide the Browns with one of the draft’s highest-rated prospects (Millner is No. 2 on Kiper’s Big Board) with the sixth pick in the draft. Consider that it not only addresses a need, but does so via a 6-foot-1-inch play maker with top-flight speed who would provide the Browns with a pair of high-profile backs to help bolster their pass-rush even more.
McShay, as well as colleague Mel Kiper Jr., had the Browns selecting the edge-rushing Dion Jordan in his most recent mock draft, but the class’ top pass rusher has seen his name skyrocket to the No. 2 spot which belongs to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Others who presently have Millner to the Browns in their respective mock drafts include Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks, and NFL.com’s Charlie Casserly and Daniel Jeremiah.
[Related: Fun with Numbers: New Browns Edition]