With the NFL Draft coming up on Thursday night, two of your Weekend Warriors, Jacob and Kirk, thought it would be a good idea to get the juices flowing and talk about what the Browns could potentially do at #6 (or wherever else they may land in the first round). Who will be wearing that lovely orange and brown cap pictured to the right come Thursday evening? We do hope you enjoy, and let the discussion begin in the comments section!
Jacob: On Thursday night, being as realistic as possible, what do you think the Browns should do with the No. 6 pick?
Kirk: If I’m in that war room, I’m drawing on the dry erase board in big letters…. TRADE DOWN! If someone wants one of the three offensive tackles and they’re still on the board at 6, take the deal. I like, but I don’t love, a lot of the guys that will ultimately be the pick at #6.
Jacob: To a certain extent, yeah, that has to be the M.O. for the front office from the start of Thursday night. This draft, for all its eccentricities, doesn’t have a sure-fire guy that is a clear-cut no-brainer for this roster’s future. There’s a whole lot of ways they could go. Moving up is not one of them. Thus, there’s flexibility at No. 6 for many different possible solutions.
Jacob: At this point, I think the Browns should hope Dion Jordan or Dee Milliner falls into their laps at No. 6. Those appear to be the two best fits. After that, if both are gone — which certainly could be logical — then trade down for one of the other DE/OLB fits, or maybe even address that later along with other roster needs. There’s lot of middle-tier first-rounders this year.
Kirk: If the Browns do stay at 6, I really do like Dee Milliner. I realize the concerns with having two high-profile (and eventually high-paid) corners on the team, but if we’re drafting for BPA within reason (as in, we don’t take an offensive or defensive tackle that high), then I’m sort of rooting for Milliner being there. The same applies for Jordan. Just watching the film on that guy is exhilarating. He’s so long and flexible and in-your-face in the backfield. The shoulder injuries are scary, but I would be unable to pass him up either.
Kirk: The Dolphins have been talked about as a trade partner at 12. I’d be alright with dropping down to that slot and picking up Mingo or Jarvis Jones. It would be nice not to have to sit out the second round this year (Still love ya, Josh Gordon).
Jacob: So it’s Jordan and Milliner. Those appear to be the two guys that we’re intrigued about most in the top-6 echelon, as per the typical consensus from a lot of fans right now. But if both are gone at No. 6, should the Browns trade down no matter what? Who would be your next favorite if no trade presents itself?
Kirk: Should no trade present itself, I would be in the Mingo camp. A lot of the same things I said about Jordan apply with Mingo. He’s long and lean. He contributed for three years at LSU where according to some, they didn’t utilize his skillset properly. He sets the edge against the run and he put up some nice stats in nation’s best conference. He was a basketball player and has been only playing football since he was a junior in high school. This guy has a lot of room for growing and development, it would seem.
Jacob: Agreed so much on that point about the second round. Overall, at this point in time, I think this front office — and especially the rabid fanbase — would do that Josh Gordon supplemental second-round pick decision any day of the week. He performed much better on the field as a rookie than nearly anyone could have expected. I’m fine with that decision still. But it leaves a big void as this roster still needs so much talent and still has so many holes, that that “missed” second-rounder is huge.
Jacob: Should no trade present itself, I don’t know. Man, I’m so torn. It’s tricky. A big part of me wants to say “STOP worrying about fit only!” The Browns would pigeon-hole themselves if forced to only consider players like Ziggy Ansah, Mingo, or Jones at No. 6 otherwise. For now though, if really forced to pick, I’d go with Ansah as my favorite of the other tier — his age doesn’t concern me much, while his potential appears the highest — while also giving serious consideration to Chance Warmack.
Kirk: Oh, yes, Warmack, for the completion of a SUPERTEAM of offensive linemen! I wouldn’t be opposed to that, but I just think they need another impact player on defense so badly. I’m not crazy about Ansah. There are concerns with his motor, and he’s very, very raw. I don’t really know why, but I just see the Jordan/Mingo/Jones body type fitting in better for the Browns as a 3-4 rush linebacker than Ansah, but maybe that’s just personal preference from this non-football filmhound.
If you’re going to talk about Warmack, the name Geno Smith comes to mind on the offensive side of the ball as well….
Jacob: I’m super intrigued by Ansah. He’s already shown so much with so little football schooling. Given some time to develop, especially alongside a decent front seven already, I think he could be a steady All-Pro for a long time.
But yes, that Geno Smith fellow. First, has there ever been any QB that’s been tossed around back-and-forth by the media? Fans first wanted to think that he was a running QB. Then they wanted to think he was a sure-fire No. 1. He’s not either of those. He’s a very typical pocket passer with some pretty impressive collegiate stats, but the measurements aren’t that impressive and he’s just not going to be an elite superstar, it appears. I have a hard time truthfully rationalizing a scenario in which I’d want the Browns to draft him. I just don’t know why it would make sense.
Kirk: I’m also in the crowd that wants to avoid taking a quarterback in the first round (or at all, really). I like Geno Smith. He’s not a running QB, as anyone who watched him play knows. He’s got a great arm. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had success on level with what Russell Wilson did in his rookie campaign. But, more than anything, I think we need to rule out that Brandon Weeden, in this new system with a new coach and offensive coordinator who seem custom-fit for him, is the guy. If he isn’t, then you look into your options after the season. I don’t think anyone is expecting a Browns’ playoff run this year, so fill out both sides of the ball as best as you can, so whether it’s Weeden or someone new next season, they’re more likely to succeed with more weapons and a more sound defense behind them.
Jacob: And that’s the biggest point again that I’d want to make about this first day in the draft. There are still so many holes on this Browns roster. It’s not easy to instantly fix a franchise that has just 23 wins in a five-season span. If there’s an opportunity to move down from the No. 6 spot that could provide multiple benefits as opposed to just one, then that’s fine. I think one of Ansah/Mingo/Jones could be there at No. 12 (or wherever else) and other pieces of value would fit into place later on as well. But in any of these situations, I don’t see how drafting a QB (be it Geno or any of the others) makes sense.
Kirk: If you can make a trade back and gain a second rounder, I’d still love to use the first two picks on defense if it makes sense. You have Taylor, Rubin, Bryant starting on the line with great depth in Hughes, Winn, and Kitchen behind them. You have Kruger, Sheard (maybe, hopefully if he can make the conversion), D’Qwell, and James Michael Johnson at linebacker. You have Haden and T.J. Ward in the secondary. If you can add a linebacker and a safety or corner with the first two picks, it starts to look like an impact defense with some depth, especially on the D-line.
Jacob: Is that investing too heavily all at once on the front seven, though? Scott made the point in a Q&A with folks at The Score about how it seems potentially overboard to get Kruger, Bryant AND a top-10 pick on a defensive line prospect too. I’m just throwing it out there. Scott’s point was that either go for Milliner, or maybe one of those higher-priced free agents should have been a corner. Either way as well, I think I’d be looking very much toward improving that porous secondary in whatever way possible. You also could convince me about drafting an improvement at guard (Warmack) or tight end (Eifert), pending that trade.
Kirk: I don’t feel terrible about where the Browns are at with the tight end position. Obviously, I expect them to draft one at some point, but I think Jordan Cameron is going to emerge this upcoming season. I’ve heard people comment that newly signed wide receiver David Nelson can line up like a tight end at times. Kellen Davis played a lot in Chicago, though he had mixed success. With Gordon, Little, and Benjamin, I like where the receiving corps are at right now. I wouldn’t draft a running back until later. So, by process of elimination, I guess it leaves the O-line as the place I would look to improve early on that side of the ball. It’s a very valid point by Scott, and I do wish that the Browns had signed one less for the front seven and instead added a solid corner or safety. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone in that front seven gets dealt at some point this season.
Jacob: At some point though, I think tight end should be a priority. To me, Jordan Cameron’s not a starting tight end on a playoff-caliber team. Maybe he could keep developing, but it’s a long-shot right now. That’s why I’m kinda leaning toward the Eifert train in a trade-down situation. He’s not someone I’d reach for, but his addition could provide another significant boost for Weeden’s progression. I think we’re of a similar mindset on most things though. There are those couple of really impressive guys at the top, but also lots of intriguing ways the Browns could more effectively fill out their roster with a “hopeful” trade.
Kirk: Yes, I think it will be a very interesting draft, given the fluid top of the draft board. There may be a greater contrast in where teams rank these guys, and it could mean more trades. This year more than most, I think I’m more intrigued by what the Browns will do in the later rounds to add depth on both sides of the ball. But, in Cleveland, we know that Top-10, first round pick is what drives the most conversation and rightfully so.
Kirk Lammers grew up on the Marblehead Peninsula and is a graduate of THE Ohio State University. He now lives in Northeast Ohio, and you can find him at the ballpark, at the Q, or far too often on Twitter (@WFNYKirk)."