The team-by-team draft needs continue with a franchise that is once again hitting the reset button, an exercise that happens far too frequently for the Cleveland Browns. This could be the last time the house gets cleaned out for a while, for better or worse. “Better” will be more likely if the team makes good use of its draft picks. Here’s where they need to focus if they hope to avoid getting worse.
Cornerback: As the NFL skews even more sharply toward the pass, teams need quality cornerbacks. The Browns currently have only one in Joe Haden, and the team has shown no inclination to bring back 14-game starter Sheldon Brown. Whether it’s Dee Milliner or Desmond Trufant with the sixth overall pick or others coming later, the Browns need to spend at least one pick on a cornerback.
Quarterback: With a new owner, new CEO, new G.M., and new coach, the Browns surely are interested in at least exploring the possibility of adding a new quarterback. Unless Geno Smith falls into their laps, the Browns would have to wait until round three at the earliest, given that their second-round pick was used last July on receiver Josh Gordon.
Receiver: Even with Gordon, a pair of failed second-round picks from 2009 (Mohamed Massaqoui and Brian Robiskie) have left the cupboard more bare than it should be. More depth and, perhaps more importantly, increased competition will help.
Linebacker: Outside linebacker is fine, but the inside linebacker position got weaker when the team recently cut Chris Gocong. So it would make sense to add at least one body at that area of the roster.
Safety: Usama Young is recently gone, too. Which means that the Browns need help at safety.
Tight end: Sure, there are five tight ends on the roster. But coach Rob Chudzinski has an affinity for the position. And none of the tight ends on the roster will be confused for Tony Gonzalez.
Kicker: The only kicker on the roster is Brandon Bogotay. Enough said.