Posted by Adam Kaplan on Tuesday, February 8, 2011
A few years ago I won my fantasy football league with Pierre Thomas, Tyler Thigpen, and Peyton Hillis. When Hillis got traded to the Browns and starting performing well early in 2010 I suggested he be picked up for your fantasy team. Now he's become one of the best running backs in the league. Last year the team drafted Colt McCoy in the third round and he actually looks pretty darn good. He's mobile and looks accurate and is a great project and player to develop over the next few years while Mike Holmgren starts to rebuild this team. Cleveland also has a pretty good tight end in Ben Watson, although Watson's getting pretty close to being the wrong side of 30 and the wrong side of being talented. However, I truly believe that the Browns have THE WORST receiving corps in the league. This team is in desperate need of even a #2 wide receiver. Hell, I'm not even convinced that their best wide out- Mohamed Massaquoi- is even a number three receiver. It's possible that A.J. Green slips out of the top five if say the Bengals trade away Carson Palmer so they draft Blaine Gabbert and then Arizona drafts Von Miller leaving Green ripe for the taking. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening.
Before I transition over to the defense, Cleveland has a great offensive lineman in Joe Thomas and their guards are pretty good and the right side of that line is above average, but like I've said earlier, you can always improve your offensive line.
Now officially transitioning over to the defense. Off the top of my head I can not name you a single Browns defensive player. I'm looking now at the Browns depth chart and I still can't name you a single defensive player. The two best defensive players left to draft, according to Scout's Inc, is Von Miller, 'Bama's defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, and Nebraska's cornerback (and the guy who might have the best name ever) Prince Amukamara.
Local Chicago radio sports host Dan Bernstein once said that out of the three lines of defense (defensive line, linebackers, and defensive backs) if he could only have one line be the best he would rank them: 1) defensive line 2) defensive back 3) linebackers. And I have to agree with Mr. Bernstein. So my gut tells me that the Browns should draft Dareus, then Amukamara, then Miller. But at the same time, I think there's a reason Miller is considered a better talent than either Dareus or Amukamara. And if you're a rebuilding team, you take the best defensive player on the board. Plus, look what great outside linebackers like Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing have done in the NFL.
So with the sixth pick of the 2011 draft, the Cleveland Browns select Von Miller.
By the time their next pick comes around to them I would be all for drafting a wide receiver. The highest rated wide receiver after A.J. Green is Alabama's Julio Jones, but he's going to go in the first round and there's no way the Browns will be able to draft Jones without trading picks to get him. Scout's Inc has Kentucky's Randall Cobb has the next best wide out while Mel Kiper doesn't even have Cobb as a top five wide receiver prospect. Kiper's third best WR is Maryland's Torrey Smith. While unfortunately I do not watch enough college football to know if either Cobb or Smith is better or really who the third best wide receiver prospect is behind Green and Jones. Either way, the Browns are in desperate need of getting Colt McCoy some receivers to throw to.
- An entire defense
If I can't name a single player on your defense, you need defensive players. If you earned the sixth draft pick, you need defensive players
- Wide Receivers
The Browns have the worst receiving corps in the league and they need talent to help McCoy grow and develop
This offensive line is decently good for a five win team that struggled to score points. Every NFL team can use an upgrade on their offensive line but the one area of concern for Cleveland is their center.
- Tight End
Just because Watson is getting up their in age plus the GOI rankers ranked him on average 19 out of 32 (and that doesn't include players like Rob Gronkowski who were left off of the list)