By Chaz Bolte AFCNT.com writer (Originally published on December 15h, 2009)
ESPN was afire today with the news that Mike Holmgren may become the new “czar” of the Cleveland Browns. If he does take this position there is no doubt that one of his first responsibilities will be to evaluate talent for the 2010 NFL Draft. With a possible 11 selections this year the Browns have an opportunity to replenish the talent pool of their struggling team and build a core of players for a winning future. Their dismal season has lead to a top 5 overall pick in the draft and possibly the number one overall pick. Here is my analysis of who the Browns should be looking at with these picks.
needs: DL,OL,DB, RB
Ndamukong Suh DT, Nebraska
Suh is widely regarded as the number one prospect in the draft and is all but a lock to be the first player selected. He is ultra athletic for his 6’4 295 frame and was the Outland and Bednarik award winner. He was the first defensive player to be a finalist for the Heisman since Charles Woodson. He is better suited for a 4-3 defense but the Browns would be foolish to pass on his talent.
Eric Berry S, Tennessee
If the Browns do not have the first overall pick Berry would be an excellent place to start rebuilding the team. Compared to Ed Reed he is a sure fire NFL star and would help the Browns weak secondary. This is my personal choice as the Browns best selection.
Derrick Morgan DE, Georgia Tech
The 6’4 272 pound Defensive End would be a welcome addition to the Browns defensive line. Many experts have him outside the Top 10 but his stock is rising and if the Browns have a strong finish and end up with the 5th or 6th pick he would not be a stretch
Needs OL, RB, TE, DL
Jahvid Best RB, Cal
This early second round pick is an opportunity to find a first round talent who has slipped and that may allow the Browns to find a franchise RB with this pick. Best is an excellent prospect and would be a definite upgrade over Jerome Harrison and Chris Jennings.
Jonathan Dwyer, RB Georgia Tech
He may fall to this spot and would give the Browns a power back to build a running game around. At 6’0 235 pounds he runs a 4.4 40 yard dash. He is reminds some of a young Jerome Bettis.
Rob Gronkowski TE, Arizona
The Browns need a Tight End after trading away Kellen Winslow and Gronkowski is a large target (6’6 265pds.) He missed this season due to injury but projects as a Pro Bowl caliber Tight End. This may not be the season to pick a TE this high as they have more pressing needs, but if he is still here the Browns should think hard about taking him.
Darrel Stuckey SS Kansas
If they don’t pick Berry in the first round this would be their chance to get a safety. Stuckey is a 6’1 205 pound Senior with plenty of upside.
Vince Oghobaase NT, Duke
If the browns haven’t selected a DT yet Oghobaase would be an excellent fit. He is a solid presence up the middle in the 3-4 and may be available at this spot. He is thought of as a 2nd round caliber prospect but there are always players who fall and if he is one of them the Browns would be happy to have him.
Arthur Jones DE, Syracuse
The Browns have aging defensive ends and Jones has the potential to make a difference on the line in the upcoming seasons. Experts have him going anywhere from the late 1st to late 3rd but he fits well with Rob Ryan’s scheme.
3rd round (2nd pick)
Toby Gerhart RB, Stanford
His stock is quickly rising but if they don’t get a 2nd round RB Gerhart is a viable option. He finished 2nd in the Heisman and is a bruising back who may have the potential to be a star. If they have the opportunity to select him he is worth the risk.
George Selvie DE/OLB, South Florida
Selvie would fit well in the 3-4 and the Browns need all the youth they can get on Defense. The two time All-American is 6’4 250 pounds, but lacks the raw speed to be a first or second rounder.
Jermaine Cunningham DE, Florida
The 6’3 255 pounder has had trouble in the past with the law, specifically in sandwich related incidents. However, the Browns can’t worry about those things and if they think he is on the straight and narrow he can help the DL immensely.
Lee Campbell ILB, Minnesota
At 6’3 246 Campbell would help solidify the middle of the Browns defense and his hardnosed style would be appreciated and lauded by the dog pound. Great pick if he’s still available.
John Jerry G, Mississippi
The Outland trophy finalist is a big and intimidating and could help a weak offensive line.
Dennis Pitta TE, BYU
A more logical place to select a TE, Pitta was a Mackey Award finalist and has the size and hands the Browns need to help their offense
5th Round (1st and 2nd Picks)
Sean Canfield QB, Oregon State
The Beaver’s QB threw for 3,103 yards this season and 21 TD’s. If he is available in this spot he could be an excellent project for the Browns.
Stephan Virgil CB, Virginia Tech
With two picks at the top of the 5th round this is a spot where the Browns can find some value. Virgil is full of talent but his stock has dropped because he is coming off a knee injury.
Adam Ulatoski OT, Texas
Ulatoski could be the Browns RT for many years to come if selected. At 6’8 300 pounds he would be a force to be reckoned with. Some experts have him going as early as the 2nd round but I believe he is more likely to be a 4th or 5th. I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to get him earlier in the draft.
5th Round (3rd Pick)
Vladimir Ducasse G, UMass
He is 6’5 330 and full of potential and can double as a tackle. The Browns need young offensive line depth and he could provide it.
Stephen Williams WR, Toledo
Williams is a big target (6’5) and had 79 receptions for 1,065 yards as a senior. Could be a Marques Colston type of receiver.
Perry Riley OLB, LSU
If the Browns have yet to pick an OLB Riley is a decent prospect who should still be available at this slot.
Brandon Carter G, Texas Tech
At 6’7 374 pounds Carter was a preseason All-American. However he was suspended from the team indefinitelyat the begining of the season only to come back in October.He showed that he may be a bit of a loose cannon and will likely drop because of it. The Browns would be wise to take a chance on his talent.
Dorin Dickerson FB/TE, Pittsburgh
A Mackey Award finalist Pitt TE Dorin Dickerson will have the same problem in the NFL as he did in college, he is a man with no position. He is lightning fast and can make big plays on the field. He can also block. Fullback is a good position for him and the Browns could use all the weapons they can get on offense. This is a good fit.
Walter McFadden CB, Auburn
He is a speedster with skills but he injured his knee in the early season. He continued to play but didn’t have the season he could have minus the injury. Excellent value if he is available.
Ryan Perrilloux QB, Jacksonville State
Released from LSU for off field issues Perrilloux is an athletic QB who is a long shot to be a legit NFL QB. However his potential is intriguing and if they haven’t selected a QB they would not be foolish in selecting him.
About the Author: Chaz Bolte is a 2008 Graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where he earned a B.S. in Communication ~ Emerging Technolgy and Multimedia. At SRU he served as host of the weekly sports show “Pittsburgh Talk” on WSRU~TV and as host of “The Chaz Bolte Radio Hour” on WRSK 88.1 FM. He is currently the Director of Broadcast and New Media for the Pittsburgh Phantoms of the American Basketball Association.
Jimmy Graham TE, Miami
A project but at 6’8 256 he might be a project worth waiting for.