CLEVELAND- The Cleveland Browns should look for a quarterback with their first pick. A franchise quarterback is the first line of defense when building a playoff team. A quarterback is the cog wheel that keep everything running. Many Browns fans are ranting and raving about Brian Hoyer but he may not be the same after missing most of the season with the ACL tear. It is better to be safe than sorry.
The Browns have a total of 10 picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, which includes two in the first round, one in the second and two in the third.
1st round: Derek Carr– Quarterback- Fresno State- Johnny Manziel will likely get selected by the Houston Texans and Blake Bortles may draw interest from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Browns will have a choice between Teddy Bridgewater and Carr. Cleveland could choose to wait until the late first round or early second round. However, the history of waiting for quarterbacks has a tendency to hurt the Browns. The best examples to prove this point are Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy, and Brandon Weeden. A franchise quarterback is the biggest part of a Super Bowl winning team. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning (with the Colts) are some of the best examples to prove this point is true.
Possible alternate picks- Bridgewater quarterback Louisville
Sammy Watkins-wide receiver- Clemson
1st round: Marqise Lee– wide receiver USC. The Browns have two picks in the first round. The smart option is to have playmakers on offense. There is now a slight chance that Cleveland will have a shot of Lee since Odell Beckham Jr.’s draft stock rose sharply. Lee would make a great second deep threat alongside Josh Gordon.
2nd round: Cyril Richardson guard Baylor. The Browns need help on the offensive line. Richardson is a bulky guard, 6-5-329 pounds, which is exactly what the Browns need right now.
3rd round: Chris Borland– inside linebacker University of Wisconsin The Browns need an upgrade at middle linebacker. Borland is 5’11, 248 pounds. He is the big body that plug up the middle of the field.
3rd round: running back Carlos Hyde Ohio State– The Browns will have a huge debate between Bishop Sankey and Hyde. Sankey is able to quickly identify holes and accelerate but Hyde is more physical and shows brute strength. He will need to develop better speed for the position, which means a lot of time on the track. Hyde’s ability to create space by bowling over defenders is a needed skill for any running back to have success. Hyde is the young version of Jamal Lewis and can fit in the Browns zone running scheme.
Alternate pick: Sankey, running back University of Washington
The Browns need offensive playmakers early on. The offense was the Achilles heel last season but the defense held their ground. If Cleveland has a vision to return to the playoffs in the next three years, the front office needs to revamp the offense.