"The Roundtable" is a regular weekly Sunday feature that will continue throughout the year covering hot topics surrounding the Browns, Buckeyes, Cavaliers, and Indians. One question. Several different answers from TheClevelandFan.com panel.
Welcome to the 2007 NFL Draft.
Draft day is finally here. All the endless talk around the watercooler and on message boards debating who the Browns should take ends today around 1:00 pm. After that, the new debate on whether the Browns took the right guy or not with the first pick and how they did in the rest of the draft will rage on for months until training camp starts in July.
There is no greater theater than the NFL Draft, and today we may be in for some surprises. Provided JaMarcus Russell and Calvin Johnson go in the first two picks as expected, it still is a great mystery what the Browns will do with the #3 pick. Will they take Brady Quinn? Adrian Peterson? Joe Thomas? Trade down? You can make an argument for and against either one of those scenarios, even hours before the draft starts.
We gathered up a few of TheClevelandFan.com writers to get their final thoughts and offer their predictions of what they see happening with the Browns on the first day of the draft.
Tony Lastoria: Here is how I see things playing out...
1. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
2. Tony Ugoh, OT, Arkansas
3. Michael Bush, RB, Louisville
I think there are so many scenarios that could play out with the first pick, but I'm going to make the prediction the Browns trade down. Assuming someone else like Tampa or Atlanta trades up to #2 to get Calvin Johnson, it leaves really only three teams who we very well could strike a deal with: Arizona (#5), Minnesota (#7), and Miami (#9). Miami really wants a QB, Minnesota could use either a RB or QB, and Arizona is desperate for offensive line help and are hoping for Joe Thomas.
If I am Savage, I make Arizona sweat into thinking Thomas is who the Browns are taking, or that other teams want to move up. Also, supposedly Tampa at #4 has interest in him. So, I'm predicting a trade with Arizona swapping the #3 and #5 pick where we acquire additional first day picks, and then at #5 we take Brady Quinn. In the second round we get much needed offensive line help with Ugoh, and in the third we get a steal at running back in Bush.
Hiko: Here is how Hiko sees things....
Round 1 - JaMarcus Russell will go to Oakland, someone will trade up to #2 to get Calvin Johnson, and that will leave the Browns with four choices at #3: Brady Quinn, Adrian Peterson, Joe Thomas, or trade down. My favorite option amongst those is trade down - his 40 time was phenomenal, and he can bench press 225 at least 74 times. However, with JMR and CJ gone, teams aren't excited enough by anyone to mortgage the farm for the #3 spot. So my gut, and all the rumors, are telling me that the pick will be Brady Quinn, because he's "NFL Ready" and played in a "Pro Style Offense" and he has "All The Measurables" and blah blah blah. So the Browns take their "Franchise" QB, and I guess we all hope that we're not subject to Tim Couch 2 - Electric Boogaloo.
Round 2 - Since hopefully someone learned the lessons taught us by throwing Tim Couch 1 - Boogaloo behind a makeshift line (and watching him crumble), the Browns will select the best available offensive lineman in the 2nd round. And there are several good ones bound to be available. Let's throw a dart at the OL board and we come up with... Justin Blalock, OG, Texas. You toss him in at RG, and you have a starting five of Shaffer, Steinbach, Fraley, Blalock, and Tucker (provided Tucker has successfully removed his cranium from his rectum). A solid pick that will probably provide much more immediate benefits than the first.
Round 3 - OK - glaring needs that are left are: CB, RB, DL. We can only fill one (unless we are lucky enough to pick trade down in Round 1). Could be Daymeion Hughes, CB, Cal. Could be LaMarr Woodley, DE, Michigan. But since we only have Jamal Lewis on a one year rental, and since this guy was a 1st round pick before his injury, I'm going with Michael Bush, RB, Louisville. Most scouts are saying that he'll need a year to recover fully, but that he will recover fully. How handy! We already have a starting RB for 2007. We'll need a new starting RB for 2008... perhaps one that is considered a 1st round talent that has recovered fully from his leg injury. Round peg meet round hole.
Erik Cassano: Cassano sees it like this....
1. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
2. Aaron Sears, OG, Tennessee
3. Best available RB
Quinn has been at the top of Randy Lerner's list for quite some time. If Phil Savage had his way, the name up there would be JaMarcus Russell, but I think despite all the waffling and posturing by Oakland, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell steps to the podium to announce the first overall pick Saturday, it will be Russell.
Sears will likely be available when the Browns pick 36th overall in the second round, and, along with Eric Steinbach, would represent a major upgrade for the offensive guard positions. Lousy guard play is widely regarded as the main reason why the Browns offensive line was so horrid a year ago.
Seeking a fast, shifty back to compliment Jamal Lewis' power game, the Browns will likely take the best available running back at 67th overall in the third round. Swerb, among others, has them taking Arizona's Chris Henry. Personally, I'd rather see them wait a year and draft a rusher from the deep 2008 class, when the likes of West Virginia's Steve Slaton and Arkansas' Darren McFadden could be available.
Cris Sykes: Saturday, April 28, 2007. Should be around 12:45 PM. Mark it down, because it is the day and time you will be able to come back and say Phil Savage saved the Browns.
How? Here is how. We are finally going to have an offensive line, which is not offensive. With the #3 pick, the Cleveland Browns will select Joe Thomas. The left side of the line is built and locked in for seven years.
Their second pick, they will select Charles Johnson, DE from Georgia. This begins the rebuilding of the defensive line. My final choice for the Browns, in the third round is Daymeion Hughes, CB, from Cal. The Browns needed to address both lines of scrimmage and the defensive secondary early to make any positive strides in 2007, and those three players could have the ability to step into a starting role by September 9th.
Jeff Rickel: Here is how Jeff see things...
1. Adrian Peterson - RB
1b. Joe Staley - OT
3. Eric Wright - CB
I believe the Browns will trade down, possibly as far back as the #9 Miami pick. They will need to solidify their offensive line and I think Staley has the best upside of any OT in the draft. The Browns will use some of the booty acquired in their trade down and their second round pick, maybe more, to trade back into the end of Round 1 and get Staley. Wright is fast and has tremendous upside at corner. There's some risk, but we need help at CB.
John Hnat: My prediction completely ignores the names on the backs of the jerseys. I'm more interested in the roles than in the actors:
Round 1: Some guy who underachieves, is likely hurt, and leaves Cleveland somewhere around 2011 having fulfilled almost none of the promise that will be envisioned for him starting around 12:30 Saturday afternoon.
Round 2: The proverbial BPA at a position of little to no perceived need (e.g., OLB, WR).
Round 3: A lesser-known talent who causes some pundits to grouse, saying that he could have been taken a round or two later.