At the fourth pick in our series of breaking down the first round, the Cleveland Browns are very interesting. With a solid free agency, new coaching staff, and talent already on the roster, the Cleveland Browns hold two first rounders, including this pick at four overall making them fun to breakdwon.
After a solid offseason of already filling holes such as safety with signing Donte Whitner, inside linebacker signing Karlos Dansby, running back signing Ben Tate, and wide receiver with the signing on Andrew Hawkins, the Cleveland Browns really only have one need: quarterback.
The Cleveland Browns already had a solid, young defense before free agency, which only got stronger. Also, Mike Pettine, a defensive minded head coach who turned the Buffalo Bills defense into a top 12 unit and helped the New York Jets stay in the top 10 in defense for years, now makes that defense even better.
However, getting rid of Norv Turner is deffinitely a blow, but with a strong defense as stated above, a running game in Ben Tate, receivers in Andrew Hawkins, Josh Gordon, and Jordan Cameron, and a solid offensive line that has center Alex Mack and left tackle Joe Thomas as two of the best in the league, only one position is keeping the Cleveland Browns from being a playoff team and that's the quarterback.
Rolling with Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden wasn't pretty last year, leading the Cleveland Browns to finish with only four wins despite having the leading receiver in the NFL Josh Gordon. While Brian Hoyer was solid and Pettine loves him, Hoyer only played three games. Yes, he played well in those three games, but three games is not a solid resume.
Also, it is almost certain the Browns will take a quarterback with one of their first two selections with Mike Pettine saying they could even draft two quarterbacks. However, which pick will be used on the position?
Personally, I'm guessing it's the fourth overall pick being used to take a signal caller. There are many teams that need quarterbacks in the top 8 and while they love Derek Carr out of Fresno State, there's no guarantee he will still be there at 26, which is their next pick.
They could really use someone to come in and compete with Brian Hoyer for the starting job, whether it's Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel. Notice I didn't say Blake Bortles being an option because he's not going to make it past Jacksonville at three from everything I've heard.
While the Cleveland Browns didn't attend Manziel's pro day, being one of two teams to skip it when former President George W. Bush was in attendance, I'm chalking this up as a major smokescreen and actually believe that Manziel is their guy. However, Teddy Bridgewater could just as easily be the pick considering Josh Gordon is the one banging on the table for Bridgewater or Derek Carr on Sportscenter.
2. Wide Receiver or Offensive Tackle
If Cleveland decides to wait it out and not take a quarterback with their fourth overall pick, these are the only two positions I could see being used on the fourth overall pick. Starting with tackle, offensive tackle out of Auburn, Greg Robinson could be the pick here.
He fits everything Cleveland wants to do on offense in terms of balance, and is a great fit for either a zone blocking scheme with his quickness or a power run scheme with his strength. However, I am very intrigued to see him in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's zone blocking scheme. With Greg Robinson's rare speed, quickness, athleticism and great power, Greg Robinson would be able to get to the second level quickly and provide a huge mismatch because he's so strong.
This would open up huge lanes for Ben Tate with Robinson being across from Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack, making one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, along with giving Brian Hoyer or their new rookie quarterback great pass protection. Also, right tackle Mitchell Schwartz struggled at right tackle last year and there has been talks of moving him inside to guard so if Robinson is the pick, Schwartz will be a guard next year.
Also, wide receiver Sammy Watkins could also be the pick here. While the team did sign Andrew Hawkins this offseason, Hawkins is 5 foot 8 and has played slot receiver in Cincinatti his whole NFL career, so they could use an outside upgrade on bust Greg Little. If Sammy Watkins is the pick, the Cleveland Browns would have deadly weapons in Ben Tate, Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and Sammy Watkins making their future quarterback very happy.
In my opinion, I think the Cleveland Browns should either trade up for Derek Carr if they like him that much and play it safe in the top five picks and take either Greg Robinson or Sammy Watkins as stated above. Compared to those studs, the value of taking a risky quarterback isn't there in the top five over one of them and if Brian Hoyer can't succeed with those weapons and/or protection, then he's not your guy.