Anyways, after reading Erik's plea to Browns fans to not get distracted by shiny objects, I wanted to take a look at what the experts are saying about the Browns draft plans.
First off, Terry Pluto says that the Browns offense is too messed up to draft a QB:
When it comes to evaluating young quarterbacks, the Browns find it hard because they went through two offensive coordinators last year, the offensive line was a mess and running back Reuben Droughns had a poor year. How much do you blame Charlie Frye or Derek Anderson for that? It's not an easy question, even though some fans think picking a quarterback would solve many of the problems on offense. If so, they are conning themselves.(BTW, Pluto also says the Browns are going to go after Bengals' guard Eric Steinbach in free agency. Hooray!)
Now to the mock drafts.
ESPN.com has two of them up (both insiders)
Mel Kiper Jr has the Lions taking Joe Thomas and the Browns settling for Adrian Peterson. I'm okay with this. However, Kiper does mention that teams may be willing to trade up for Peterson:
However, the biggest buzz could center around Oklahoma junior RB Adrian Peterson (6-1½, 223 pounds). His workout numbers at the NFL combine should look something like this: 4.37 in the 40-yard dash; 38-inch vertical leap; and eight percent body fat. I have Peterson going to Cleveland, which will have either the third or fourth pick, depending on a coin flip tiebreaker with Tampa Bay; but there also could be several teams interested in trading up to get Peterson.I'd be more than happy if the Browns traded down for multiple picks, even if that meant passing on Peterson.
Todd McShay has JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn going 1 and 2, respectively and says this about the Browns:
Russell or Quinn would be a possibility if available. Otherwise, it would become a tough decision between Thomas and Michigan DT Alan Branch. Thomas seems to make more sense, as he could be the piece that finally solidifies the Browns' offensive line.Obviously, I'm happy with this.
Fox Sports' Peter Schrager has done three (1, 2, 3) mock drafts so far and in two out of the three he has the Browns taking Peterson. He had Peterson going to the Browns in his first and third drafts and the Browns landing Russell in the middle one. However, in his latest MD he has Russell and Thomas going 1 and 2 and the Browns landing Peterson:
How good is Adrian Peterson? When Bears DT and Oklahoma grad Dusty Dvoracek was asked whether he thought the Sooners running back will be a good pro player on media day, Dvoracek answered: "Adrian Peterson is going to be a Hall of Fame player. Mark it down in ink. He's going to be one of the best NFL running backs we've ever seen." With questions at both the quarterback and running back positions, Cleveland can do no wrong taking Peterson here. Hall of Fame or not.Again, since Thomas is off the board, taking Peterson here is the right move.
I've already addressed the MD of SI.com's Don Banks here.
And finally, Yahoo! Sports' John Murphy also has two mock drafts in circulation and he has the Browns going with defense:
3/4. Cleveland Browns – Alan Branch, defensive lineman, Michigan. Branch would fill a major void for the Browns, who would allow him to clog the middle while opening up lanes for their outside pass rushers and young linebackers Kamerion Wimbley and D'Qwell Jackson. Cleveland paid close attention to the interior line position leading up to last year's draft but opted to take the pass rusher, so addressing the spot this year should come as no surprise.Now, I'm not sure how I feel about this; I mean, don't me wrong, the Browns could use a player like Branch. But Murphy has the Browns passing on both Peterson and Thomas (he has Russell and Jamaal Anderson going 1 and 2). I can't imagine them doing this. If Joe Thomas is available, I fully expect the Browns to snap him up. Plus, Browns fans already have Braylon Edwards on this team, do we really have to root for another Michigan guy?
We can only take so much.