Browns not likely to take a QB in the first round
As the NFL draft approaches, there has not been much buzz about the Cleveland Browns taking a quarterback with the sixth overall pick.
And that's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.
The Browns have made it clear that Colt McCoy is their choice heading into the 2011 season — if there is one. If Cam Newton and or Blaine Gabbert are available, I don't believe the Browns will go in that direction.
The Browns have a lot of needs, and although McCoy has not yet proven he is the long-term answer, his pedigree would indicate he has a chance to be. His 70 percent completion accuracy in his college career indicates that he has a chance to be very effective in the West Coast offense if the Browns surround him with some weapons.
Mike Holmgren has said he likes to draft a quarterback in most years, and I would expect the team to look at one in the later rounds. The Browns have McCoy as the starter and Seneca Wallace a solid backup, so it would not make sense to use a high draft choice to draft a quarterback to develop into a backup or the third quarterback.
Most of us don't expect Jake Delhomme to be back, but even if the Browns don't draft a quarterback, rookie Jarrett Brown was signed after the season and could be groomed to be the third quarterback.
Newton and Gabbert are considered to be the top quarterbacks available, but I would argue that McCoy has done more in college than Gabbert or Newton did because he did so over four years. With that being said, I'm not saying McCoy will have a better NFL career, but Newton had one great year at Auburn .
The Browns have worked out several quarterbacks who would be considered as late-round draft choices or even undrafted free-agent candidates.
Don't be surprised to see the Browns select a quarterback, but, hopefully, it won't be with the first pick.
Top 10 projection
The NFL draft is an inexact science, at best, but it's always fun to project what might happen on draft day. If one team makes a surprise pick, it throws the whole first round off, so we're taking a look at how the first 10 picks might go.
1. Carolina: QB Cam Newton — The Panthers could go in a lot of directions, but taking Newton with the first pick will create excitement in Carolina. Last year's quarterback pick, Jimmy Clausen, was not picked by new coach Ron Rivera.
2. Denver: DL Marcell Dareus — The Broncos are looking to build their defense up front with John Fox at the helm, and Dareus is considered to be the best interior lineman.
3. Buffalo: CB Patrick Peterson — One of the best playmakers on the board is too much value to pass up.
4. Cincinnati: QB Blaine Gabbert — With Carson Palmer expressing his desire to leave the Bengals, it makes sense for the Bengals to draft their quarterback of the future.
5. Arizona: LB Von Miller — The Cardinals could go with a quarterback, but Miller seems to be a good fit for them.
6. Cleveland: WR A.J. Green — With two quarterbacks going in the top four, the Browns have their choice of receivers (Green or Julio Jones) or defensive linemen (Nick Fairley, Robert Quinn or Da'Quan Bowers).
7. San Francisco: CB Prince Amukamara — The 49ers are hoping Peterson will fall to them, but they will settle for the second-best cornerback.
8. Tennessee: DL Nick Fairley — The Titans have been looking to fill the void inside since they lost Albert Haynesworth.
9. Dallas: OT Tyron Smith — The Cowboys are looking to fill a void on the offensive line, and Smith is rated at the top of the tackle chart.
10. Washington: WR Julio Jones — The Redskins get the player many consider the best receiver in the draft.