By Eric Williams
As of today, we are officially two weeks away from the 2014 NFL Draft. And yet the route that Jimmy Haslam, Ray Farmer, Mike Pettine, and The Cleveland Browns are going to go in with their two first-round picks, fourth and twenty-sixth overall, is still relatively unknown. The 2014 NFL Draft appears to be very deep with talent, so their options could be endless. So let’s take a look at some of the possible outcomes for The Cleveland Browns with their fourth overall pick.
First we will take a look at the two most popular positions that the most diehard of fans would like the franchise to address at number four:
- Quarterback: Barring any crazy trades within the first three picks, one, if not two, of the top three quarterbacks could quite possibly still be available when The Browns are on the clock. This position has gone through so much turmoil since the franchise returned to the league in 1999 that fans are still longing for that face of the franchise. The most popular choice of this position among fans seems to be the most polarizing athlete of the entire NFL Draft, Johnny Manziel. The belief is that the young signal caller possesses the moxie, confidence, and athletic ability to consistently lead the team to places it hasn’t seen since the Kardiac Kids days.
- Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins is a very electric Wide Receiver, and heseems to be a very popular choice among a certain group of fans. This group of fans firmly believe that the hometown kid, Brian Hoyer, should be given a fair shot to be the starting Quarterback to show what he can do for a full season with more talent around him. What better way to do that than to give him another number one quality type of receiver to complement star receiver Josh “Flash” Gordon? The intrigue here is that this could quite arguably equip The Cleveland Browns with one of the most dynamic receiving tandems in the league. Also throwing to Jordan Cameron, arguably one of the best Tight Ends in The NFL, would give Brian Hoyer multiple targets to throw to. Some fans also view Sammy Watkins as a security blanket in case Josh Gordon has another run in with The NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy which would result in a one-year suspension.
Now let’s take a look at some of the less popular position choices among the fans of The Browns at number four:
- Defensive End: Jadeveon Clowney is a physical specimen who has a high ceiling of potential, which makes him the top rated player at this position in this year’s draft. So therefore, it is highly unlikely that he will still be available for The Browns at number four. But this is The NFL Draft and crazier things have happened. If he slides down to The Browns at number four, can they really bring themselves to pass on his freakish athletic abilities? Keep in mind that the new rookie head coach, Mike Pettine, is a defensive coach and this acquisition could possibly cause him to salivate over what Jadeveon Clowney could bring to his Cleveland Defense.
- Linebacker: Khalil Mack is another Defensive option for Mike Pettine and The Browns at number four. This is a very small group of fans compared to the last three positions that have been covered already. If Khalil Mack can play in The NFL like he played in college then he has potential to become a solid starting linebacker in the league. The only thing that worries most fans is the fact that he is an Outside Linebacker and we have more of a need at Inside Linebacker. Outside Linebacker is already crowded with Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard, and Barkevious Mingo on the roster. So the belief is that Mack would be converted to Inside Linebacker to play next to and learn the ins and outs of the position from Karlos Dansby.
- Right Tackle: This position seems to be the least “sexy” pick among fans at the moment. Jake Matthews could quite possibly be the “safest” pick in this years draft though. Although he is primarily a Left Tackle, he is capable of playing all five positions along the Offensive Line. Since The Browns already have Pro-Bowler Joe Thomas at Left Tackle, the idea would be to place Matthews at Right Tackle and move the current starter Mitchell Schwartz inside to be the starting Right Guard. This would allow The Browns to have book end Tackles to protect whomever their starting quarterback is for 2014.
These seem to be the five most talked about possibilities among fans at pick number four for The Cleveland Browns. Let’s not forget that the team could also elect to trade up or down to go after who they really want. And at this point in time, due to so many smokescreens and tight lips in Berea, Ohio, the diehard fans of The Dawg Pound aren’t any closer to figuring out what direction the franchise will go in on Thursday May 8th, 2014 when the NFL draft begins.