DAWG DAYS - Peterson? Quinn? Thomas? Browns' choice not known

Now that the 2006 season officially has ended, it's time to get serious about ways to improve the Cleveland Browns. The team's biggest needs are (in order) offensive line, defensive line, cornerback and running back.
Matt_Roche
Jul 24, 2010

Now that the 2006 season officially has ended, it's time to get serious about ways to improve the Cleveland Browns.

The team's biggest needs are (in order) offensive line, defensive line, cornerback and running back.

The two main methods of improving those areas involve the draft and free agency. Trades for established players are a rarity in the NFL.

As far as the draft goes, Cleveland owns either the third or fourth overall pick, depending on the outcome of a coin flip with Tampa Bay later this month.

A survey of mock drafts on the Internet shows no consensus as to whom the Browns will select with that pick.

Nearly all draft pundits expect LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell to be taken first overall by Oakland.

Most foresee Detroit tabbing Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas with the second pick.

After that, it's wide open. Some who think Detroit won't take Thomas target the tackle for Cleveland. Others project Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson will be headed for the Browns. A few think Cleveland will address the defense, either with Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson or Michigan defensive tackle/nose tackle Alan Branch. Many predict Notre Dame quarterback and Cleveland-area native Brady Quinn will be the Browns' choice.

Whatever Cleveland does, Tampa likely will pick Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson. That holds true no matter which team wins the coin toss. There is no way the Browns will take Johnson, unless it's part of a trade to receive an extra first-round pick.

In terms of talent, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. lists Johnson as the top player in the draft, followed by Thomas, Peterson, Quinn, Russell, Anderson and Branch. Because of teams' needs and philosophies, however, that is not the order in which he foresees those players being drafted.

Kiper predicts teams will be interested in trading up to take Peterson, who is coming out after his junior season.