Next up in our second annual CSC community mock draft is member natde1016 with his selection for the Cleveland Browns, owners of the seventh pick in the 2010 NFL draft. The only way to find out which prospect he chose for the Browns and why he chose him, you'll have to make the jump.
Many thanks to natde1016 for his participation in this years mock draft.
With the seventh pick in the CSC community mock draft, the Cleveland Browns select...
The Cleveland Browns are coming off an absolutely terrible year in which they finished 5-11. Midway through the year the Browns were a legitimate candidate to go 0-16, and first year head coach Eric Mangini seemed almost certain to be fired at the end of the season, if not earlier. Although the team rallied and finished the season with a 4 game winning streak, they still need help at just about every position.
The Browns ranked dead last in overall offense. Their passing attack was the worst in the league, averaging a measly 129.8 yards per game. It was not helped by the trades of starting TE Kellen Winslow to the Buccaneers and number one receiver Braylon Edwards to the Jets, nor the constant quarterback swapping of Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, who was just cut. While Brady Quinn is by no means guaranteed to succeed this next year, I don't believe that Jimmy Clausen is worth taking this early in the draft (for more details, check out MtnExile's excellent profile on him in his coverage of the Seahawks draft choice).
Their rushing game was surprisingly effective though, ranking 8th in the league with 130.4 yards per game. This was mostly due to the emergence of fifth year running back Jerome Harrison, who managed over 900 yards and 4.4 yards per carry despite playing in only 13 games, and starting less than eight.
Their defense was as bad, if not worse than the offense, and ranked 31st in the league (29th in passing and 28th in rushing). They were tormented throughout the year, and became known for their atrocious tackling. If you have any doubts as to how truly awful their defense was, watch this clip from their first game of the season:
That pretty much summarizes their season right there, in addition to their most glaring area of need: the secondary. A few days ago I had the Browns taking a linebacker, but with the recent signing of free agent OLB Scott Fujita (my soul hurt as I wrote those words), their linebacking corps got a big upgrade. I eventually decided that since Eric Berry is already off the board, the Browns have to take the next best DB available, and that is Florida DB Joe Haden.
"Haden has proven himself on the football field enough to make the jump to the pros. He regularly covers receiver's butts like underwear and is rarely out of position. He keeps his hips low and moves in and out of cuts fluidly. He can get up for jump balls and doesn't miss many tackles" (NFLDraftDog.com)
"Read & React: Typically plays in press or off-man coverage, reading the receiver to gain an advantage on the route. Good straight-line for the deep route. Reacts quickly in zone coverage and when he's facing the quarterback in man coverage. Little wasted motion in closing once he sees the ball in the air.
Man Coverage: Very strong in man coverage. Quick, active hands to provide an initial pop to the receiver in press coverage. Quick feet and loose hips for the transition to run downfield. Good balance and body control to mirror the receiver. Can plant his foot in the ground and explode out of cuts. Good use of hands downfield to prevent separation. Shows a legitimate late burst to close after the ball has been released. Good timing and hand-eye coordination to slap the ball away as it arrives.
Zone Coverage: Smooth, low backpedal out of his stance. Maintains cushion with his backpedal, keeping his eyes alert to receivers in his zone. Changes direction smoothly with no wasted motion. Plays even faster than he has been timed, a credit to his recognition and efficient change-of-direction ability.
Run Support: Reads run and is quick to close toward the line of scrimmage. Evades blocks due to his lateral agility and anticipation and is willing to take on bigger ballcarriers. Understands his role on the edge and approaches it with a workmanlike mentality." (CBSSports)
Haden was a consensus top 10 pick among most football pundits, and many were expecting him to solidify that status with a 40 time around a 4.4, maybe even closer to a 4.3. But Haden disappointed, running a 4.57 and 4.60. However, there is no doubt that he is still an elite cornerback, and he plays much faster than his 40 time would indicate. He can play man and zone equally well, and is also solid in run support. Haden has all the makings of an elite corner, and is too good of a player for the Browns to pass up.