Cleveland Browns 2011 Draft Review

The Browns made eight picks in the 2011 Draft, but have stockpiled two more for 2012. The two bonus picks were a part of a trade with Atlanta to move from the Falcons’ spot at 27 up to Cleveland’s position at six. In exchange for the sixth pick, the Browns received the 27th (1st round), 59th (2nd round), and 124th (4th round) choices in the 2011 draft in addition to the Falcons’ 1st and 4th round choices in 2012. Cleveland later moved up to Kansas City’s spot at 21 with a 3rd round selection, number 70, to draft Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor. Taylor was the top nose tackle on most draft boards or one of the top five defensive tackles. A physical player with rare power, he is built to handle the run game with a thick build, long arms, and big hands. He can push the pocket with a strong and leveraged bull rush. He plays with good leverage and strong hand control as an inside run stuffer. With the Browns’ move to a 4-3 defensive scheme, he will team with Ahtyba Rubin to gum up the inside running lanes. Jabaal Sheard fills another need position at right defensive end. Tough and physical in his play, he fought through double and triple teams to gather 9 sacks and 14 ½ tackles for loss. Protections slid his way due to the loss of Greg Romeus for the year. Sheard is an impact hitter on slant moves to stop the run, but he also has explosive pass rush ability. He is intense, mobile, and quick in his play. Receiver Greg Little may be the best pass catcher in the draft when looking back five years from now. He did not play in 2010 due to a ruling by the NCAA in accepting extra benefits. Little is as talented and athletic as any receiver in this draft. He made spectacular catches in 2009 and has good run after catch ability. He has running back skills at 231 pounds. A total package of blocking, catching, and run after catch ability, Little has the talent to be a feature receiver. Jordan Cameron is a neophyte tight end candidate with good athletic ability. He started one game in his career at Southern Cal and caught 16 passes for 126 yards and one touchdown in 2 years. He was a scholarship basketball player at BYU before transferring to a junior college. A developmental tight end, he is more athlete than football player at this point. Owen Marecic played fullback in a West Coast scheme at Stanford. He was a two-way starter at fullback and linebacker. He will be used in a utility type role on offense and special teams but will compete with Lawrence Vickers as the lead blocker for Peyton Hillis. His strong points are blocking and catching the ball. He will also be counted on as a core special teams contributor. Buster Skrine has good leaping ability for a corner to offset his lack of height (5093). He possesses outstanding athletic ability, quick feet, and good hip flexibility. The Browns see Skrine as an ascending player who had four different defensive back coaches at Tennessee- Chattanooga. He recorded six tackles in their game against Auburn and finished the season with 39 tackles, despite dislocating his elbow returning a kickoff in the season opener. He had five career interceptions and will get a look outside at corner and inside in nickel and dime packages. Jason Pinkston was selected after the Browns sent both of their sixth round picks (168 and 170) to the Vikings in exchange for the 150th selection. He was a three-year starter at left tackle, but is projected to play right tackle or inside at guard. One of the best things he does with his long arms and big hands is to lock out on the pass rusher while maintaining balance and position. Eric Hagg was a three-year starter at Nebraska who played in the hybrid strong safety/linebacker position. He is active in his play demonstrating good range on run support. Hagg is a better than average athlete who can man up against tight ends and slot receivers. He had a strong senior year where he made key plays and was always around the ball. He was productive and instinctive. GRADE: GOOD.

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