Friday, March 30, 2012
Should Browns use Bengals' draft model?
By Jamison Hensley
The Cleveland Browns desperately need a quarterback and a wide receiver entering the draft.
Sound familiar, AFC North fans?
Facing the same needs last year, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted wide receiver A.J. Green with the fourth overall pick and quarterback Andy Dalton early in the second round.
ESPN Insider Chris Sprow speculated in the Rumor Central video that the Browns could try to replicate the Bengals' strategy. Cleveland can take Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon with the No. 4 pick and select a quarterback like Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden or Michigan State's Kirk Cousins early in the second round.
The biggest problem with this line of thinking is Blackmon isn't in the same class as A.J. Green. Blackmon is clearly the best wide receiver in this year's draft, but he would have been the third-best in last year's draft behind Green and Julio Jones. He just doesn't have that same elite speed (and he doesn't have the same hands as Green, if this juggling competition means anything).
The Browns would upgrade their wide receiver group by taking Blackmon. They would gain a much-needed playmaker. But they wouldn't be getting this year's version of Green.