The Final Countdown

By Dave DeNatale

Browns fans, are you ready????  Your Super Bowl is just about here.

Or as Ohio State’s Cam Heyward tweeted on Wednesday:  Day before Christmas!! only problem is there no way to sneak and see what I got for tomorrow lol

What will the Browns do with that sixth overall pick?  Will they trade down?  Team President Mike Holmgren teased as much to the Plain Dealer.

Will they take cornerback Patrick Peterson and have him join Joe Haden and T.J. Ward for what could be a dynamite secondary?

Will they grab a wide receiver, like A.J. Green or Julio Jones to give Colt McCoy a legitimate weapon?

Or will they finally address their pass-rushing needs with a lineman like Robert Quinn, Da’Quan Bowers, or Nick Fairley?

All I know is that I feel as secure as I ever have that the man running the show in Berea will make the best call possible.

Think about how badly the Browns have bungled the draft over the years.  And I’m not talking about Clifford Charlton, Mike Junkin, or Craig Powell by the way!  I’m talking about their failure to take advantage of extra picks at the start of their expansion years in 1999 and 2000.

Drafting largely ineffective players with first and second round picks.  And you can pin that on four different regimes by the way.

Their head-scratching trades on draft day.  Butch Davis sent a second-round pick to Detroit to move up one spot to take Kellen Winslow.  Two years later, Phil Savage moved down one spot for the low price of a 6th round pick.  Oh by the way, Baltimore took Haloti Ngata while the Browns ended up with Kamerion Wimbley.

And I won’t even bother going through the 2009 Eric Mangini trade-down bonanza.

But don’t you feel better with Tom Heckert calling the shots?  He came in last year and drafted Joe Haden, T.J. Ward, and Colt McCoy, all of whom seem like core players for the foreseeable future for the Browns.  And if Montario Hardesty and Shawn Lauvao bounce back from injury, that makes five potential starters from the 2010 draft.

If Heckert can repeat that success this time around, the Browns have a real chance to get out of their 5-11 quagmire and get back to being relevant very very soon.

And on a final note, make sure you check out the ESPN Cleveland 2011 Draft Guide that’s available for download right here at ESPNCleveland.com.  Chris Fedor has done a fantastic job putting this year’s edition together.  You’ll get a breakdown of this year’s class by position, plus Chris’ mock draft, big board, and the needs for all 32 NFL teams.

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