Team Draft Needs: Cleveland Browns
By: dawgbones.com 
Posted: 2006-02-09
Category: Washington Redskins News
THN will be filling in the 'Team Needs' page for the draft section through February. In the interest of accuracy, THN has enlisted the help of some of it's friends from the Fan 2 Fan Alliance to ensure that the needs' are accurate.

The Browns current team needs were provided by DawgBones.com.

Cleveland Browns

2005 Results: 6-10, Third in AFC North
2005 Projected Cap Status:

2005 Season Recap:
It was a year that started with change for the Browns organization. After Super Bowl 39 the Browns hired a new General Manager in Phil Savage and a new head coach in Romeo Crennel. The duo spoke early and often about the Browns being a reclamation project and that good things take time. Their “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” mantra fell on some deaf ears as the team jumped out to a 2-2 record. The 2 wins through 4 games were half as many as the team amassed in all of 2004 and false hope was brewing in C-Town.

The Browns ended up winning only 4 of the next 12 games and finished with only 6 wins. The 6 wins, though not many, were a sign that things are heading in the right direction and that the dynamic duo of Savage and Crennel have the franchise moving in the right direction.

The Browns made some nice off-season acquisitions as well heading into 2005, none better then team MVP running back Ruben Droughns. Droughns was acquired via trade with the Denver Broncos and was thought to be a by-product of an effective Broncos scheme. Droughns silenced all doubters by racking up 1,232 yards and becoming the first Browns running back in 20 years to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark.

Team Needs:
1. Defensive linemen: We say linemen because there is a need for several defenders. The Browns were pathetic stopping the run in 2005, ranking 30th in the league and giving up 137.6 yards per game. The Browns need a serious run stuffing NT, ala Pat Williams or Jamal Williams to improve a unit that desperately needs it.

The Browns also need to find a pass rushing DE/OLB. Due to the fact that they play a 3-4 defense they will more then likely look to fill that role with an OLB. The Browns totaled a mere 23 sacks in 2005, 2 shy of the clubs worst season output in team history.

2a. The team is in need of some playmakers on defense without a doubt. The scheme is now a 3-4 and that means linebacker friendly. The only problem is the Browns have only 1 decent LB, Andra Davis, with another growing into a decent LB, Chaun Thompson. That means there are still 2 LB positions that desperately need to be upgraded.

2b. The Browns will be looking for their future left tackle in this years draft as well. The team signed veteran L.J. Shelton to a 1-year deal last year and he was worth every penny they paid him. The question now is, is he worth more then that. Shelton would like to sign a new deal with the Browns and the Browns would like to keep him, for the right price. Regardless, Shelton is not the franchise LT that they so desperately would like to have. The 2005 draft is as deep a draft for LT’s as there has been. The Browns will be able to get their future LT and not have to break the bank to do so.

3. Punter: Now you are thinking to yourself, Punter? The team has many needs we are focusing on their biggest needs. Punter Kyle Richardson was brought in to help Browns fans forget Derrick Frost and his 7-yard punt on prime time television. Richardson barley did that by booting an 18 yarder and a 19 yarder in consecutive weeks. Richardson went through a streak of 7 games in which he averaged no better then 40.6 yards per punt. Five of those games he did not even surpass the 40 yard plateau. The Browns struggle enough, they must win the field position battle and Richardson was no help.

· On a side note: Frost ended up punting for the Redskins in 2005. Richardson averaged 40.8 yards per punt and Frost 40.4, big improvement.

2005 Draft Picks:
1st Round – 12th Overall
2nd Round – 44th
3rd Round – 76th

Free agency status:
Unrestricted: Aaron Shea(TE), Antonio Bryant(WR), Antwan Harris(S), Ben Taylor(LB), Kyle Richardson(P), L.J. Shelton(LT), Mike Pucillo(C/G), Orlando Ruff(LB), Orpheus Roye(DE), Ray Mickens(CB)

Restricted: Ethan Kelley(DT)

2005 NFL Draft Prospects of interest to the Browns:

Allot of it will be determined by free agency and what needs are filled there, but you can bet the Browns are going to look to upgrade the defensive side of the football.

DT Prospects: Brodrick Bunkley(Florida State), Gabe Watson(Michigan), Haloti Ngata(Oregon), Babatunde Oshinowo(Stanford)

DE/OLB Prospects: Manny Lawson(North Carolina State), Parys Haralson(Tennessee), Darryl Tapp(Virginia Tech), Victor Adeyanju(Indiana), Bobby Carpenter(Ohio State)

LT Prospects: Winston Justice(USC), Eric Winston(Miami), Ryan Colledge(Boise State), Andrew Whitworth(LSU), Jonathan Scott(Texas), Marcus McNeil(Auburn)

Special Thanks to:



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