The Cleveland Browns made the most of heir eight draft picks, grabbing the best shutdown corner in the draft and sneaking off with a possible starting QB in the next few years. Mike Holmgren’s first NFL Draft with Cleveland won’t win him a Super Bowl but he did make decisions that should right the sinking ship in Cleveland.
Cleveland Browns first NFL Draft pick and seventh overall Joe Haden.
Joe Haden, a shutdown, speedy cornerback from Florida, could be a huge score for Mike Holmgren’s first NFL Draft pick as the Cleveland General Manager. Haden has all the tools to jump right in and menace NFL wide receivers. Haden was expected to drop a little due to a slow 40 time in the NFL Combine but Holmgren wasn’t scared away. Haden is still quick to the outside and has superior back peddle skills of an NFL corner already. Haden will excel in his first NFL season and rack up a few interceptions.
Cleveland Browns second NFL Draft pick and 38th overall TJ Ward.
TJ Ward, a hard hitting safety from Oregon, surprised many in this spot but Holmgren addressed a key secondary need with an athletic safety in TJ Ward. Ward knows his position and knows it without thinking. His instincts keep him out of trouble and when he does make a mistake he has the speed and quickness to correct it. Ward knows how to roam the middle of the field and deliver punishment to anyone that dares catch a ball in his vicinity. Ward will see plenty of playing time in his first NFL season.
Cleveland Browns third NFL Draft pick and 59th overall Montario Hardesty.
Montario Hardesty, a big running back from Tennessee, gives Cleveland a big back to take some of the load off Jerome Harrison. Cleveland traded up the draft board to snatch Hardesty and they want to put him to use right away. Hardesty will be uses as a change of pace back at first but if he gains momentum he will be the number one back by season’s end. Hardesty will play in his first NFL season and should be a starter by the end of the season.
Cleveland Browns fourth NFL Draft pick and 85th overall Colt McCoy.
Colt McCoy, a quarterback out of Texas, learned that the NFL scouts can drop you fast if they lose confidence. McCoy’s drop from favor was two fold. The Big 12 Championship game made Ndamukong Suh a favorite for the number one pick overall and dropped McCoy down a notch. Then McCoy was injured in the BCS Championship game and did not return.
McCoy also wasn’t helped by his appearance on Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Special on ESPN. McCoy came off as cocky on that show and Gruden made fun of his play calling in the huddle. After McCoy repeated a play, Gruden laughed and said, “See i only got about 30% of that.” McCoy won’t be seeing any action in his first NFL season.
Cleveland Browns fifth NFL Draft pick and 92nd overall Shawn Lauvao.
Shawn Lauvao, an offensive tackle from Arizona State, gives Cleveland added depth on the offensive line. Lauvao is a versatile and smart lineman capable of playing anywhere on the line, he will be a super-sub for Cleveland when the older lineman get gassed. Lauvao will see action in his first NFL season.
Cleveland Browns sixth NFL Draft pick and 160th overall Larry Asante.
Larry Asante, a strong safety coming out of Nebraska, is strong for a safety and has some pop at the point of contact. Asante lacks the good hands of a good safety but likes to help on the run and is a good wrap up tackler. Asante will see playing time in his first NFL season as a special teams fixture.
Cleveland Browns seventh NFL Draft and 177th overall Carlton Mitchell.
Carlton Mitchell, a wide receiver from South Florida, could be a play maker that Cleveland needs down the field. Mitchell has the total package for a wide receiver, he has the big hands, the speed and fearless attitude to cross the middle of the field and hold onto the ball after a big hit. Mitchell is a steal in this spot and will be a productive member of the Cleveland Browns and see plenty of action in his first NFL season.
Cleveland Browns eight & final NFL Draft pick and 186th overall Clifton Geathers.
Clifton Geathers, a defensive end from South Carolina, will be a work in progress for Cleveland and could develop into a situational pass rusher in a year or so. Geathers has long arms and the right frame to make it in the NFL, he just needs to work on his first step after the snap of the ball. Geathers will see little action in his first NFL season.
NFL Network NFL Draft live coverage April 22-24, 2010.
ESPN TV NFL Draft live coverage April 22-24, 2010.
NFL.com player profiles.