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Primary Needs: QB, CB, DE

 

Secondary Needs: RB, DT, OG

 

Cleveland, despite having one of the worst rosters in the NFL is in pretty good shape heading into 2017. With five of the first 65 selections, including the first overall pick, and over $97 million in cap space the Browns are in a great position to improve.

Free Agency Approach: The Browns have recently been frugal during free agency. That should change this year since the team has a lot of space under the salary cap, as well as a terrible roster. Should players like Kirk Cousins, Kawann Short, or Eric Berry hit the open market the Browns would do well to overbid for their services in order to entice them to play for a team that most players would rather avoid. The Browns have enough needs that they should target veterans at a few of the positions listed above in hopes of mentoring any younger players they bring on board. Additionally the Browns have more than enough draft capital to make a trade for a quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo or Tony Romo should they choose to do so.

Draft Approach: With their first pick the Browns are reportedly enamored with Myles Garrett. The edge rusher is a better fit for a 3-4 but can play the weak side rusher role in Greg WIlliams defense. He is also, by far, the best prospect in this draft. In a draft with as much cornerback depth as 2017 has the Browns find themselves with options. They are likely to get an opportunity to take a cornerback with top 5 ability at #12 overall. Or they could take a player with top 25 ability at #33 overall. GIven the number of needs the team has, they should be focused on the best player available strategy for at least their first two selections. Should they choose to not sign a quarterback in free agency it is likely that a quarterback like Deshone Kizer or DeShaun Watson will be available to them at 33 overall. This is also the selection I would expect the team to dangle for Garoppolo if they are interested in him. The bottom line is that Cleveland should leave this draft with at least 3-4 rookies ready to contribute and a half dozen more being developed at the bottom of the roster.

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