With the 38th pick in the 2010 BGN Draft, Talon Talent selects...
Chad Jones - S, LSU
Since Cleveland decided to go with a QB in the first round, it is imperative to start addressing the defensive side of the ball with this selection. There are many holes in this defense and luckily many good defensive players still available. Cleveland could use safeties, an OLB, a LDE, a CB replacement, and perhaps even a NT.
At NT with Shaun Rogers current legal woes and misunderstanding of the law about carrying handguns on planes, he is a huge question mark to be be able to start for the next, lets say 3-5 years.
The CB position got a big upgrade in acquiring Sheldon Brown and Eric Wright has the ability to be very good, but Brown is older and acquiring someone to replace him has to be a consideration.
At OLB we have a couple of "who's that" type players. The hope is that with acquiring Gocong, one of these positions are taken care of but with an old unproductive player, in David Bowens, and a younger yet equally unproductive player, in Matt Roth, looking at some talent here could be nothing but beneficial.
At the LDE position, you have an old and unspectacular player in Kenyon Coleman. He is easily handled one on one and doesn't get any real push to disrupt the RB or to allow his OLB's to make plays. A definite upgrade here is required.
Finally you have the S position manned by Mike Adams, FS, and Abram Elam, SS. Both players are getting older and neither are a playmaker. They are both just bodies on the field, who happen to be starting because 11 players are needed on defense and nobody else on the roster has their "talent". Serious upgrades are required to start a transition from a terrible team to a bad team.
More after the jump...
With all the holes to fill, this makes Mike Homgren's job much easier. Cleveland can simply select the best defensive player available without worrying about reaching. I did the best research I could and feel with the 38th pick of the 2010 NFL draft the Cleveland Browns will select, Chad Jones.
There are quite a few options on the board available with our selection.
Everson Griffen, DE, has a lot of potential. He is very fast for a man of his size, he ran a 4.46 40 at his pro day even though he measured in at 6 ft 3 in and 263 lbs, but lacks all the tools needed to play in a 3-4. He is too small for a 3-4 DE and does not play well from a standing position disqualifying him at the OLB spot as well. These glaring defects, plus his sometimes questionable desire and work ethic, makes him a bad choice at this spot.
Jermaine Gresham,TE, is another person I looked at. The fact that he slid this low is very shocking and giving Clausen a weapon of Gresham's caliber is very appealing, however Cleveland really needs to build up their defense with an urgency and there are other serviceable TE's later in the draft that can be developed very well. Coupling that in with the desire to be a run oriented team, and the fact that Gresham is only average at run blocking, leaves me with no choice but to bypass him as well. After taking a look at what else is available and comparing it to my big board, I am left with 3 superb options.
Cleveland needs a playmaker in the worst way in the secondary and Jones brings exactly what they are looking for to the table. His skill set combined with his physical gifts will add another dimension to the Cleveland and allow them to get one step closer to being competitive.
Morgan Burnett, S, seems like he can be a great player. He is a good ball hawking safety, addressing our desperate need of a playmaker at the position. He has very good change of direction ability and is quite an asset in pass coverage. He is not much of a tackler, however. He wraps up wide receivers with relative ease, but is more of a dart, when it comes to tackling TE's and RB's, leaving him likely to just bounce off of them. His tackling technique also leaves him susceptible to injury as he likes to lead with his helmet first. With Cleveland having to face Mendenhall, Rice, and Benson twice a year each, our safety needs to be able to play the run well and that is not Burnett's strong suit. The positives are appealing but the negatives are glaring, which is why I pass on Burnett at this point.
Larry Asante is another safety I looked at. He is very good at intercepting the ball and leaps with the best WR's in the league. His tackling is very good and he uses the proper technique, settling down and wrapping up the ball carrier. He is not a very aware player, however. He sometimes has problems diagnosing the play in front of him and his instincts are more often wrong then not. His straightline speed is also slightly below average. This I fear will allow more 15 yard runs then is acceptable, as he will be slow to get to the line of scrimmage from a standard safety position. Asante has the ability to be a solid safety, but I feel he will never plateau above that so I will pass on him as well.
I chose Chad Jones a 6 ft 3 in, 218 lb strong safety who played for LSU in 2009. The selection of Jones gives an immediate upgrade in all facets of the game, over Abram Elam. Jones is a big safety but maintains his speed despite it. An amazing tackler, he always takes the correct angles and is the break down and wrap up tackler that many people wish their safeties were. He plays well against the run and is an ace at causing fumbles. Cleveland only had 10 interceptions and 8 forced fumbles last year, so a playmaker of this caliber will give an immediate boost to the 31st ranked defense from last year. Jones has adequate pass coverage ability and above average hands. His instincts are below average causing him to take himself out of pass plays on occasion, but with playing time they will improve. He has enough speed to easily cover TE's and slot receivers, but his recovery speed is not enough for when he gets initially burnt on a play. These situations should be minimal once he learns the playbook.
Previous picks: #1 Ndamukong Suh, #2 Russell Okung, #3 Gerald McCoy, #4 Sam Bradford, #5 Eric Berry, #6 Trent Williams, #7 Jimmy Clausen, #8 Bruce Campbell, #9 Bryan Bulaga, #10 Derrick Morgan, #11 Rolando McClain, #12 Sergio Kindle, #13 Joe Haden, #14 C.J. Spiller, #15 Mike Iupati, #16 Jason Pierre-Paul, #17