Our 2011 NFL Draft preview will launch in earnest this Sunday. Here's a look at what's on the agenda for Ohio.com and the Beacon Journal:
- I spent the past month conducting interviews with Browns General Manager Tom Heckert and the people closest to him. It will all culminate in a story that shows how the NFL Draft has, in many ways, defined Heckert's life and career. Pre-draft interviews with Heckert are difficult to set up because he's so busy this time of year. But I believe the effort put forth to gain access was well worth it. It's important, in my opinion, to learn as much as possible about the way Heckert approaches the draft.
- Marla Ridenour will continue her weekly series about draft prospects with a feature on North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn, who's pictured to the right and hoping to become an elite pass rusher in the NFL despite a brain tumor and an NCAA suspension that forced him to miss all of last season.
- I'll kick off a series of analysis pieces that examine the Browns' most pressing needs entering the draft. First up: Defensive ends.
- Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, who has something in common with the Browns' top pick from 2010, will be featured by yours truly.
- Most pressing needs: Wide receivers.
- LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, who's featured in the photo on the left and seems to be the people's choice for the Browns' sixth overall pick, is the subject of my next assignment.
- Most pressing needs: Defensive backs.
- Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who's trying to shed the "one-year wonder" label, is on the list of prospects whom I'll write about.
- Most pressing needs: Defensive tackles.
- Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, whose mentor is already on the Browns' roster, will round out my pre-draft stories.
- Most pressing needs: Linebackers, running backs and offensive linemen.
- My final mock draft -- complete first round.
- A final list of the prospects who have reportedly visited or worked out with the Browns.