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Browns have leverage today

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 23, 2010

With four picks in Friday's second and third rounds of the NFL draft and some first-round talent still available, the Browns could be busy on the phones before draft action commences at 6 p.m.

With the sixth pick in the second round (38th overall), they could still get their quarterback of the future in Texas' Colt McCoy. But if they are worried about him going before then, they could use one of their third-round picks (Nos. 71, 85 or 92 overall; eighth, 22nd and 29th in the round) to move up slightly.

Picking ahead of the Browns in Round 2 are St. Louis, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Philadelphia, which could also be in the market for a quarterback.

Browns general manager Tom Heckert said 24 players received first-round grades on their board. Some of those highly regarded today could also include Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, Texas outside linebacker Sergio Kindle, USC safety Taylor Mays, offensive tackles Charles Brown of USC and Rodger Saffold of Indiana, Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap and receivers Arrelious Benn of Illinois and Golden Tate of Notre Dame.

There are other players who could attract their attention later in Round 2, including Ohio U. receiver Taylor Price, Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster, Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody, Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski and East Carolina defensive end Linval Joseph.

The Browns could find help for their aging defensive line on day two. Starting defensive ends Robaire Smith and Kenyon Coleman are over 30 and nose tackle Shaun Rogers may be facing an NFL suspension after being arrested on a gun charge.

Cody, who scared off some teams when his weight ballooned to 370 at the Senior Bowl, is considered a two-down run-stuffer who is a good fit to anchor a 3-4 defense. Dunlap looks like the prototypical pass rusher and also possesses above-average tackling skills, but he was inconsistent in college. Browns coach Eric Mangini could cross him off the list because Dunlap was suspended for the SEC championship game after a DUI arrest (he was found asleep at the wheel at 3:25 a.m. Dec. 1). Joseph, a high-character player, is considered a raw 3-4 end with rare strength (he bench-pressed 225 pounds 39 times at the combine) and short-line quickness.

Kindle also has a DUI arrest in his past, but it came in 2007, costing him a three-game suspension. He's considered an explosive pass rusher who has drawn comparisons to Shawne Merriman, but his maturity is still in question.


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