ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said during a conference call Wednesday that the Browns should consider Oklahoma State junior receiver Dez Bryant with the seventh overall pick in the April 22-24 draft.
Bryant played in only three games last season, suspended for lying to NCAA investigators about his relationship with Deion Sanders, who was reportedly courting him for an agent. At his NFL workout, Bryant ran only 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash and said he forgot his cleats.
His background could also be an issue for some teams. Bryant was reportedly raised by a mother who sold drugs and had three children before she was 18. His high school coach told the New York Times Bryant moved from ''trailer to trailer and house to house.''
Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly considers Bryant, 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver who could dominate in the NFL if he learns the value of hard work.
Kiper is also in Bryant's corner and believes the Browns should select him after trading Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets in 2009.
''They need a receiver to help out whoever the quarterback ends up being,'' Kiper said. ''You get him in a football environment, he's passionate, he's focused, he loves to study film. I think between six and 12 he could come off the board. If he gets past that it would be a surprise to me.''
As for the Browns, Kiper said, ''I think he's got to be in the discussion. He's a talented kid, they need a player at that spot. People are not as concerned about Dez Bryant as some make it out to be because he's a football player. He loves the game, he loves to study film, do all the things you need to prepare. I think he goes there or slightly later. I don't think he gets past the middle of the first (round).''
But Kiper said he has heard Tennessee nose tackle Dan Williams mentioned for the Browns at No. 7 after last week's arrest of Shaun Rogers with a loaded gun at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.