This is the tenth in a 20-part series examining some possibilities for the Browns in the 2013 NFL Draft, including extensive looks at the most likely prospects for the No. 6 overall selection, potential targets later in the draft, trade-down scenarios, what the other teams in the AFC North might do and the top players coming out of Ohio State and the Mid-American Conference.
Each morning will bring a new, daily posting leading up the NFL Scouting Combine on Feb 20.
Today we look at who the Browns might be targeting in the third round.
With the No. 6 overall pick, the Browns should have a good chance at finding a franchise-caliber player. But after selecting wide receiver Josh Gordon in the second round of last year's supplemental draft, the Browns' second-round pick was forfeited.
So if the Browns opt not to trade down from No. 6 or back up into the second round, 61 players will come off the board before another selection comes around (the New Orleans Saints also had to forfeit their second-round pick).
Trying to pinpoint a team's target that late in the draft, and this early in the process, is undeniably a risky proposition. Free agency can change draft needs and the NFL Scouting Combine later this month will surely shuffle draft boards. When looking at the 68th pick, which the Browns own, you could argue that there are dozens of potential fits at this time.
Nevertheless, here are a few potential targets to watch, not in any order:
Jordan Reed, tight end, Florida, 6-foot-3, 240 pounds -- Reed is thought of as a big wide receiver, a versatile weapon to be employed in the passing game. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner have made good uses of tight ends in the past (Chudzinski has also been a tight ends coach in the NFL). Benjamin Watson is set to become a free agent, and Chudzinski might be looking for a new weapon.
Robert Alford, cornerback, Southeastern Louisiana, 5-foot-11, 184 pounds -- Yes, Southeastern Louisiana is a real college. Alford is an explosive player who also spent time as a kick returner and even some time as a wide receiver. Sheldon Brown, who is turning 34 this March, is scheduled to become a free agent, and Buster Skrine was picked on when forced into a starting role.
Logan Ryan, cornerback, Rutgers, 6-foot, 190 pounds -- Ryan is a corner with nice size who has a good feel in zone coverage. Again, between Brown's age and Skrine's play, adding a cornerback to the roster is a top priority.
Bacarri Rambo, safety, Georgia, 6-foot-1, 208 pounds -- If defensive coordinator Ray Horton wants "little men that can hit," here you go. Rambo would be a great value if he falls to the Browns. Rambo could fit at free safety opposite strong safety T.J. Ward. And watch any of his game film -- the guy can hit.
Tyler Bray, quarterback, Tennessee, 6-foot-6, 210 pounds - Take a deep breath. If the Browns are going to create a quarterback competition for Brandon Weeden, and Chudzinski likes Bray (owner Jimmy Haslam's ties to the Volunteers as a prominent booster can't hurt), they might take a flier. Bray had a first-round tag for a while before falling off that mountain. He also had the added bonus of throwing to two receivers who should be taken within the first two rounds, Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Tyrann Mathieu, cornerback, LSU, 5-foot-9 -- He fits a need at corner. He's a first-round talent. But he also carries as much baggage as any player not just in this draft, but recent memory. Mathieu was a Heisman hopeful before being kicked off the team for a violation of team rules and then later getting caught with marijuana. If his head is screwed on right, he's as explosive and exciting as any player in the draft class. It's just a big "if." The question is when does his talent overshadow the off-the-field troubles?
John Simon, defensive end/outside linebacker, Ohio State, 6-foot-2, 260 pounds -- There are concerns about Simon in a 3-4 scheme because of his stiffness in open space. But Simon has as high a motor as anyone and is a talented pass rusher. Should the Browns forgo the pass rushers who could be options for the No. 6 pick, it could be an area of need here.