Will the Browns consider Quinton Coples at #4?

Todd McShay has some observations from the Senior Bowl at ESPN.com in the Insider area (you need a password). He’s high on Quentin Couples and thinks the Browns might look at him at #4.

North Carolina DE Quinton Coples (Scouts Inc. grade: 95)
Coples (6-foot-5¬ĺ, 281 pounds) did not have his best season in 2011, failing to play with the consistent aggressiveness we saw on his junior tape from 2010. That’s not to say he was dogging it, just that his motor wasn’t running in its highest gear at all times. That has raised some concerns about the work ethic he’ll show at the next level, but if a team can get him to work hard, Coples can be an elite difference-maker along the defensive front.

He’s a versatile lineman who can be disruptive as an interior pass-rusher. Although Coples doesn’t have elite top-end speed, he showed the ability this week to set up offensive tackles with his hands, using his initial quickness to get into power moves and flashing quickness and fluidity on both inside and outside pass-rush moves.

Coples also has the long arms and upper-body strength to be effective against the run, and he’s one of the top three or four natural talents in this year’s class. Depending on how things shake out with the top quarterbacks on the board, Coples likely won’t last long past the Cleveland Browns at No. 4 or the Washington Redskins at No. 6, where he would find his best fit as a 4-3 defensive end.

Coples would be an amazing bookend opposite Jabaal Sheard on the defensive line for the Browns, so this has to be a consideration for Tom Heckert. If the Browns can land a another premiere defensive end in this draft or in free agency, then they’re on their way to having a New York Giants-type defense that can pressure the quarterback without relying on the blitz. The motor issue has to be the big question mark here, but this is where Heckert earns his money.

McShay goes on to describe two more DE prospects in South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram and Alabama DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw. McShay likes Ingram a little better but thinks both can be excellent pass rushers in the NFL. Both could easily be gone when the Browns draft at the #22 spot with their Atlanta pick, but McShay suggests that Upshaw might be there if he drops a little.

McShay also loves North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins used to play at Florida until he was kicked off the team, so there are some character issues. He stands out as an elite talent at corner, and we might see the Browns grab him if he lasts until the 2nd round if his former teammate Joe Haden supports him and he convinces the Browns that he’s matured.

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Mel Kiper talks Browns draft needs

University of Alabama running back Trent Richardson (3) runs for a first down against Louisiana State University during the second quarter of their NCAA football game in Baton Rouge, Louisiana November 6, 2010. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Mel Kiper posted his thoughts on what the top 10 teams in the likely draft order need going into the 2012 NFL Draft.

Here’s his take on the Browns:

Top needs WR, DE, RB, QB

Scenarios: Greg Little has shown flashes, but the Browns could use another threat in the passing game. Jabaal Sheard has been as good as I hoped he’d be when I talked up that pick back in April, but they could really use someone on the other side of the formation to balance the pass rush. Then it gets really interesting.

I agree with Todd McShay that the Browns could be the rare team that is willing to pick a running back high in the draft, with Alabama’s Trent Richardson the obvious name. Peyton Hillis is likely to play somewhere else in 2012, and Richardson fills that hole. But besides that, there’s a real question regarding Colt McCoy and how committed to him the Browns are. Although I wouldn’t predict it now, the Browns could be in the picture for Griffin.

I agree with everything here. It all revolves around McCoy and whether the Browns want a QB in the draft with their top pick. I can see them going with Richardson as a running threat can open up the offense and take pressure off of the quarterback. Mike Holmgren had his own stud running back from Alabama with Shaun Alexander.

I think they will naturally take a hard look at Robert Griffin III, but I think he might not be there when the Browns pick.

Draft grades coming in; Robiskie is most controversial pick for the Browns

brian-robiskie-1

As I mentioned in a previous post, the reviews of Ohio State wide receiver Brian Robiskie were mixed. That said, most thought he would be a pretty safe pick.

When the Browns picked him with their first pick in the second round, my initial reaction was that they reached with this pick. Robiskie probably would have been there with the other two picks they had in that round.

That said, most analysts agreed that Robiskie was the most “polished” receiver in the draft, and the Browns needed someone who could step in and start right away given the uncertainty at that position. Even though they haven’t traded Braylon Edwards yet, they still might make a move at some point.

In their post-draft analysis, both Mel Kiper and Steve McShay mention the Robiskie pick. Here’s Kiper’s grade.

Cleveland Browns: GRADE: B-
Alex Mack was a good pick at No. 21 and Mohamed Massaquoi was a very good pickup in the second round. I think fellow second-rounder David Veikune was a bit of a reach in that round, but not enough of one to seriously dent the Browns’ grade. They didn’t get a great receiver in Brian Robiskie in the second round, but he’s polished enough as a rookie that he could be a solid possession guy for this franchise.

McShay doesn’t like the Robiskie pick.

Cleveland Browns
2009 draft class
Best pick: WR Mohamed Massaquoi, Georgia (Second round, No. 50 overall)
Worst pick: WR Brian Robiskie, Ohio State (Second round, No. 36 overall)
Bottom line: While teams don’t usually like to take centers so early in the first round, it’s unlikely Alex Mack would have been off the board in the next few picks had the Browns not traded up to No. 21 overall to get him. You can’t fault them for bringing Mack into the fold, but they had other priority needs including wide receiver and a pass-rush upgrade that could have been addressed there. Cleveland got its receivers in the next round, though I think Robiskie was a reach because he likely won’t turn into anything more than a possession-type No. 3 receiver. I expect Massaquoi to emerge as the bigger playmaker of the two. I also liked the way the Browns hankered down on Day 2 and found versatile, instinctive playmakers like DE David Veikune, LB Kaluka Maiava and DBs Don Carey and Coye Francies.

I think Robiskie can become a very productive #2 receiver who catches everything thrown his way, so I think McShay is being too tough in him. We’ve seen Robiskie make incredible catches in the red zone, so he can be a useful weapon. He reminds me of Reggie Langhorn, and if he lives up to that status the Browns made a nice pick.

Will James Laurinaitis get drafted in the first round?

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Once thought to be a possible top-10 pick, James Laurinaitis has seen his stock fall a bit leading up to the 2009 NFL draft. Anthony Stalter doesn’t have him going in the first round, so there’s a chance that Laurinaitis might fall to the Browns in the second round. Neither does Mel Kiper.

Todd McShay has Laurinaitis ranked as the 32nd best player in the draft, and he has him going to the Rams in the second round, just ahead of the Browns pick in that round.

I think he will be a very solid pro player. He won’t dominate, but he’ll excel if he’s part of a good defense. I hate the thought of him going to the Steelers. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots snag him.

Where will Brian Robiskie be drafted?

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The opinions on Brian Robiskie vary widely going into the 2009 NFL draft. In his mock draft published today, Tony Grossi has Robiskie going to the Indianapolis Colts in the first round.

27. Indianapolis: Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State

Comment: The Colts always consider Peyton Manning first.

Robiskie would be a good fit with Anthony Gonzalez in Indy, but this might be a reach. In their rankings of the top 100 players in the 2009 NFL Draft, The National Football Post isn’t that impressed.

86. WR Brian Robiskie, Ohio State

I donít know what all the hype is about. Best-case scenario, Robiskie is a No. 2 receiver with little upside.

That seems overly harsh. I saw Robiskie make some incredible catches during his career at Ohio State. He was never a dominant receiver, but he can be a clutch receiver who makes the big catch.

Todd McShay doesn’t have Robiskie going until the third round (pick #66) to the St. Louis Rams.

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