NFL Draft: Browns Looking to Fill 5 Needs

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CLEVELAND– Besides Christmas, NFL Draft day is the most anticipated day in Cleveland as Browns fans get excited about the future only to have hopes dashed by season’s end.

Maybe this year will be different.

Thursday is the beginning of the 2013 NFL Draft and the Cleveland Browns have the sixth overall pick.

This will be the first NFL draft run by Jimmy Haslam’s group which includes CEO Joe Banner, General Manager Michael Lombardi, Head Coach Rob Chudzinski, Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner and Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton.

The only predictable thing about this year’s draft is that it is so unpredictable. Nobody is sure who will go number one overall and most importantly there has been no indication who the Browns will take with the sixth overall pick.

Will they trade up? Will they trade down? Or perhaps, will they stay put?

There are five needs the Browns are looking to fill in this year’s draft: a safety, a defensive back, a linebacker, an offensive lineman and an offensive playmaker.

The Browns have seven draft picks heading into this year’s draft, plenty of opportunity to fill the needs.

Some of the names the Browns are targeting with the sixth overall pick include Dion Jordan, the Oregon linebacker who is a lock to become the 13th former Ducks start to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.  Cornerback Dee Milliner of Alabama would look great opposite Joe Haden in the Browns secondary.  The only concern about Milliner is that he has had numerous surgeries (five) including a shoulder surgery just recently.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Milliner could start training camp on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list no matter who drafts him.

Ziggy Ansah, the defensive lineman from BYU never played football at any level until he tried the sport in 2010.  Many view Ansah as raw talent but could make an impact wherever he plays.

Another lineman the Browns could target is LSU’s Barkevious Mingo. Mingo plays the run better than expected and can rely too heavily on his speed to beat pass-blockers.  Mingo is definitely a possibility for the Browns and could improve their pass rush under the new 3-4 defense led by Browns Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton.

So, while we sit and wait to see who the Browns will pick with the sixth overall pick, the hope is for a bright future and not one that is dashed by season’s end.

Maybe this year will be different for Browns fans.