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Assessing The Cleveland Browns' Needs Among The 2011 NFL Draft Prospects

With needs at DL, LB, WR and elsewhere, what should the Browns do in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft?

AUBURN AL - NOVEMBER 13:  A.J. Green #8 of the Georgia Bulldogs fails to pull in this reception against Richard Samuel #22 of the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13 2010 in Auburn Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUBURN AL - NOVEMBER 13: A.J. Green #8 of the Georgia Bulldogs fails to pull in this reception against Richard Samuel #22 of the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13 2010 in Auburn Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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With just two games to play in the 2010 NFL season, the Browns are 5-9, and finish their season at home against the Ravens and Steelers. Although it is possible that the team could pull one or both games out, with the standings the way they are right now, the Cleveland Browns could find themselves picking in the top ten of the 2011 NFL Draft. It is obvious that the Orange and Brown need help at multiple positions. So, who should Browns fans be keeping an eye on throughout the bowl season? 

1.) A.J. Green (WR, Georgia): Green is as close to the real deal at WR as this draft has. He is explosive, strong, runs good routes and has the big play potential that the Browns have been desperately missing at the receiver position. I'm sure people will question his "character," due to JerseyGate, but Green is a good student and strong teammate and would make an instant impact.

2.) Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa): For some reason, this is the pick I think the Browns end up making. He'll probably be around when Cleveland is on the clock, he's "hard-nosed," and is a "leader," which are both things that I'm sure the coaching staff will be in love with. Clayborn is a good player and would be far from the highest upside pick, but it would be a safe pick on a player who should contribute right away.

3.) Robert Quinn (DE, North Carolina): The other side of the coin, here is your high risk, high reward pick on the defensive line. Quinn has not played all year, but his skills are tremendous. He's a top five talent.

4.) Marcell Dareus (DT, Alabama): Staying on the line, Dareus is another ultra-talented defensive lineman who would be able to help out immediately and give the Browns a real pass rush threat.

5.) Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska): Not the biggest need, but if the Browns decide they are going to part ways with Eric Wright, it would not be a bad pick at all to go with Prince if he is still available. Sheldon Brown is injury-prone and getting older, and the addition of Amukamara with Joe Haden would give the Browns one of the best, young CB tandems in the NFL for years to come. It's not the #1 most glaring issue for this team, but Cleveland could do worse than look Prince's way.

6.) Von Miller (OLB, Texas A&M): The Browns desperately need help at LB, and although I see them looking in the 2nd and 3rd round, if somehow the Browns win their last two games, a guy like Miller would be a good bet. He has the skills to be a good pass rusher and will provide depth for an older unit whose effort often outplays its talent level.

7.) Julio Jones (WR, Alabama): Not as much of a sure thing as AJ Green, Julio Jones is an incredibly gifted athlete who tends to lose focus at times. He's got top ten talent, but needs to do a better job of holding onto the football.

8.) Trade Down: It all depends on where they're picking and who is available. If AJ Green, Quinn and Amukamara have all been selected, or the Browns find themselves with a pick that a team looking for a QB like Locker or Newton wants, I'm all for it. The Browns are not in "save the franchise" mode, but they are still a solid core group of players away, so if they can find a buyer and pick up extra picks if it looks like guys like Justin Blackmon (WR, OK State), Allen Bailey (DE, Miami), Brandon Harris (CB, Miami) or Drake Nevis (DT, LSU) are around, it's not a bad play.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.