After weeks and weeks of looking into the first round and finding out that the same five to six players are involved in the top five picks, it's refreshing to see the second round show up in some mock drafts. And for the Browns in the latest SBN NFL Mock Draft, defense is still the first priority, but a playmaker is target No. 2.
Brian Galliford writes:
Those unfamiliar with the ACC might be saying, "Torrey who?" And that's fine. It's understandable. It's not like Maryland was on anyone's radar this year during their understated 9-4 season. But Torrey Smith is a very good player. Simply put, he is not a possession receiver. And that's a good thing.
He had just 6 more catches than his sophomore season in his junior campaign (67 rec, 1055 yds, 12 TD), but over two hundred more yards, upping his YPC to 15.7. After a slow start in his first two games (4 catches, 47 yards), Smith exploded four games of over 140 yards, and a game against N.C. State that saw 14 catches for 224 yards and 4 TDs. Not making any assumptions, but I'd like to think that may have had something to do with him coming out after his junior year instead of staying for his senior season.
Smith is solidly built at 6-1, 200 lbs., and is a great return guy, which could presumably take pressure off Josh Cribbs as they could split punt and kick return duties. He is extremely fast, running anywhere between a 4.3 and 4.5 40-yard dash depending on the run. Mocking The Draft had this to say about Torrey:
Final word: Smith has been one of the top risers in 2010. Everyone has always known he's a great return man. But now he's developing into a good wide receiver. He'll finish his career as Maryland's career leader in all-purpose yards.
As much as Smith has developed, he has plenty of work to do to be more than the next Darrius Heyward-Bey. Namely, Smith will have to start catching the ball more away from his frame. It seems like Smith makes a lot of catches with his arms and not his fingertips. While he's done a better job on his routes in 2010, he doesn't run an especially complex route tree.
Smith may never be a true No. 1 receiver on an NFL team. What he will be is a good No. 2 and a standout special teams performer.
The bolded is something to keep an eye on. If the Browns do go with Smith, they're going to have to look for another WR, either by trading back into the first round, finding a steal in the later rounds, or signing a guy like Plaxico Burress. Regardless, it is obvious that defense and offensive playmakers will be the main focus of this draft, and the staff will have to decide during the evaluation process just what their strategy will be.
This draft is a bit strange in that there is no clear-cut No. 1 or top to bottom first 10 picks, but what this draft does have is depth. There are a lot of players in the first couple rounds that can immediately help a football team. The Browns need to make sure without a doubt that they get at least three, if not four starters out of their first five rounds.