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Insider

Should Browns trade down?

4/17/2013

The Cleveland Browns have the No. 6 overall pick in the upcoming draft, so they are in position to address any number of holes in their roster. That could include a top linebacker, like Dion Jordan, or a top cornerback, like Dee Milliner, for example. However, both ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley and ESPN NFL Draft Insider Mel Kiper Jr. think the Browns may be better off trading down from No. 6:

Jamison Hensley

Browns' draft not as clear-cut as it appears

"So, why should the Browns trade down if Milliner is available? The depth at cornerback in this draft gives the Browns the option of dropping to the middle of the first round and still getting a starter-caliber cornerback like Florida State's Xavier Rhodes or Washington's Desmond Trufant. The Browns also would have a shot at getting LSU pass-rusher Barkevious Mingo, who is reportedly high on the team's draft board, if they slide back to No. 11 or No. 12. The key to this deal is picking up an additional second-round pick. The Browns can use that to upgrade any number of starting spots, from free safety (Eric Hagg) to inside linebacker (Craig Robertson) to tight end (Jordan Cameron) to left guard. (Jason Pinkston is trying to return from blood clots in his lungs.) If the Browns decided to take Mingo in the first round, they can find a quality corner in the second round, whether it's Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks, Boise State's Jamar Taylor or SE Louisiana's Robert Alford. Teams don't need a pair of elite cornerbacks to win in this league. Look at the Baltimore Ravens, who captured the Super Bowl while starting Cary Williams and Corey Graham at cornerback. There's also a chance the Browns could select a quarterback in the second round, such as Florida State's EJ Manuel."

Mel Kiper Jr.

Kiper's 'Grade A' draft

"Rd. 1 (11) G Chance Warmack, Alabama (via San Diego)

Rd. 3 (68) QB EJ Manuel, Florida St.

Rd. 3 (76) CB Darius Slay, Mississippi St. (via San Diego)

Analysis: As the GM of the Browns, I trade down and still hit a top need. That No. 6 slot is a high-leverage one, because it could be the last chance to get one of the three top left tackle prospects for one of several teams that need one. In this case, it's San Diego. I pick up this year's third and next year's as well. Without a second-round pick, the extra pick is a big help, and I still get a great player in Warmack, a guy who fills a need and should give a big boost to the run game. Warmack should be a Pro Bowl guard. The added third allows us to grab Manuel in a good value spot. For this draft you'll see I have quarterbacks lower than most, but that's a reflection of how I view the class. Lastly, Slay is a nice value in Round 3, an upgrade at the corner spot across from Joe Haden. This draft offers a good balance of immediate help at need spots, and the shot on upside at QB."