The ever-downtrodden Cleveland Browns did improve upon their 4-12 finish of 2011, which is nice. However, a 5-11 2012 campaign was not enough to save the job of now-former head coach Pat Shurmer. Yet again, this beleaguered franchise looks to fill several holes before the start of a new season. Newly hired head coach Rob Chudzinski will work closely with owner Jimmy Haslam to debate the best route to take. With the No. 6-overall selection, the opportunity to select a cornerstone player to work alongside offensive lineman Joe Thomas and running back Trent Richardson is obviously there.
Here is what they will be looking for.
- Quarterback: Brandon Weeden will turn 30 in October. Nice first-round pick, Holmgren. Cleveland desperately needs a franchise quarterback that the team has never had since its return to the NFL in 1999. The Browns missed out on Robert Griffin, and now there aren’t any worthy signal-callers to draft this April.
- Rush Linebacker: Jabaal Sheard led the team in sacks with only seven. Juqua Parker-Thomas was next with six, and he’ll be a 35-year-old free agent this offseason. Cleveland desperately needs rush linebacker help. Damontre Moore is the no-brainer pick if he’s available at No. 6 overall this April.
- Wide Receiver: Rookie Josh Gordon improved as the year went on, but Greg Little kept dropping passes. Little is too unreliable, so the front office should bring in some competition for him.
- Cornerback: Sheldon Brown is a 34-year-old free agent, so Cleveland will need to find young blood across from Joe Haden. Buster Skrine is too heavily penalized to be relied upon as a starter.
- Right Guard: The Browns had issues at both guard positions, but John Greco handled himself well since replacing Jason Pinkston in October. Right guard Shawn Lauvao, however, was the weak link on an otherwise solid offensive line.