Steelers Today has hooked up with 31 other NFL bloggers from around the country to do a bloggers’ mock draft. All 32 NFL teams are represented in the mock draft.
With the fifth pick in the draft, the Cleveland Browns blog No Logo Needed selects:
A big reason behind why we decided to start this mock draft was because we were annoyed at the national media. Most mock drafts on the NFL Network and ESPN has the Browns selecting Malcolm Jenkins.
Sure, the Browns need help on defense and the secondary was inconsistent, but the cornerback position is the least of the team’s problems. In 2008, the Browns defense allowed an average of 151.9 yards rushing per game. The Browns lost to the Bengals 14-0 on Dec. 21 as Cedric Benson ran for 171 yards on 38 carries and back-up quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was 5-for-9 passing for 55 yards.
First and foremost, the Browns need to look to trade down and obtain some more draft picks. This will prove impossible since that’s the goal of most teams. The Browns also would be interested in Aaron Curry, but he is long gone.
With new coach Eric Mangini, the Browns will stick with the 3-4. So linebacker is the Browns’ biggest need in the draft. The Browns need an edge pass rusher to fill Willie McGinest’s position, but outside linebacker is one of the deepest positions in this draft. That brings us to the void in the middle of the defense left by the departure of Andre Davis.
Maualuga is a nasty middle linebacker, the type of player that can bring attitude to a defense that sorely needs an identity. He is built perfectly to line up in the 3-4. Peter King called him Ray Lewis, Jr. and Jon Gruden said Maualuga is the type of player to build a defense around.
Maualuga is known for his big hits and aggressive style of play. That should fit perfectly on the strong side of the Browns 3-4 defense next to D’Qwell Jackson. Pairing Jackson’s sideline-to-sideline speed with Maualuga’s power behind the mammoth Shaun Rogers, should make the Browns strong up the middle and help them slow down the opposition’s rushing attack.
Can you name a Pro Bowl defensive lineman or cornerback from the successful 3-4 defense in Pittsburgh? In Baltimore? No. But you can reel off a list of who’s who of linebackers. It’s time the Browns start making the some names of their own.
So far, the draft has gone as follows:
1. Detroit Lions: Mathew Stafford, QB (Georgia)
2. St. Louis Rams: Eugene Monroe, OT (Virginia)
3. Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Curry, LB (Wake Forest)
4. Seattle Seahawks: Michael Crabtree, WR (Texas Tech)
5. Cleveland Browns: Rey Maualuga, LB (Southern California)
The Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock.
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