Will the Browns trade their first round pick?

Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository speculates that the Browns could wind up trading their first round pick (No. 7 overall) based on Mike Holmgren’s draft history.

Is it a stretch to anticipate an 80-percent chance that Holmgren will pull off a trade involving the Browns’ first-round pick?

Not necessarily. In Holmgren’s 10 years as head coach in Seattle, the Seahawks made eight trades involving Round 1 selections.

Is that information deceiving in that Holmgren doubled as GM and head coach in only five of those years?

Quite the contrary.

In Holmgren’s first four seasons as GM, 1999-2002, he made five trades involving Round 1 picks — all involving first-round choices that hadn’t yet been made.

Within his first three months with the Browns, Holmgren has traded out two past first-round picks, quarterback Brady Quinn and linebacker Kamerion Wimbley.

It’s incredibly hard to trade out of the top 5, but it does get easier for teams that want to trade out of the top 6-10 picks. If the Browns want to trade down, quarterback Jimmy Clausen might be the key to them doing so. If a team wants to jump ahead of the Raiders, Bills and Jaguars in order to nab Clausen, the Browns are sitting in the perfect spot at No. 7. The only catch is that the Raiders (No. 8), Bills (No. 9) and Jaguars (No. 10) are the three teams that are most likely to pull the trigger on Clausen in the first round.

In my latest mock draft, I have the Browns selecting Tennessee safety Eric Berry at No. 7, although Florida cornerback Joe Haden and offensive tackles Anthony Davis (Rutgers) and Bryan Bulaga (Iowa) are possibilities as well. (Assuming Russell Okung and Trent Williams, the top offensive linemen in the draft, are off the board.) If Holmgren chooses to stay put at No. 7, it’s very likely that he’ll land a prospect that can contribute right away.


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Are the Bills trying to trade up for Andre Smith?

Scout.com is speculating that the Bills are trying to trade up from their No. 11 spot ahead of the Bengals at No. 6 in order to nab Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith.

Buffalo is obviously in huge need of a left tackle after trading Pro Bowler Jason Peters to the Eagles last week. If they want to get ahead of the Bengals (a team also in need of a tackle), then they may have a trade partner in Cleveland.

The Browns have the No. 5 pick and while some speculate that they could be targeting USC quarterback Mark Sanchez or Texas Tech wideout Michael Crabtree with that selection, they have bigger needs on the defensive side of the ball. (The reason people are speculating about Cleveland taking Sanchez or Crabtree is because some believe that the Browns will deal either/both Brady Quinn or Braylon Edwards by the end of the draft.)

Cleveland’s biggest need as it outside linebacker and unless Aaron Curry falls to No. 5, no other linebacker prospect would be worthy of that spot. So if Buffalo wants to trade up, the Browns could drop back to No. 11 and then target a defender like Brian Orakpo or Everrette Brown there.

What’s interesting is the possibility (emphasis on “possibility”, because this is still only a rumor) that the Bills would even want Smith, a prospect who has had his fair share of problems leading up to the draft. He was suspended for the Sugar Bowl game in early January, showed up to the NFL scouting combine out of shape and reportedly had a lackluster showing at his Pro Day. But the fact that teams still consider him a top 10 prospect speaks to his immense talent. (If he didn’t carry all of that baggage, he would be a serious candidate for the top overall pick.)

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Buffalo has the desire to move up and if they’ll pull the trigger on a trade. Tackle Michael Oher of Ole Miss could be there at No. 11 if the Bills don’t trade up and while he doesn’t have as much natural talent as Smith, he also comes with less baggage and is still one of the best offensive line prospects in the draft.

Report: Browns passing on Michael Crabtree

Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plan Dealer is reporting that the Browns will pass on Michael Crabtree at No. 5.

The Browns have all but crossed off Michael Crabtree as a candidate for the No. 5 overall pick, said a source.

The Texas Tech receiver brought a diva attitude on his visit to the club facility last week and did not impress coach Eric Mangini and others, the source said. In fact, Crabtree was described by some in the building as “not nice.” After Crabtree left, Mangini secured last-minute workouts with borderline first-round receivers Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina, Kenny Britt of Rutgers and Mohamed Massaquoi of Georgia.

What’s funny is that the same paper reported just yesterday that the Browns are still in love with Crabtree, so who knows. Rumors are going to run rampant for the next couple days leading up to the draft.

The fact that the Browns are looking at Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt and Mohamed Massaquoi would lead me to believe that they’re going to wait on addressing their wide receiver need until later in the draft – even if they do wind up trading Braylon Edwards.

Cleveland will be one of the more interesting teams to follow on draft day. Their biggest needs are at linebacker (more outside than inside), cornerback and wide receiver, but what they do at No. 5 will obviously depend on what prospects come off the board in front of them. If Aaron Curry falls into their lap, it would be hard envisioning them passing on the best talent in the draft. If they have plans to trade quarterback Brady Quinn, then Mark Sanchez is a possibility at No. 5 if Seattle doesn’t take him at No. 4. And if they can get out of the No. 5 pick altogether in order to acquire more picks and get better value for their first round pick, then that remains a logical option, too.

Either way, Mangini and new GM George Kokinis are doing a fantastic job not revealing their hands.

Update: ESPN’s Michael Smith also says that the Browns won’t take a receiver at No. 5 and his information is usually pretty solid.

Report: Browns to take either Sanchez or Crabtree

According to 19 Action News in Cleveland, the Browns will either take USC quarterback Mark Sanchez or Texas Tech wideout Michael Crabtree with the No. 5 overall pick.

Cleveland – Sources have told 19 Action News the Browns will either take USC quarteraback Mark Sanchez or Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree. The Browns have the fifth pick in next week’s NFL Draft.

Rumors have swirled around the team concerning a trade with Braylon Edwards and Brady Quinn. One report said teh team will trade Edwards to the Giants before the draft.

If the NFL Network, ESPN or any other major media network isn’t reporting this, than I doubt 19 Action News has the inside scoop. However, either player makes sense for the Browns as I’ve highlighted here, and here.

Again though, this is just a rumor and there will be about a million more in the upcoming week.

Why Mark Sanchez will be a Cleveland Brown

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Have you heard the latest draft rumors on Mark Sanchez? Apparently only the Lions, Rams, Seahawks, Browns, Jaguars, 49ers, Jets, Redskins and Broncos are either in love, smitten or downright want to get in bed with the USC quarterback.

Is that all?

It seems every day rumors of a new team being interested in Sanchez emerge and while it’s easy to get caught up in all the pre-draft speculation, it would obviously be wise not to believe everything you hear. That said, with the draft quickly approaching, I’ve thoroughly convinced myself that Mark Sanchez will in fact be a Cleveland Brown.

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire and there’s a ton of smoke coming out of Cleveland that new head coach Eric Mangini isn’t a big Brady Quinn fan. Along with daily Sanchez-is-going-here speculation, there have been just as many Quinn-will-be-traded-here rumors. Maybe Mangini and new GM George Kokinis are just throwing up smokescreens to keep other teams guessing at what their draft day plans are. Or maybe (and this seems more logical by the day) Mangini and Kokinis want to blow up the entire roster and start over and that’s why Kellen Winslow was traded to the Bucs, Braylon Edwards will soon be dealt to the Giants and Quinn will be jettisoned to parts unknown.

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