2011 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns Likely to Trade Down and Add Picks

The Cleveland Browns have gone eight seasons without reaching the playoffs, marking the longest streak in franchise history.

The 2010 NFL season was the first under the leadership of team president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert who now have the task ahead of them of turning this proud franchise around.

Holmgren was curious to see what head coach Eric Mangini could bring to the table and gave him the opportunity to move forward, but Mangini’s second season didn’t go much better than the first. The Browns finished third in the AFC North with only five wins.

The Cleveland Browns acted swiftly this off-season and replaced Eric Mangini with Pat Shurmur the former offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams.

Holmgren has been sold on Shurmur and he is expected to call the plays on offense as Holmgren did for the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. Shurmur has been instrumental in QB – Sam Bradford’s development and now looks to do the same for Colt McCoy.

News surfaced recently that the new leader of the Browns, Colt McCoy, has summoned a number of skill position players including WR Mohamed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs who tweeted that they’re on their way to Austin, Texas to join their QB for workouts.

Shurmur has his quarterback and leader in Colt McCoy, “The Great White Hope” Peyton Hillis as his running back, but they are missing that key component at WR and need to fill multiple holes on the defense during the 2011 off-season.

Browns GM, Tom Heckert stated “If we end up staying at where we’re picking, we are going to get a good football player. There are six guys and we are going to get a good football player.”

Does this statement show that Cleveland may be ready to trade the sixth pick?

It makes sense for the Browns who could move down and gain a few picks that would enable them to fill multiple holes on the defensive line and at linebacker.

Trading down makes sense only if WR- A.J. Green is off the board.

There have been a few teams rumored to be interested in trading up such as the Jets, Patriots and Jaguars.

The Browns could benefit from one of these teams providing additional picks and possibly look towards the end of the first round for a WR or TE to give Colt McCoy additional weapons surrounding him.

Cleveland could also look at DT, Nick Fairley to add an instant boost to a defense that needs to get pressure on quarterbacks in the division.

Cam Newton may have grabbed most of the publicity from the championship run but DT, Nick Fairley will enter the NFL as one of the elite prospects of the 2011 Draft.

Fairly stands at 6’4, 299 pounds and has a prototypical blend of size and explosiveness.

There are a number of red flags that do surround him which has dropped his stock but it continues to be his size, athleticism, and versatility that continue to keep him in the discussion of the top picks.