J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin
|Elite size and strength. A decent athlete for his size. Quick off the snap and has a nice array of pass rush moves. A much better edge rusher than most linemen his size. Does a nice job against the run; strong lower body allows him to hold up at the point of attack. Active in pursuit and has the instincts and speed to chase down ball carriers. A team leader with a great work ethic and overall intangibles.|
|Strength doesn’t match his size. Can be taken out of plays fairly easily when double teamed. Struggles to disengage from blocks when his initial moves don’t work.|
|Watt shot up the draft board with a dominant junior year. Few players with his size have the athleticism to be a consistent threat to get to the quarterback. He has the ability to play in a 3-4 scheme but I believe his skills are best suited for a 4-3 where he’ll see more one-on-one matchups, allowing him to be a more effective pass rusher. He’s a true three-down lineman and I wouldn’t hesitate to make him a 1st-round pick, possibly a top-10 selection.|
There’s no denying the fact that the Browns need a wide receiver, and as a result many mock drafts currently have them selecting Green with the 6th overall selection.
I can’t say that Green isn’t a possibility for the Browns, but it’s less likely than you may think.
For starters, I think there is a very strong possibility that Green is off the board by No. 6. The Panthers, Bills and Bengals could all realistically take Green before the Browns even get a shot at him. [I currently have him going to Cincinnati.]
The real reason, however, that I don’t see Green winding up in Cleveland is that the Browns simply have far greater needs elsewhere. Everyone wants their team to get a shiny new toy to play with on offense, and Green certainly fits that description, but receivers don’t turn franchises around. Just ask Calvin Johnson and Lions or Andre Johnson and the Texans. Arguably the game’s two best receivers have a combined zero playoff appearances.
In order to rebuild the Browns, president Mike Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert (it’s actually Heckert who controls most of the draft day decisions, although Holmgren has the power to overrule) first must fix the defense.
The hiring of Dick Jauron as defensive coordinator means the Browns are transitioning back to a 4-3 scheme. That alone means they need to focus on defense in the draft, but on top of that they recently cut ties with two of their most productive linemen, Shaun Rogers and Kenyon Coleman. Additionally, Robaire Smith, Matt Roth and Brian Schaefering are set to become free agents.
If the season started today, the Browns would probably be forced to start Derreck Robinson and Marcus Benard at defensive end with Ahtyba Rubin and Travis Ivey at tackle. Yikes.
If this were a normal year, the Browns could attempt to address the defensive line in March and early April by bringing in some veteran free agents. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear as though that will be an option. As a result, the Browns may be forced to fill that void in the draft.
Fortunately for the Browns, this is the year you want to need a defensive lineman. Between Da’Quan Bowers, Nick Fairley, Marcell Dareus, Robert Quinn, Cameron Jordan or J.J. Watt, someone is sure to impress Cleveland’s staff and I strongly suspect someone from that group will wind up wearing the orange and brown in 2011.