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NFL Draft: How Should Browns Use Nos. 4 and 26 Spots in First Round?

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 6:25 PM

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ideastream file photo by Nick Castele

The NFL draft kicks off at 8 tonight. It's a time when avid fans are on the edge of their seats, especially for teams with horrible records. Losers get to pick first from this year's field of college football seniors. That means the Browns are in good position. ideastream's Nick Castele talked to a pro about how it might go.

The Browns will have two first-round picks. They’ve got No. 4 and No. 26. 

And while the team might have a chance at scooping up a much-talked-about quarterback like Johnny Manziel, sports writer Marla Ridenour’s advice is—forget about it. She’s with the Akron Beacon Journal.

“They have so many needs,” Ridenour said. “I just don’t—I don’t see overpicking a quarterback when you can get a good one later in the first round.”

One of her suggestions—Clemson University wide receiver Sammy Watkins. She says Watkins would complement Browns’ receiver Josh Gordon—and could give the team offensive “weapons” it hasn’t seen in decades.

“He’s explosive off the line,” she said. “They need speed, and the speed on both sides with him and Gordon I think would be phenomenal.” Plus, she said, “he values being a good guy, being a good team player. I’ve just been impressed with him all around.”

Ridenour says University of Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack could make a good early pick too for the Browns. And as for snagging a quarterback at No. 26, in a recent column she suggests Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Fresno State’s Derek Carr or Easter Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo.

Making those calls will be team owner Jimmy Haslim’s new picks at coach and CEO.

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