Chat Fight: DL vs. WR

OBR's Dave Kolonich and Don Delco debate what is a better pick at No. 6.

With NFL Draft discussion ramping up, The OBR's Dave Kolonich and Don Delco recently had a chat debate on whether the Browns should select a defensive lineman or wide receiver with the sixth pick.

Don Delco:  Let's do this.

What side do you want to take?

Dave Kolonich:  Your pick.

Don:  Give me wide receivers. They're flashy, the opposite of me.

Dave:  I thought you would go there.

You're enamored with A.J. Green.

Don:  I am. I'm easily swayed by highlight videos. The videos of Green and LSU's Patrick Peterson are on a continuous loop on my computer.

Still, I'm so wishy-washy on whether Green is worth it taking at No. 6.

Convince me otherwise.

Dave:  I'm not the person to do so.  I don't think there has been a lock first round wideout - at least in the top ten - since Calvin Johnson.  And even the jury is out on him.

Here's my bold analysis - something that makes me so popular among The OBR commentators - I'm not sure Green is much more than Mohamed Massaquoi.

And if doubts like that persist, then the Browns should run away from spending the sixth pick on Green.

Don:  Maybe. What really makes my stomach turn is while there are question marks with Green, or any of the DEs, Patrick Peterson seems like a sure thing. Yet, I've seen plenty of mocks that have the Browns passing on him. I doubt Tom Heckert is that foolish.

Oh, and I don't know if the jury is out on Calvin Johnson, but that's a discussion for the

Anyway, back to WR vs. DL. I do think this offense needs a playmaker other than Ben Watson or Peyton Hillis.

Those guys can't stretch the field so much.

Dave:  Agreed - but the discussion has to go back to my least favorite draft word - "value."

At No. 6, the risks involved in taking a WR are far too great - especially considering the number of needs around the roster.

As far as WR's go, I would love to see Pittburgh's Jonathan Baldwin in the second round (maybe), or one of the smaller burners like Troy's Jerrel Jernigan or Boise State's Titus Young further down the line.

But I absolutely agree about Peterson - should he fall to Cleveland.  In a passing league, having two young, talented corners is essential.

Don:  I think there is plenty of ... wait for it ... VALUE ... in the second round when it comes to wide receivers.

Avoid risk at all cost. The Browns cannot afford a risky pick.

That being said, is there a risk-free pass rusher? Seems like they all have some risk (aside from that corner from LSU).

Dave:  Nope.

We're talking about a group of one-year wonders.

North Carolina's Robert Quinn, Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers and even Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller (if he can be classified as a DE) all have some issues.  I think a team has to be 110 percent certain they are getting a difference maker at DE - and not another Derrick Harvey.

Don:  Exactly.

Dave:  Again - call me delusional - but I truly see a league in 3-4 years where zone defenses will lessen thanks to big hits and concussions.

The majority of these hits come over the middle of the field.  If I'm even a third prophetic about this, then the need for excellent man coverage will only improve.

Don:  And so we arrive back at Patrick Peterson, eh?

Dave:  We never should have left.

Don:  I must agree none of the pass rushers really strike me as first-year, impact guys.

Plus, the idea of spending a lot of money on a wide receiver, well, it often doesn't pan out.

Dave:  If you look at Heckert's history with the Eagles - the precedent for two corners has been set. However, it would be really interesting to see the Browns invest some $60 million on two corners.

Anyway, to get back to the debate at hand - I would be much more comfortable with a DT like Alabama's Marcel Dareus - rather than a DE.

Don:  Dareus is another one-year wonder, no?

Dave:  He is - but is not the type of risk associated with a DE.  Figure that in a 4-3 set, Dareus is more valuable than a DE who may be relied upon solely on third downs.

Using that thinking, the only valuable DE could be Bowers, since he is strong against the run.

Don:  True, and with a guy like Dareus, the Browns defense begins to build (mostly) up the middle with Dareus at DT, Scott Fujita at MLB and T.J. Ward at safety.

Dave:  Exactly.  A Dareus/Rubin combination could go a long way to fixing the decade-long decline in run defense.

Plus, Heckert's history again comes into play.  Or at least, the Eagles often invest first round picks on defensive linemen.

Don:  Too bad the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers averaged, what, 750 yards passing per game against the Browns last season.

This has become a pass-first league. Which, once again, brings us back to you-know-who.

I'm feeling my man crush get stronger as we get closer to April 28.

Dave:  Only a matter of time - I'm guessing your "loop" began playing again?

Don:  It did. This time with sound.

Dave:  So, here's the question - how much difference is there between Green and Julio Jones?

Could you say that Jones had the more prolific college career?

Don:  Natta, really.

Both are about the same size, speed, athleticism... that's why Mel Kiper said the other day if the Bengals take Green at No. 4, Jones would be coming to Berea.

Dave:  Between the two, I may be more comfortable with Jones.

Of course, the problem is that with the sixth pick, the risks escalate.

I know this isn't a popular opinion, but I'm wondering how the current WR's will do in a new offense.

Don:  I think it should benefit them. The west coast isn't about trying to get separation, but short, quick routes. I think Massaquoi and Robiskie are suited well for that type of route running.

And Chansi Stucky... uh, if he would have just held onto the ball, the Browns beat the Jets. Still makes me want to puke.

Dave:  To add to your point, I'm not sure either Green or Jones are very physical - which is a good thing considering the circumstances. Massaquoi, in particular, plays incredibly soft at times.

Don:  No, neither Green nor Jones are physical, but they are faster than Massaquoi or Robiskie and that brings us to the biggest problem: Team speed. The Browns have none. That's why a guy like Jernigan out of Troy excites me. He's not big, but the dude can float.

Dave:  I would love to see him still around in the second round - or ideally, in the third. However, I can see a huge second round run on WR's simply because there are no "sure bets" this year.

Again, Baldwin from Pitt is intriguing and so is Maryland's Torrey Smith. In terms of pure speed, Smith is it.  As for a pure wide receiver, Miami's Leonard Hankerson is interesting.

Don:  All right, let's bring this home. DL or WR?

Dave:  In the first round - at No. six, I have to go with a DT.  Later on, I would love to see a WR taken.

Don:  As for me, I want Patrick Peterson.

But he plays neither WR nor DL.

Dave:  Exactly.

Don:  Uh, OK. As lame as this sounds, I like the idea of an interior lineman, paired with Rubin, taking up blocks and allowing lesser-named guys, like a Chris Gocong or Marcus Benard, coming off the edge.

Dave:  It's boring - but necessary.  The last month of 2010 showed how old, broken down and ineffective the defense was.

Don:  Somewhere Jason Trusnik is offended and he's still being manhandled by a Bengals' interior lineman.

Dave:  While the debate will continue, at least we can agree that we're not discussing Cam Newton vs. Blaine Gabbert.

And Jason Trusnik offends me.

Don:  And with that, I bid you good-bye. Take it easy.

Dave: Until then…

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