Adkins: Behind the Browns Draft

Lane has gotten the scoop behind the Browns thinking on draft day, and what worried them as they moved through the selections. Must-reading to truly understand the Browns' approach.

--First-round draft selection, center Alex Mack, was the consensus target of the organization heading into the draft festivities on Saturday -- provided a deal were to be struck to move down in the draft. Despite having high marks on DE Robert Ayers and WR Jeremy Maclin, Mack was the choice for the Browns. If the team would not have been able to complete a deal with the Jets to move down from the #5 pick, the Browns would still have pursued Mack. They were believed to have discussed the option of moving back into the first round to select him.

--The first of three second-round draft selections, WR Brian Robiskie, was a player the team was uncertain would be on the board at #36. Speculation had Robiskie going anywhere from Indianapolis (#27 - first round) to Jacksonville (#37 - second round). The Browns were very pleased about getting Robiskie at #36, though they did attempt to trade back into the first round to select WR Hakeem Nicks, according to numerous sources. Nicks was ultimately selected by the New York Giants with the 29th pick in round one.

--With their second pick in the second round, the Browns selected WR Mohamed Massaquoi. Massaquoi worked himself into position to be selected by the Browns due to a solid 2008 season, good combine numbers, a solid week of practice at the Senior Bowl and -- most importantly -- a tremendous workout for Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and George McDonald. McDonald is the Browns offensive quality control coach but has coached wide receivers throughout his career, most recently at Minnesota.

--At #52, the Browns were holding out hope that DE/OLB David Veikune would be on the board. Veikune was quietly in the background of the Browns' plans as they sought a pass-rushing OLB. The belief within the organization is that Veikune is as talented as any of the pass-rushing OLB's in this draft but was just raw around the edges. For what it's worth, this is same evaluation as DE/OLB Brian Orakpo, who was selected with the 13th overall selection to Washington. As the draft progressed, there were some tense moments as the Patriots and Dolphins displayed an interest in the player from Hawaii.

--In the fourth round, the Browns believe they got a steal in ILB Kaluka Maiava from USC. Often overlooked due to the talents of Clay Matthews III, Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing on the same defensive unit, Maiava has been described by USC coaches as a true talent capable of playing at the next level. Many teams caught wind of Maiava when evaluating the other USC draft prospects. Interestingly, when breaking down the film, Maiava was a much more consistent performer than Maualuga, an ILB selected in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Somewhat undersized at 5'11" and 230 pounds, Maiava plays bigger than his size and there is a belief he can add weight and strength to his frame.

--Three selections in the sixth round may prove to be a reservoir of both talent and depth for the Browns in the future. CB Don Carey was on the radar of the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers. A high-character, highly-intelligent defensive back, Carey can play both the CB and S positions as well as being an experienced special teams player throughout his collegiate career. The DB timed adequately at the combine, but did post much better times (4.47 range) post combine and has been football speed and quickness than timed speed.

--CB Coye Francies was deemed anywhere from a third- to sixth-round talent, depending on the board. Some teams looked away from Francies because he was booted from the Oregon State program due to a weapons charge. A long and lanky CB, Francies has better football speed than he times. His length and ability to get his hands on the ball were evident on tape. Timed in the 4.6 area at the combine, this CB in personal workouts was in and out of cuts quickly, dropped fluidly and timed at approximately 4.49 for clubs prior to the draft.

--The diamond in the rough of the sixth-round selections may be RB James Davis. While at Clemson, Davis was quickly on the verge of becoming noted as one of the top backs in the country. Returning for his senior season, Davis struggled behind a poor Clemson offensive line, as well as very ordinary offensive scheme. Quick, with adequate speed and power, Davis' vision and ability to come out of the backfield could quickly make him an option in the Cleveland offense due to questions surrounding starter Jamal Lewis and backup Jerome Harrison.

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