With three picks in the first 35, the Browns were poised to add some top shelf prospects to their deserving franchise. The top needs to be addressed in the 2014 draft were QB, CB, OT, WR and RB. As of the end of round three all but receiver has been filled. Unfortunately breaking news reveals that Browns top receiver Josh Gordon will be facing suspension for a positive drug test result. This would have given the organization the opportunity to take a still available Marqise Lee at #35 instead of taking a tackle. Round three saw yet another refusal to address the newly discovered wide receiver issue and the team instead chose a linebacker and running back.
Round 2: 35th Overall Pick
Joel Bitonio is considered one of the top ten tackles in the 2014 draft class and some had even projected him as being selected at the end of the first round. In game tape, Bitonio was seen as very dominating at his position and was more than able to handle his own against athletic edge rushers. When Nevada played UCLA, Bitonio was able to hold his own against eventual first round selection Anthony Barr. He has great footwork and is fairly quick for a 300+ lbs lineman. Another good fit for the Browns. With the addition of Johnny Manziel in round one, the Browns need athletic offensive lineman for this eventual transformation to occur. Joel will solidify a line that already has pro bowl talent in Joe Thomas and Alex Mack.
Round 3: 71st Overall Pick
Chrisian Kirksey from Iowa sure wasn't a high profile name leading up to the draft but he does fill in another team need. Pettine and Farmer place a high value on speed and get a fast linebacker in Kirksey. What he lacks in size (6'1" 233lbs) he makes up for in speed (4.52 40 time) and his ability to go sideline to sideline on the field. Some didn't project Kirksey to be drafted until around the 5th round and certainly behind Wisconsin's Chris Borland who was still in play at #71. His pure athleticism and quickness seem to have pushed him up the charts for Cleveland in an effort to speed up the defense.
Round 3: 94th Overall Pick
Terrance West is a strong bodied running back from a small school and a smart pick. The Towson back will give Manziel someone to lean on so that he doesn't feel so much pressure to carry the offense on his legs alone. Ben Tate is a good back but he needed a fresh pair of legs to help carry the load. Cleveland moved into the 94th pick by trading their 4th and 6th round pick to San Fransisco. At this point the abundance of picks Cleveland started with seems to be eroding away but they are getting top talent for the trades.
The Browns clearly plugged up more holes in round 2 and 3 Friday. Fresh off news of top receiver Josh Gordon facing suspension, it's a wonder why a wide receiver was not targeted in one of these rounds. If the newly drafted Manziel has no weapons, how is he suppose to have a chance to succeed? When he gets his shot sometime in mid-season, he will not have Gordon and can't rely on the other wide outs as his only targets.