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News » Counting down to No. 5: Questions about everyone

Counting down to No. 5: Questions about everyone

Counting down to No. 5: Questions about everyone
Draft thoughts of the day about the No. 5 pick:

1.The Browns need a pass rusher, and Brian Orakpo is supposed to be the best in the draft. He also is likely to be available when the Browns pick at No. 5. So why not take the Texas defensive end, who is supposed to be able to play outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense?

2.It's because we don't know if Orakpo can make the switch. As Plain Dealer colleague Tony Grossi wrote last Sunday, it's even harder than many in the NFL believe. Of course, Orakpo says he can do it. He knows the No. 5 pick will be guaranteed at least $20 million, and most athletes believe they can handle most positions.

3.Should the Browns bet more than $20 million on a player who has to switch positions? That makes me nervous. It's why I'd love to see linebacker Aaron Curry somehow fall to No. 5 - get a linebacker to play linebacker. I sense the Browns have the same wish for Curry, but the odds are it's just wishful thinking.

4.Let's assume Curry is gone. Let's assume the Browns can't trade out of the No. 5 pick. Let's assume star offensive lineman Justin Smith of Baylor is gone. All of these are likely assumptions. Let's assume the Browns are looking at receiver Michael Crabtree and Orapko at No. 5. And let's assume there is something that does bother the Browns about Crabtree - be it drafting a receiver so high, his foot surgery, or questions about attitude.

5.OK, no Smith. No Curry. No Crabtree. As one veteran NFL executive told me Wednesday night, quot;If I'm the Browns, I'm having a hard time giving big dollars to Orapko. I'm not sure he will be an impact player if he changes positions, and at No. 5 with more than $20 million on the line, I want an impact player.quot;

6.Now what? The executive talked about the Browns needing to stop the run. He talked about them needing depth on the defensive line. He talked about how Robaire Smith is a good player, but it is dangerous for the Browns to assume he can play 16 games after missing most of last season with Achilles surgery. The executive then mentioned two players - Boston College nose tackle B.J. Raji and LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson.

7.His point is that neither has to switch positions. The 330-pound Raji could take over at nose tackle, and allow Shaun Rogers to move to end - where he won't always have two or three guys blocking him. The executive likes the idea of Rogers at end, at least in some formations. He said not to be shocked if the Browns took Raji at No. 5.

8.Another name is Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, but he is a more of a quot;finessequot; left tackle. He'd have to switch to the right side (another change in position) and that may not be the wisest move at No. 5. Keep in mind how the Patriots often drafted defensive linemen in the first round - Richard Seymour, Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork. That is another clue on what George Kokinis/Eric Mangini may do, as both spent time working for current New England coach and former Browns boss Bill Belichick.

9.After writing all this, I admit the fan in me is intrigued by Crabtree. Yes, there are a lot of misses with receivers in the first round, but there also are stars such as Larry Fitzgerald. What if this kid from Texas Tech is that type of talent? Problem is, I'm not sure I'm willing to bet the big bucks to find out.

10.In my fantasy, one of two things happens: A) Curry falls to the Browns. B) Someone wants quarterback Mark Sanchez and offers to trade up for the No. 5 pick, allowing the Browns to move down a bit in the first round and add choices. But I also have learned that rarely does fantasy match reality with the Browns.

To reach Terry Pluto: terrypluto2003@yahoo.com, 216-999-4674

Previous columns online: cleveland.com/columns

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 25, 2009

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