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Countdown to the NFL Combine: Cleveland's offensive needs

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The NFL Combine kicks off today as players are arriving in Indianapolis. Although they won't start the on field workouts until Saturday, teams will be conducting interviews and getting to know the future rookies they may draft. The Cleveland Browns are one of those teams that could make a huge turn around with the Draft in May and through free agency, starting next month. The Cleveland Browns are looking for players that will fit their mold as a tough, and competing team.

Cleveland's biggest weakness is the on the offensive side. The Browns are looking at a multiple of positions this weekend including quarterbacks, offensive linemen, running backs, and wide receivers. The team will look to fill gaping holes at quarterback, running back and offensive line very early in the draft. With two first round picks (4, 26), one second round pick, and two third round pick, the Browns look to be able to get the guys they want.

At quarterback, the Browns need to finally get it right. They have had 20 starting quarterbacks since returning in 1999. Last year, the Browns had three starters, and ended the season on a seven game losing streak. Brandon Weeden was ranked as one of the worst quarterbacks last year, and the Browns have been rumored to be using their first pick (4th overall) to get a new quarterback.

The offensive line is hurting the Browns right now, and the real question is why? Two of the five lineman are Pro Bowlers, and Alex Mack is considered one of the top centers in the league. With the new front office and coaches, Mack is considering staying after he talks with the coaches and sees what direction they are headed in. Look for the Browns to sign a veteran in free agency and draft a rookie lineman to open the gaps for the running game.

At running back, the Browns desperately need a running game. The offense struggled late in the year because without a running game, they could plan on defending the pass. Look for the Browns to let Willis McGahee go on to free agency. After being signed when the Browns traded away Trent Richardson, McGahee lost the starting role. The Browns have three options at running back: 1) draft a rookie running back 2.) get a running back in free agency 3.) do both. The Browns have smaller backs, so look for them to get at least one bigger back.

Josh Gordon had the most receiving yards in the NFL last year, but the rest of the wide receivers were a let down. Greg Little has had issues with dropping passes, and recorded his all time low of receiving yards this year as well. The Browns got Devone Bess from the Dolphins in a trade, and looked for him to be a veteran on the team. Bess had problems catching the ball, and a slew of off field problems that led to him getting arrested. The team finished with a strong showing from Brian Tyms and Josh Cooper. Look for the Browns to either grab a rookie receiver, as well as take their pick from the long list of free agent wide receivers.


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