With the 4th selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns
Morris Claiborne, Cornerback, LSU
Size: 6'0" 190 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.41
Vertical Jump: 35"
Broad Jump: 9'9"
Strengths: Good size and elite length for the position – Incredibly fluid, can turn and run with the best of them – Accelerates quickly out of his backpedal and up to full speed – Good leaper, times his jumps well – Recovers very quickly, excellent burst to the ball – Phenomenal ball skills, great hands and interception radius – Fantastic in man coverage – Able to get a good jam/re-direct out of press man – Good instincts, able to read a route and bait the quarterback – Decent in the run-game, can shed a block and lay a hit – Four-down player, very adept at running back kicks.
I thought long and hard about this one, but I honestly do believe that he is the best player available on the board and, at the end of the day, the Browns have too many holes not to take the BPA at No. 4.
A major hole is the starting CB spot on the otherside of Joe Haden, one of the best young defensive backs in the league. Last season, it was Sheldon Brown and while he played admirably, it was pretty clear that it was likely his last season as a No. 2 corner.
This move allows us to grow the franchise with two of the best young CBs in the game, move Brown to safety possibly and it further improves a defense that was already Top 10 last year.
Tough choice, but the right one. In the mid-to-late 80s, the Browns became known as 'The Dawgs' because of the barking by our two corners, who also happened to be two of the best in the game... Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon. 20 years later, here is 'The Dawgs' redux.
Haden/Claiborne are good enough to make things awfully difficult on a division loaded with quality QBs and WRs. It also gives guys like Jabaal Sheard plenty of time to eat up quarterbacks and improve on his stellar rookie season.