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Is Rey the Man?

The most recent edition of the NFL Outsider's 2009 Mock Draft has the Cleveland Browns selecting USC linebacker Rey Maualuga as our first pick (number 5 in round 1). The rationale is that the Team has two big concerns - secondary and linebackers, but that the need up front is even greater on defense than the need at home. It is argued that, although corners Wright and McDonald are young, they continue to develop and showed marked improvement last season. In our view, that is debatable regarding McDonald who was really exploited by opposing teams. Further, it is said that our loss of LB Andra Davis to free agency and the Shaun Rogers issue lend to an even greater need at the linebacker position. We agree that Davis was a passionate player who gave a spark to the Team, however, we fail to see the relevance of Rogers to this decision. The monster in the middle is an awesome force and our best player on defense, but he does not fulfill the role of a linebacker. We think the following. Rey is a unique player that could become a real star in the NFL. He plays with a kind of urgency that very few Browns showed last season. He is very emotional which if checked can be a real asset to the Team as a whole. He has, however, been a distraction in the past as well. In 2005, he got into a fight at a Halloween party and was charged with battery. The charge ended in a diversion program which included AA counselling for Rey. He is 6 foot two inches tall and weighs about 255 pounds. He has plenty of Bowl Games experience. He comes from a very good football program at USC. He has won a host of awards including the nation's best defensive player at any position in 2008. But most of all, he can really add something almost immediately to our pass rush. That IS the reason why a linebacker should take precedence over a safety or a corner as our first pick, more so than the reasons given above. It does not matter what wealth of talent a team has in the secondary; opposing quarterbacks will complete passes if they are given enough time in the pocket. We are not concerned about Rey's past brush with the law or his seemingly endless energy which is sometimes confused with reckless aggression. Frankly, we need more of that in Cleveland. We would support Rey being our first round draft pick over any safety or corner available, and over Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo. We think that the overriding concern that must influence our first pick has to be pass rush.

Go Browns!

Devo's Cleveland Browns

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