Opinions on who the Cleveland Browns should select in tonight's NFL draft are running rampant, not only from fans but former NFL players and acclaimed analysts.
If you ask Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk whether running backs Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) or Todd Gurley (Georgia) fit in with the Browns, the NFL Network analyst won't hold back his true feelings.
"I think it would be an awful fit," Faulk said Wednesday in Chicago at the NFL Network luncheon. "I think the two backs they played with last year, (Terrance) West and (Isaiah) Crowell – they held the position down pretty well. I actually just read today their prediction of both of them gaining 1,000 yards each. I believe that position is taken care of."
Former St. Louis Rams Kurt Warner appeared in two Super Bowls in his NFL career and, in addition to working for the NFL Network, he's worked with quarterbacks such as Colin Kaepernick in furthering their skills.
If Warner were wearing the Browns' general manager hat for the night, he said he would lay off picking a quarterback and instead add two immediate difference-makers.
"This is a tough quarterback class to judge," Warner said. "So many of these guys are playing in these spread systems now. And I think the Browns are coming off a situation where they got Duke Johnson Jr., a quarterback coming off a spread system, who had as much success in college as anyone has ever seen.
"I think that's so tough to judge how that translates to the next level. It's just a different ball game. I think it makes it harder when you made that choice a year before."
Mike Mayock has become the NFL Network's version of Mel Kiper Jr. – an NFL draft czar with premium knowledge on all of the prospects and his ears plugged into NFL front offices.
Mayock said the Browns can go in several directions, but there's one reason Mayock has been quite supportive about Cleveland in recent months: He trusts general manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine.
"One thing about the Browns is that Farmer and Pettine have a pretty good plan," Mayock said. "Even if you're a fifth-round pick, they are going to have expectations for you. Are you a situational pass rusher? Are you a nickel back who can blitz? Are you a third guard who can play in the rotation?
"I think the Browns have a plan in place for every player they take. And I really believe they are going to be an exciting young team."