2012 NFL Mock Draft: Cleveland Browns 7-Round Mock Draft
Cleveland Browns 2012 NFL Mock Draft Version 1.0
The 2012 NFL Draft is still on the horizon. But for Cleveland Browns fans, it's the most exciting time of the year.
The amount of significant holes in the Browns organization has diminished since Tom Heckert has taken the front office reigns, but one huge deficiency remains for the Browns—offensive playmakers.
You have heard that phrase repeated over and over the last couple of years by many writers and pundits. I've been saying it myself for as long as I can remember.
This year looks to be different though, as General Manager Heckert agrees with that sentiment. Heckert stated the Browns "want playmakers, so we have to get them somewhere."
He also contrarily stated that the Browns would not pass up a top defensive talent early in the draft.
Round 7, Pick No. 186
With the 186th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Aaron Dobson, wide receiver from Marshall University.
Why he makes sense: Aaron Dobson is best known for his amazing one-handed touchdown reception against East Carolina University (video left).
What many others don't realize is that he has prototypical wide receiver size at 6'3" and 204 pounds, with tremendous speed and excellent hands.
Dobson's production for 2011 is not what you would expect from a junior coming out of school early. He did, however, record an impressive 12 touchdowns in a rather pedestrian Marshall passing attack.
Dobson has filed paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Board to gauge teams' interest if he were to declare.
Round 6, Pick No. 154
With the 154th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Brandon Brooks, offensive guard from Miami (OH) University.
Why he makes sense: Brandon Brooks has the versatility to play either the guard or tackle position at the pro level. At 6'5" and 345 pounds, Brooks would be a welcome addition to a Browns offensive line that has seen its right side bullied by opposing defenses for the better part of the 2011 season.
In addition, he has some learning to do and would benefit from having time to learn and be coached up to the NFL level.
For the Browns, Brooks would be the perfect fit. He wouldn't need to be rushed along as a sixth-round draft pick, and would have time to play behind and learn from three Pro Bowl offensive linemen in Eric Steinbach, Joe Thomas and Alex Mack.
Round 5, Pick No. 132
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
With the 132nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Omar Bolden, cornerback from Arizona State University.
Why he makes sense: Omar Bolden considered entering the 2011 NFL Draft, and was thought to be a second to fourth-round pick if he declared. Coming off missing the entire 2011 Arizona State Sun Devils season, teams will be hesitant to take a risk on Bolden.
If there is one thing Heckert has shown, it's that he is willing to evaluate injury-susceptible players that other teams might disregard because of durability concerns.
Snagging Bolden in the fifth round would be a huge-upside move for the Cleveland Browns. Most fifth round players are a gamble anyway—taking a player with as much potential as Bolden, if he is available, is a no-brainer at this pick.
Round 4, Pick No. 120
Butch Dill/Getty Images
With the 120th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Robert Lester, safety from the University of Alabama.
Why he makes sense: I am basing the possibility of Lester being available still in this draft due to a strong safety class and the unpredictability of the safety position. In the 2011 NFL draft, highly touted prospect Quinton Carter of Oklahoma was drafted in the fourth round.
Lester would provide the Cleveland Browns with an excellent cover free safety, who has great ball-hawking skills. His ability to play center field for the Browns would enable counterpart T.J. Ward to play to his strengths in run support.
A tandem of Ward and Lester would solidify the back of the Browns secondary.
Round 4, Pick No. 100
Bob Levey/Getty Images
With the 100th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Keenan Robinson, linebacker from the University of Texas.
Why he makes sense: Keenan Robinson has the quickness and coverage skills that the Cleveland Browns' current linebackers are lacking. How many times have you watched D'Qwell Jackson, Chris Gocong or Scott Fujita get beat in coverage by a running back or tight end? How about a wide receiver?
Robinson's quickness and pursuit to the ball could also upgrade the Browns' ability to stop the running game and contain the big play.
He is also an above-average student and is active in community service. His intelligence does him well on the field at his position, as he is excellent at diagnosing plays and recognizing deceptive schemes.
Round 3, Pick No. 68
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
With the 68th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select LaMichael James, running back from the University of Oregon.
Why he makes sense: Character and durability concerns will push LaMichael James into the Cleveland Browns' lap early in the third round of next April's draft. At that point, how could Heckert pass on drafting the possible second coming of "Shady" LeSean McCoy?
James has tremendous agility and quickness, and has the potential to give NFL defenses fits if he can find the ball in space. That, however, will be a more than daunting challenge at the pro-level.
However, as a change of pace back to Peyton Hillis and a prime receiving option, James fits head coach Pat Shurmur's West Coast offense nicely. Shurmur will be clamoring for playmakers from GM Tom Heckert, and James fits that bill.
Round 2, Pick No. 36
Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
With the 36th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Levy Adcock, offensive tackle from Oklahoma State University.
Why he makes sense: Adcock is an absolute mauler on the offensive line. At 6'6" and 322 pounds, Adcock poses a daunting task for opposing rushers.
His pass blocking, a glaring deficiency of current Browns right tackle Tony Pashos, is adequate, and he is a force in the power running game. He was selected to the Big 12 first team for his play in the 2011 Oklahoma State Cowboys offense.
He may not be the player from Oklahoma State most Browns fans wanted (Justin Blackmon), but he makes sense at this point in the draft and will fill a glaring need on the Browns offensive line.
Round 1, Pick No. 24
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
With the 24th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Kendall Wright, wide receiver from Baylor University.
Why he makes sense: With Michael Floyd and Justin Blackmon already off the board, GM Tom Heckert gets creative with his second first-round pick.
Heckert recently stated he was going to add playmakers to this Browns offense, and a true No. 1 receiver is just what the doctor ordered. It would be highly unlikely the Browns would pass on a game changer like Wright.
Other interesting wide receiver prospects may be available still at this point, but my thoughts are that Heckert is sold on Wright. Wright's game-changing speed and lateral quickness are akin to those of Desean Jackson.
Why sign Jackson to big money in the offseason when a stronger and more stable version is available in the late first round of the draft?
Round 1, Pick No. 4
Geoff Burke/Getty Images
With the fourth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Quinton Coples, defensive end from North Carolina University.
Why he makes sense: Unfortunately for the Cleveland Browns, Justin Blackmon was too good to pass up for the St. Louis Rams. As a consolation, they will get the best defensive end in the 2012 draft, Quinton Coples.
Quinton Coples has unlimited potential as a pass rushing defensive end. Players like Julius Peppers and Dwight Freeney come to mind when watching him on the field.
Coples is the type of player that must be game-planned for by opposing offenses. The best part about his game is not even that he is a terror for opposing quarterbacks—he also stops the run too.
His first-step quickness allows him to get position on his blocker. Also, his incredible strength helps him shed blocks and wreak havoc on opposing running games.
For the Cleveland Browns, this is a valuable selling point for Coples.
The Browns defense was putrid on the edges in 2011. As a whole, their defense ranked 30th against the run in the NFL.
As Tom Heckert stated, the Browns will not pass up a top-caliber defensive talent early on in the draft. This position is too hard to fill in later rounds, and Coples looks every bit the solid pro heading into the draft.