Cleveland Browns Mock Draft 3.0: Trade Down Scenario
There is a possibility that the Browns will trade down in the first round of this year's draft.
I have been against the idea of trading down because the Browns already have 13 picks in this draft and they need some real difference-makers, but after reading several of these reports, I thought I would take a look at what a draft like this would look like.
This particular trade would give the Browns at least two choices in each round, though, and that got my attention.
I decided to put together a mock draft based on this trade idea.
Since I don't know which team(s) the Browns are talking to, I'm taking a little creative license. For the purposes of this mock, I'm going to say the team is the Philadelphia Eagles because of their well-known interest in Ryan Tannehill and also their connection to Browns GM Tom Heckert.
The Eagles currently have the 15th pick of the first round, so here goes.
Round 1, Pick 15: Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
I have been mostly against the idea of drafting Floyd, but in this scenario he makes a lot of sense.
After studying up on him a bit more, I actually have grown a bit more fond of him as a prospect.
For starters, he has excellent size and above-average speed for an NFL wide receiver. He's 6'3" and 220 pounds and ran the 40 in 4.47.
But beyond just his measureables, he also had excellent production in college as well. He caught 100 passes last year for over 1100 yards.
He's both taller and faster than Justin Blackmon, and there's no reason to think he won't be every bit as good.
If the Browns do trade back into the teens, then I think Floyd has to be the pick.
Round 1, Pick 22: Lavonte David, LB Nebraska
A lot of people are going to disagree with this pick, and some might say that he could fall to the second round. I say that's hogwash.
He is the most underrated prospect in this year's draft by far.
At 6'1" and 233 pounds, he is slightly undersized for an NFL linebacker but he plays huge. He averaged more than 10 tackles a game in college and made big plays all over the field.
David is a tackling machine, but he is also much more than that. He makes interceptions, forces fumbles, gets to the quarterback and makes tackles for loss. He's an all-around excellent three-down linebacker.
He's good against the run and against the pass, whether in coverage or blitzing.
The Browns' biggest hole on their defense currently is at outside linebacker, and this is the perfect guy to fill that hole and is definitely worth a first-round pick.
Round 2, Pick 37: Doug Martin, RB Boise St.
I am of the opinion that if the Browns do choose to forgo drafting Trent Richardson at number four, then Doug Martin has to become their top target in the second round.
Martin is the only other back in this draft that is capable of being a three-down back on day one.
He's easily the most complete back in this draft not named Trent Richardson.
The Browns' backfield is currently in shambles, and they really have to find a feature back who is capable of blocking and catching passes out of the backfield if there is going to be any hope of taking enough heat off of Colt McCoy for him to succeed.
Martin ran for 1300 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, and while he may not be super-flashy and probably isn't a threat to score every time he touches the ball, he is solid and dependable in all phases of his game.
Round 2, Pick 46: Bobby Massie, OT Mississippi
It feels like right tackle has been high on the Browns' list of needs for as long as I can remember.
This year, with a deep tackle class and an abundance of picks, the Browns have no excuse to not find a suitable right tackle for the future in the draft.
Massie is a little bit raw yet but has excellent size and length and is an excellent athlete for a man that is 6'6" and 316 pounds.
There are concerns that he might have a little trouble transitioning to the right side from his natural left side because of footwork issues, so he may not be ready to start right out of the gate, but his upside is well worth it and he provides excellent value in the second round.
Round 3, Pick 68: Chase Minnifield, CB Virginia
The Browns secondary was actually very solid last season, but it appears that it is time for aging cornerback Sheldon Brown to move over to safety, which leaves a little bit of a hole at the corner.
Chase Minnifield is the son of one of the original founders of the Dawg Pound in Cleveland, and this would be a great story that would certainly get fans very excited.
Beyond all that though, Minnifield is actually a pretty solid prospect. He has nearly elite recognition and is top-notch in the all-around mental aspect of the game.
He is slightly undersized for the position at 5'10" and 183 pounds, but he gives 110-percent effort on every play.
He is a little on the slow side for a corner and might have trouble keeping up with the Desean Jacksons and Mike Wallaces of the league, but his effort and his mind make him a very solid selection in round three.
Round 3, Pick 88: Kelechi Osemele, G Iowa St
The Browns seem to have found a solid guard in Jason Pinkston, but the jury is out on Shaun Lauvao as far I'm concerned. The Browns also could use some more depth on the offensive line.
Osemele is a player that I've had my eye on for a couple years now, after watching him pancake Iowa's Adrian Clayborn two seasons ago.
At 6'5.5" and 333 pounds, he is a very large man with a very bad attitude when it comes to run-blocking. This guy is a true mauler.
The only question mark with him is endurance, but an NFL strength and conditioning program should go a long way to fixing that issue.
I could see this guy in a platoon role at guard with Lauvao as a rookie.
Round 4, Pick 101: Cam Johnson, DE Virginia
This is a pick based on potential.
Cam Johnson is the prototype 4-3 defensive end physically, but he has yet to realize his full potential.
At 6'3" and 268 pounds, he has the ideal size to go along with above-average speed and excellent first-step quickness.
He does a great job of getting off the ball quickly and gaining leverage but hasn't yet learned how to finish.
In the fourth round, this could be a very high-upside pick.
Round 4, Pick 118: Danny Coale, WR Virginia Tech
Danny Coale is a player I've been targeting ever since I saw him make this catch against that team up north.
At 6'0" and 200 pounds, he isn't the biggest guy on the field, but he gives the biggest effort. His 4.4 speed doesn't hurt anything either.
He had 60 catches for 904 yards last year in Virginia Tech's very run-heavy offense.
This is a high-character and high-effort guy who can be counted on to make a play when you really need someone to step up and make a play.
Round 5, Pick 139: Omar Bolden, CB Arizona St
Omar Bolden is a guy who could have been a second- or maybe even a first-round pick had he not torn an ACL two years in a row.
That said, two straight season-ending ACL injuries are not to be taken lightly, and it makes spending a draft pick on him a little bit of a risk.
So why pick him? Well, he's just a very solid all-around corner. He's good in zone, has good recognition skills, good ball skills and is very able and willing in run support.
If he can stay healthy he could be a top-notch NFL corner, and that makes him worth the risk in the fifth round, especially when the Browns have so many day-three picks.
Round 5, Pick 160: Janzen Jackson, S McNeese St
This is a pretty high-risk/high-reward pick as well, but the fact that it's a fifth round pick makes the risk much more palatable.
Jackson was once an up-and-coming big-time prospect for Lane Kiffin at Tennessee before Kiffin left for USC and Jackson was summarily dismissed from the team because of off-field issues before transferring to McNeese St.
At 5'11" and 188 pounds, Jackson is somewhat undersized, and his stock has dropped after running poorly at the combine, but he has excellent natural athleticism and is gifted in coverage.
He has the cover skills of a corner and could even possibly be moved to corner at the next level, but for now I'm interested in him as a free safety.
Round 6, Pick 204: Lavon Brazill, WR Ohio
I know, this makes three wide receivers for this mock draft, but believe me, our current wide receivers are that bad.
Brazill is an undersized receiver at 5'10" and 192 pounds, but his height is somewhat mitigated by his long arms.
He has very good speed and excellent ball skills. He can make the acrobatic catch.
He was also very productive in college, catching 72 passes for 1150 yards and 11 touchdowns at Ohio, which isn't exactly known for fielding explosive offenses.
I like the idea of taking more than one receiver in the late rounds to play the odds that one of them will pan out.
Round 6, Pick 205: Vontaze Burfict, LB Arizona St.
This is the last in a series of risky picks for this mock draft.
An abundance of picks makes it possible to draft a bunch of high-risk guys later in the draft. If only one of those high-risk/high-reward players pans out, it makes all the risky picks well worth it.
Burfict was once thought to be the best linebacker coming out in this year's draft, but attitude problems and temperament issues have watched him slide way down the board.
Burfict plays violently and has the potential for greatness but he's a loose cannon who doesn't respond to coaching and has trouble playing within a system.
He was flagged for 17 personal fouls in 35 games at Arizona St. That is a huge red flag.
The reason I think it would be all right to take a flier on him here is that he has a certain Ray Lewis quality to him.
Ray Lewis was a bit of a loose cannon in his youth as well, but he matured to become one of the greatest linebackers in history.
In the end, it may be better for Burfict to go to a team like Baltimore, where a Ray Lewis could mentor him, but I really don't want that to happen.
Round 7, Pick 211: Austin Davis, QB Southern Mississippi
I think it's pretty safe to expect the Browns to draft a quarterback in this year's draft.
To me, Austin Davis presents the most upside and value for a west-coast offense.
Davis comes from Southern Mississippi, where he broke many of Brett Favre's school records.
He's a dual threat in both running and passing. Last season he threw for nearly 3500 yards and 30 touchdowns while only throwing 11 interceptions.
I'm not saying that he'll develop into a starter, but he should at least be able to give us what Seneca Wallace is giving us, and at a much smaller price tag.
The knock on him is that he is slightly shorter than you'd like at 6'2", and he doesn't have the strongest arm. So basically he has the same limitations as Colt McCoy, but he is built for the west-coast offense.
Round 7, Pick 245: Drew Butler, P Georgia
Normally I am just flat-out against the idea of drafting a punter or a kicker, but with all these extra picks it seems like a good idea to shore that spot up, as injuries have taken a toll on the Browns' punting game the past couple seasons.
Butler averaged 44.2 yards per punt last season and dropped 21 of them inside the 20 yard line.
He also has excellent NFL bloodlines. Some of you may remember his father, Kevin Butler, who was a kicker for the Chicago Bears for many years.
Round 7, Pick 247: Donte Paige-Moss
Moss was once thought to be a potential first-round pick, but his production regressed a little this past season.
He tore his ACL in North Carolina's bowl game, which means that he may not be ready to play this upcoming season, hence the extreme fall in his draft stock. Despite all this, he still elected to forgo his senior year of college to enter the draft.
Moss was highly recruited out of high school and put up some pretty decent numbers his sophomore year, recording 13.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
He has prototypical size but will obviously need a lot of coaching after he recovers from his injury.
To me, this was more of an exercise than an actual mock draft. I wanted to see what kind of draft we could have if we do indeed trade down from the number-four pick, and I must say, it's pretty impressive to me.
I'm not saying this is what the Browns should or will do, but the possibility does exist and I am completely fine with it if we end up with a draft even close to this.
Tom Heckert is known for wheeling and dealing on draft day, and I'm sure we'll see some more of that this year.
I would also expect that if they were to trade down, some of those late-round picks would be used to trade up in a couple of spots. They can't trade the compensatory picks, but the Browns have three natural picks on day three they could trade, as well as two fourth-round picks.
I would be surprised if we didn't see some of those used in trades.
How do you feel about this scenario? Leave a comment below and let me know. Thanks for reading.
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