Cleveland Browns 7-Round Mock Draft: Fresh Predictions After the Super Bowl
Super Bowl XLVII is officially in the books and yet another landmark has now passed on the road to the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns are expected to be one of the most active teams throughout this draft season and there are plenty of holes for the organization's new coaching staff to fill. Cleveland currently has six picks scheduled for April's draft, but will not have a second-round selection due to their decision to take Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft last year.
This article is an updated mock draft for every pick Cleveland currently has at their disposal. Each pick will be based on need and the current state of the position that Cleveland has on their active roster.
Please feel free to share your comments and draft predictions below!
Round 1: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
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The Browns need help on the defensive side of the ball now that they have decided that they will officially switch to a 3-4 base defense. Barkevious Mingo gives the Browns a pass rushing ability that they have not had for many seasons and fills a major need for a team that is looking to build their front seven.
Mingo has the ability to play multiple fronts and can line up as an outside linebacker as well as a defensive end. The Browns will likely have a strong rotation at the end position and will need a player that is versatile enough to play multiple positions and stay on the field despite the changing personnel. That type of versatility could be what sets him apart from the other options Cleveland has at this point in the first round.
Mingo is considered one of the best pass rushers in this class and has built an amazing reputation at LSU playing at the opposite end from Sam Montgomery. Mingo's biography on LSU's sports website is a clear interpretation of that reputation and lists some great information about the future first rounder.
According to the site, "Exceptional length and quickness makes him a terror on opposing quarterbacks, especially on third down passing situations . Tremendous leadership qualities who was honored with the Tigers' most prestigious spring award in 2012, the Jimmy Taylor Award for outstanding leadership, effort and performance. Ranked among the best in the SEC statistically as a sophomore. Tallied 81 career tackles, a team-best 20.5 tackles for a loss of 134 yards, 10.5 sacks for a loss of 81 yards, 15 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles. One of the Tigers' leaders in the community who has read to school kids and visited children's hospital."
That type of leadership on and off the field is something that Browns fans have been known to quickly support over the course of their long history and would make Mingo a fan favorite with Cleveland long before his first day of training camp.
Round 3: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
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Cleveland is forced to forfeit their second-round pick because of their selection of Josh Gordon during the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft, but the Browns will be active on the second day due to their third-round selection.
The Browns will go defense again in the third round in order to fill a hole that could turn into a major weak spot during this next season. The cornerback position is in need of major help after the release of Dimitri Patterson in 2012, and the potential retirement of Sheldon Brown. Brown is also an unrestricted free agent regardless of his desire to return to football next season.
David Amerson is a quality talent at the corner position that could immediately contribute in a starting role if the team needs a man to play across from Joe Haden.
According to his draft profile on CBS Sports.com, "Amerson has rare height and length for the position and actually played primarily at safety in high school. He has the size and ball skills for the next level, but scouts are also impressed with his competitive drive to get better, showing vast improvement between his freshman and sophomore seasons. Could prove a fit in a press-based scheme. Highly aggressive defender who intercepted many of his passes reading the eyes of quarterbacks and jumping short routes."
This type of profile fits in well with what the Browns are trying to do under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Cleveland is expected to implement an aggressive defense that can force opponents into tough downs and can be on the attack rather than on their heels.
Round 4: Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
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Benjamin Watson and Jordan Cameron have been reliable options for the Browns over the past two seasons, but each saw a drop in production last year with Brandon Weeden under center.
Norv Turner and Rob Chudzinski both have experience coaching some of the best tight ends in the game and know that a quality tight end can bring a dynamic into an offense that causes great mismatches and opportunities. Both of the tight ends on the Browns roster do not have the ability to be a consistent option for future seasons.
Travis Kelce is an Ohio native that had great success throughout his college career with the Cincinnati Bearcats. More importantly, Kelce has experience as a quality red-zone target and has great size to compete in the National Football League. NFL Draft Scout has Kelce listed as the fourth ranked tight end in this class and has his 40-yard dash listed at 4.68 seconds.
Cleveland will need to keep their youth movement going at each skill position in order to have their offense fully develop. Watson is currently the oldest starter at a skill position on the Browns offense and his future ability has reached its ceiling.
Round 5: Alvin Bailey, G, Arkansas
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The Browns used a high draft pick on tackle Mitchell Shwartz last season in hopes that the offensive line would be solidified for the future. Unfortunately, that still left holes at the guard positions that Shaun Lauvao and Jason Pinkston do not have the ability to fill.
Alvin Bailey is an exceptional guard from Arkansas with tremendous size and the athletic ability to be a quality guard in the AFC North. Bailey has all the tools to be a high selection in this draft class if the Razorbacks would have been more successful during his time there. Bailey is also a victim of the fact that this draft class has a lot of talent at the guard position that will be selected on the second and third day of the draft.
The Browns will be looking to find ways to get Trent Richardson more running room in 2013 and adding a new guard seems to be the only way their line can compete with the powerhouse defenses in their division. Cleveland can reasonably take a guard at any point in this draft class, but it seems that there will be bigger needs that they will have to attend to first.
Round 6: Corey Fuller, WR, Virginia Tech
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Mohammed Massaqoui will likely not be retained by the Browns during this offseason after the completion of his rookie contract and continuous sub-par performances. That means that Greg Little and Josh Gordon will be the two top receivers in 2013, with Travis Benjamin and Josh Cooper fighting for a spot in the slot position.
Adding another talented receiver to this mix would be a very good idea for the Browns offense, and Corey Fuller would fit this role very well. Fuller had 43 catches for more than 800 yards and six touchdowns for the Hokies in 2012 and was key in Virginia Tech's victory over Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Fuller also showed that he can be an explosive talent when given the opportunity. Fuller posted eight games where he recorded a reception longer than 20 yards, including a 69-yard reception in a 30-23 overtime win against Boston College.
This pick would provide the biggest upside at this point in the draft for a team that has struggled to find their offensive identity for several seasons. It is impossible to have too much talent at any skill position and Fuller could be a nice addition to a unit that is finally starting to look like they will make an impact in the near future.
Round 6: Zach Boren, FB, Ohio State
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Owen Marecic did little to help save his job last season under the direction of Pat Shurmur and Brad Childress. Part of that reason could be because the game plan did not have a need for a fullback on an every-game basis. However, Marecic's talent has been brought into question on multiple occasions by the fan base and it is very likely the Browns will look to upgrade the position at some point this spring.
Zach Boren is a local prospect from Ohio State that many Browns fans should know very well. Boren played on both sides of the ball for the Buckeyes and it is really unknown if he will declare for the NFL Draft as a fullback or inside linebacker. At this point, Boren is listed as a fullback on his NFL Draft Scout profile.
Both Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner like to use fullbacks in their offensive systems, but usually give those duties to a player that can carry the ball as well as block efficiently. Chudzinski had Mike Tolbert at his disposal in Carolina last season and Tolbert was always a threat to get a red zone carry in close games.
Boren recorded 11 carries and scored two touchdowns as a fullback throughout the 2012 season, but totaled 50 tackles as an inside linebacker. Cleveland happens to have a need at both positions, so this pick is a win-win situation.