Cleveland Browns Mock Draft: Predicting All 7 Rounds, Pre-Scouting Combine
The next generation of stars will be on display beginning February 20 as the NFL Scouting Combine kicks off in Indianapolis.
Like all teams, the Cleveland Browns have a list of key players that they will keep a close eye on at the showcase.
Let's mix things up on this complete mock draft in regards to the first-round selection.
We will look into the future and make that pick based on the assumption that the Browns landed a top tier free agent at a position of high importance.
The 2013 National Football League entry draft starts now.
Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins
USA TODAY Sports
August's David Sims trade to Philadelphia has resulted in Cleveland securing the Eagles sixth-round selection and giving up their own seventh.
The Browns now choose fifth and seventh in round six.
PICK 1: Zach Line (fullback)- SMU
Leading the conference in rushing for the past three seasons with over 1200-yards during each of those campaigns, it is strange to think that Line will make a better fullback in the NFL.
However, at 6'1" and 230 pounds the Mustang back fielder lacks the quickness required to succeed at the next level.
Despite his intimidating frame, Line must turn up the physicality both when clearing lanes or carrying the football.
The Southern Methodist University senior shows signs of being able to become a bulldozer for creating lanes and also can add a nice surprise factor for some short third down runs.
Two areas desperately lacking for the Cleveland Browns in 2012.
Ideally the team signs a veteran fullback through free agency, which then would allow Line time to grow into the pro game and eventually become the full-time solution.
PICK 2: Dustin Hopkins (kicker)- Florida State
Receiving a scouting grade of 80 and being ranked as the number one kicker in this draft class, Dustin Hopkins is a must have for the Browns if veteran Phil Dawson does not re-sign.
The senior capped off a stellar college career by becoming the ACC's all-time single-season scoring leader in 2012 by contributing 140 points.
Hopkins hit five of six field goals from beyond 50-yards this past year and is able to deliver deep kickoffs with exceptional hang time.
The Florida State leg man is Cleveland's best chance at a smooth transition into the post Dawson era.
Chadron State offensive guard Garrett Gilkey at the Senior Bowl
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The Chadron State Eagle is a mighty 6'7", 320-pound offensive guard that would be a solid pickup for Cleveland in the fifth round.
Not being from a NCAA Division I school, Gilkey flew under many team radars until his stellar performance during Senior Bowl week turned heads.
The 23-year-old loves physical play and can redirect or shove aside defensive linemen at will.
Bringing on an offensive guard that creates running lanes is essential for Cleveland's Trent Richardson in 2013. This Illinois native could be the answer.
Selecting a grinder like Gilkey as well as adding a free agent such as Andy Levitre would anchor the Browns' O-Line for years to come.
Colorado tight end Nick Kasa at the Senior Bowl
USA TODAY Sports
The future of free agent tight end Benjamin Watson is in limbo. If the veteran does not return then the importance of tight end jumps way up the to-do list for CEO Joe Banner and company.
Adding a big aggressive body like the 6'6", 271-pound Nick Kasa makes sense whether Watson stays or goes.
This Colorado senior is fast for his size, running a 4.76 second 40-yard dash, and is actually a converted defensive lineman.
During the Senior Bowl, CBS Sports analyst Dave Richard commented:
Kasa has had some moments where his athleticism is on display. But with little experience as a tight end, he showed signs of being raw. He's better at blocking and seems to be more of a long-term project than a short-term fix.
Cleveland is lacking a strong blocking TE that can also create mismatches over the middle and make plays after the catch.
Kasa won't be a day one starter, but certainly provides a tremendous upside that the Browns should not pass up.
Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Hauling down 16 career interceptions, posting a speedy 4.56 second 40-yard sprint and being a straight up nasty tackler all point to Bacarri Rambo being a future star free safety.
The 6'1", 215-pound senior also breaks down plays quickly and has excellent reaction time.
A huge positive is that Rambo knows how to be physical without drawing a flag against receivers and is a natural ball hawk.
A captain on Georgia's defense, the Bulldog is a leader who possesses the athleticism to slide over and play either of the safety positions.
He can be overaggressive, which lead to some missed wrap-ups or being caught out of position, but those are flaws that the Browns staff can iron out.
Caution signs go up for his off the field behavior. Rambo failed drug tests twice while at the university and was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 campaign because of an infraction.
If Cleveland's decision makers are confident that these issues will not carry over to the NFL then he is an immediate upgrade over the team's current FS personnel of Usama Young and Eric Hagg.
Having an incredibly physical duo of T.J. Ward and Rambo covering the safety spots would go a long way to solidifying the Browns' depleted secondary.
Damontre Moore NFL Player Comparison
As mentioned in the opening slide this first pick is going to imagine that the Browns acquired a top cornerback in free agency. Let's go with Sam Shields, now formerly of the Green Bay Packers.
This is the team's most urgent need and if a CB is not signed then Alabama's Dee Milliner becomes number one on their draft big board.
That is the mock scenario, which means that Cleveland must add a bona-fide pass rusher for Ray Horton's hybrid 3-4 defense.
Damontre Moore is that man.
He had a breakout junior season in 2012 that was highlighted by a selection to the All-Southeastern Conference First Team.
The Texas A&M defensive end tied for second in the country in sacks with 12.5, shared third place in tackles for a loss at 20 and runs a 4.83 second 40-yard dash.
Moore is a versatile player that has performed both as a DE in Texas' 4-3 and as an outside linebacker the previous year in a 3-4 base.
Listed at 6'4" and 250 pounds, Moore's long, lean build and ability to thrive in multiple schemes makes him the perfect fit for what the Browns are looking for.
The Aggie's blend of physicality and speed will book end Jabaal Sheard nicely at outside linebacker. Assuming that Sheard can successfully adjust to his new position.
All of a sudden the transition of defensive philosophy seems far less daunting.
Two CBS Sports mock drafts have Moore going in the top five. This is of course before free agency and the Scouting Combine so that could very well change.
However, if he is off the board then the Browns need backup plans.
OLB Jarvis Jones seems to be a likely next man up and after him perhaps defensive ends Barkevious Mingo or Ezekiel Ansah make the cut.
Looking at a trade down possibility to try and nab that missing second-round pick may end up becoming the most appealing option of all.
Follow Andy McNamara on Twitter @AndyMc81