Cleveland Browns Mock Draft: 7-Round Predictions, Post-Scouting Combine
The NFL Scouting Combine is all wrapped up, which means it is updated Cleveland Browns mock draft time.
Some interesting results came out of the last four days in Indianapolis and will surely shuffle many scouting draft boards.
As we all know, free agency is going to shape much of what the Browns need to focus on when evaluating the new class of NCAA hopefuls. Remember that the compensatory picks have not been assigned yet either.
This is my second "what-if scenario" mock where specific situations are outlined that influence what players would fall where.
In this version, Cleveland CEO Joe Banner lives up to his self-proclaimed reputation of trading down in the first round and does just that. Banner's full combine media conference transcript can be found at Ohio.com
The Browns move to between the 10th and 15th overall spots. This secures them the much coveted second-rounder, but they had to give up their last of two sixth-round picks in the process.
With plenty of salary cap room (estimated $48.9 million) as well as a need for depth at cornerback, outside linebacker, tight end and offensive guard, we'll also assume that the club signs one viable starter at each position via free agency.
All combine drill results are courtesy of NFL.com
Now that all the rules are set, let's begin the 2013 entry draft!
As part of the trade down "what-if scenario" for this mock the Browns gave up their last sixth-round choice to land a pick in the second.
They had acquired the additional selection from the David Sims trade with Philadelphia last August, which included a swap of Cleveland's seventh-rounder.
Eric Herman caught the eye of coaches at the NFL Scouting Combine when he bench pressed more than any other offensive lineman by heaving 225 pounds 36 times.
The Ohio Bobcat offensive guard compensates for his short arms with large hands (nearly 11") and possesses obvious strength.
His knack for bowling over defenses to get to the next level earned him All-MAC second team honors for the second straight year in 2013..
Herman was nicknamed "Iron Man" by teammates for starting in 51 consecutive games and being a mauler in the trenches.
While posting a 5.25 second 40-yard time is not overly fast, he would slide in great next to fellow every-down men Joe Thomas, Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz.
The 6'4", 320-pound OG is probably unable to step in as a day one starter, but shows all the signs of being a strong sleeper pickup that can be groomed into a solid contributor.
The Browns have zero options at fullback since 2012 draft pick Brad Smelley seems relegated to the practice squad or trying his hand as an undersized tight end.
Owen Marecic was a complete disaster last season and Alex Smith did an OK job filling in, but is by no means a long-term solution.
Enter Tommy Bohanon, who may be a stretch as a high fifth-rounder; however, he fills an immediate need and would be a smart addition.
The Wake Forest alum wowed scouts over the weekend by out-lifting all running backs in the bench press competition (36 reps of 225 pounds).
That type of strength demonstrates much desired brute force at the FB position. What makes the 6'1", 246-pound Demon Deacon truly appealing is combining that power with speed.
Dashing to a 40-yard time of 4.81 seconds at the combine is respectable and suggests that he can clear the way for Trent Richardson.
The Florida native also showed flashes of offensive contribution in 2012 by catching 23 passes and scoring five touchdowns through the air.
Where Nick Kasa adds the most immediate value at tight end is on the blocking side.
An excellent run- and pass-blocker, he can instantly replace Alex Smith in those situations while also contributing on special teams and developing his offensive touch.
The Colorado senior was able to use his hulking 6'6", 269-pound frame to create the desired mismatches over the middle and also hauled in three touchdown catches in 2012.
This Buffalo alum is actually a converted defensive end with only one full season as a TE under his belt.
Despite that, Kasa's potential is great and he owns the tools to make the Cleveland personnel department look good by taking him as a hidden gem pick.
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton wants an attacking defense? Well a nasty piece to the puzzle will be added if he pairs Bacarri Rambo with T.J. Ward in the secondary.
Collecting 16 career interceptions, posting a speedy pre-combine 4.56 second 40-yard dash time is a ball hawk that loves to deliver crisp, crushing tackles.
At 6'1" and 215 pounds, the senior has excellent reaction time, knows how to be physical without drawing flags and can break down plays quickly.
A captain on defense, the Georgia Bulldog is a leader who is athletic enough to shift over and play either of the safety roles.
Rambo's troubles come off the field where he was suspended by the team once in his junior season and again this past year because of failed drug tests due to the apparent "inadvertent ingestion of marijuana."
If Cleveland's decision-makers feel 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.
The aggressive mindset expected on this new Browns defense does not just have to come from front seven pass-rushers.
Taking cornerback Jordan Poyer with our "what-if scenario" acquired second-round pick would bring a mean streak to outside coverage as well.
Signed to play baseball and football at Oregon State, he attacks the ball in the air and hammers anyone carrying it on the ground.
While not blowing anyone away at the scouting combine, Poyer impressed in the 60-yard TD shuttle at 11.51 seconds. This past weekend and at the Senior Bowl he also showcased smooth transitions and quick foot work.
Being 6'0" and a technically sound tackler provides this senior the tools to match up against speedy receivers.
A bonus is that Poyer is an above-average kick/punt returner.
As long as he can effectively explain away an arrest for an alleged bar fight back in May 2012, then Cleveland selects an excellent CB prospect.
We finally arrive at the highly anticipated first-round pick. Remember that in this mock scenario the Browns traded down to somewhere between 10th and 15th overall.
Browns CEO Joe Banner stated in his scouting combine press conference (via Ohio.com):
We wanted to have a more aggressive, attacking defense, because we want to bring in more aggressive-minded players, we want to be risk-takers, we want to be attacking, we want the other team to be on the defensive.
That comment is why pass-rushing sensation Jarvis Jones makes the most sense for this team's top choice.
How does bringing on a single-season sack record-holder for Georgia (14.5) in 2012 sound? Does decimating offenses to the tune of 24.5 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles and an interception pique your interest?
This first-team All-SEC junior is a versatile 3-4 defender who can drop back into coverage and use his explosiveness to make plays all over the field.
That's the good, but of course the big question is about Jones' medical condition, spinal stenosis.
The 6'2", 245-pound outside linebacker spoke to the media (via CBSSports.com) in Indianapolis about his ailment:
"Most of the doctors checked me out and feel that I'm fine," Jones said. "I don't have any contusion or anything like that in it. I only had one incident, a stinger at USC in 2009, my freshman year. I never had any symptoms after that...The doctors felt that I was healthy today. So I'm excited."
Still not a slam dunk in the health department, but worth a 10-to-15 range pick in the opening round? Yes please.
In this "what-if" draft, the Browns have signed a viable OLB free agent, such as Baltimore's Paul Kruger, and Jabaal Sheard projects as another probable pass-rushing option.
If need be, Jones can be kept fresh as Ray Horton's multi-front system flies players on and off the field to confuse opposing offenses.
Close your eyes, cross all fingers and call out Jarvis Jones' name on draft day, Mr. Banner. It may turn out to be the best risk you ever take.
Follow Andy McNamara on Twitter @AndyMc81