Cleveland Browns 2013 Mock Draft: Predictions After First Week of Free Agency

Andy McNamaraCorrespondent IIMarch 17, 2013

Cleveland Browns 2013 Mock Draft: Predictions After First Week of Free Agency

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    The AFC North landscape has changed following the first week of NFL free agency and the Cleveland Browns addressed some crucial needs.

    This complete Browns mock draft takes into account all player additions, which included pass-rushing specialist Paul Kruger, outside linebacker Quentin Groves and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant.

    High-profile options at tight end, offensive guard and quarterback are off the open market, meaning that CEO Joe Banner must tackle some of these requirements in this April's draft.

    Since the team's front office is dead set on adding competition for Brandon Weeden, this mock finally solves that dilemma without overspending in a trade or wasting a high pick on a QB.

    Let's skip ahead to the future and see what new hopefuls will be donning the orange helmet.

Round 6: Two Picks

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    Cleveland acquired their additional sixth-round selection and lost a seventh-round choice in the trade last August of David Sims to the Philadelphia Eagles


    First Pick: (fifth in the round) Tommy Bohanon (FB)

    Tommy Bohanon's value shot up following terrific performances at the Senior Bowl and scouting combine.

    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.

    It doesn't appear that tight end Alex Smith is going to be re-signed and he wasn't a long-term solution for the position anyway. Smith is at least serviceable, but original starter Owen Marecic became a complete disaster last season.

    Drafting Bohanon fills an immediate need and would be a smart addition.

    The Wake Forest alum impressed at the combine by out-lifting all running backs in the bench press competition (36 reps of 225 pounds).

    That type of strength suggests that he possesses the desired brute force at the FB position. The 6'1", 246 pound Demon Deacon becomes extra appealing since he blends that power with speed.

    Hustling to a 40-yard time of 4.81 seconds at the combine is respectable and implies that he can clear lanes for Trent Richardson.

    The senior also showed flashes of offensive contribution in 2012 by scoring five touchdowns through the air and making 23 receptions.


    Second Pick: (seventh in the round) Sean Renfree (QB)

    A classic drop-back pocket passer with a powerful arm, Sean Renfree could be that hidden quarterback gem in this year's draft.

    At 6'3" he brings the height that Norv Turner likes to have in his offense. However, the reason no one is talking about Renfree is because of an injury suffered to his throwing shoulder in the last game of this past season.

    That ailment kept the Blue Devils' gunslinger out of the East-West Shrine Game as well as the NFL Scouting Combine. It is also still doubtful whether he'll be able to throw at Duke's pro day on March 25.

    The Arizona born signal caller loves to heave the ball downfield and isn't afraid to take chances...something his career 32-30 touchdown-to-interception ratio would imply.

    Since the Browns front office appears determined to bring in at least one new QB to training camp, then Renfree's skill set makes him absolutely worth rolling the dice on with a sixth-round pick.


    Information on the distribution of compensatory picks are coming out this week so that should give the Browns some later selections to tack on an offensive guard and possibly a kicker.

Round 5

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    Bringing on a tough Ohio State defender always goes over well with fans in the Lake Erie area.

    Etienne Sabino is definitely a project, but provides the raw upside that is well worth a fifth-round selection.

    The Browns can afford a work in progress type linebacker since the pass rush was already heavily addressed by the signings of Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves in free agency.

    The Buckeye earned an All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2012 despite being inactive for several games because of surgery on a broken fibula. Sabino was top 10 in team tackles with 45 through eight matches.

    At 6'2" and 247 pounds, he is an athletic blitzer with a downhill style and impressive range. Sabino's speed allows for catching opponents from behind and he is a technically sound tackler.

    A slam on the Florida native is the time it can take him to break down a play and make adjustments on the fly. His scouting combine numbers came back average as No. 6 ran a 4.75 second 40 and benched 225-pounds 24 times.

    Most likely a special teams player to begin his NFL career, Cleveland's coaching staff can work on molding him into their next surprise impact LB like Craig Robertson was this past season.

Round 4

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    Coming off of a below-average season on a lousy Trojan team, T.J. McDonald upped his stock during the preparation week leading up to the Senior Bowl.

    The son of former NFL Pro Bowl safety Tim McDonald, demonstrated for NFL scouts his excellent acceleration and skills in being a physical run defender. He was also a top performer at the combine in the vertical jump (40") and broad jump (131") events.

    Bleacher Report's Lead Draft Writer, Matt Miller had the following to say:

    "The first thing you notice is his great size—McDonald is big with long arms and legs. That translates to good range, as he's able to cover the field well and has the length to go up and get the ball at its highest point."

    McDonald's being 6'2" and 219 pounds is good news for Cleveland because they can pair him up with veteran strong safety T.J. Ward.

    The USC free safety is someone that could fight for the starting job against current personnel at the position in Usama Young and Eric Hagg. He'll have to work on his turn-and-run flexibility as well as overall reaction time to make that happen in 2013.

    Adding another aggressive playmaker to the secondary would be music to defensive coordinator Ray Horton's ears. McDonald may be just the man to add that depth.

Round 3

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    If Cleveland is unable to reel in highly touted tight end Fred Davis in free agency, then they have no choice but to make the position its No. 2 priority in the entry draft.

    There seems to be no attempt to re-sign Benjamin Watson and top players such as Jared Cook, Martellus Bennett and Brandon Myers have already found new homes.

    So far the Browns were only able to grab seldom used TE Gary Barnidge from the Carolina Panthers, where head coach Rob Chudzinski was offensive coordinator from 2011-12.


    Vance McDonald

    Vance McDonald out of Rice is slated to be a late second/early third-round choice according to NFL Network's Mike Mayock. This means that he has a chance to fall to the Browns.

    McDonald's success at the scouting combine demonstrated speed (4.69 second 40), strength (31 reps of 225 pounds) and agility (11.73 second 60-yard TD shuttle).

    The former Owl is a dynamite slot receiver and blocks effectively in space. He does bobble the ball and needs coaching up to take care of below average inline blocking.

    McDonald's sturdy 6'4", 267 pound frame creates the desired physical mismatches over the middle and he is able to burst upfield following the catch.

    Utilizing him, Barnidge and Jordan Cameron should provide the Browns enough talent at tight end to get by in 2013.


    The Browns do not currently own a second-round pick since it was used on wide receiver Josh Gordon in last year's supplemental draft. Sixth overall selection is up next...

Round 1

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    Adding Paul Kruger, Quentin Groves and Desmond Bryant via free agency helps to solidify Cleveland's front seven. Now it is cornerback that catapults to the top of coordinator Ray Horton's defensive needs list.

    Two of the five teams that draft ahead of the Browns had legitimate concerns in their secondary before the market opened up on March 12.


    Philadelphia Eagles

    The Eagles select fourth and may be turning their attention towards offense because of their free-agent signings.

    Cornerback Bradley Fletcher, safety Patrick Chung, defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga and linebacker Jason Phillips already signifies a heavy investment on defense.


    Detroit Lions 

    Detroit's starting left tackle, Jeff Backus, retired on March 14 and that means they require a top-tier LT to protect quarterback Matt Stafford.

    On defense the Lions retained cornerback Chris Houston and safety Louis Delmas. Detroit also agreed to terms with now former Houston Texans safety Glover Quin. 

    Taking care of the secondary may suggest that the Lions turn the focus of their fifth overall draft pick to pass rush.


    Dee Milliner

    Those above situations leaves Alabama standout CB Dee Milliner all alone for Browns CEO Joe Banner to gobble up.

    The club better hope that is the case, especially since they failed to bring aboard big names like Keenan Lewis, Antoine Cason or Aqib Talib to fill the role.

    Fox Sports analyst Alex Marvez reported that the Browns met with soon to be 30-year-old corner Brent Grimes last week. That would typically be great news, however, Grimes missed 15 games in 2012 from a torn Achilles.

    This is by no means a done deal as the Dolphins have expressed interest and the Falcons, his team for the previous six seasons, are pushing hard for a return to Atlanta.

    Even if the Philadelphia, PA native chooses Cleveland, does the front office really want to depend on an aging player coming off of a severe injury?

    Hopefully for Browns fans the answer is no. At best Grimes should be considered a stopgap that gives time for their sixth overall draft pick to develop.

    Yes, commissioner Roger Goodell shall announce Dee Milliner's name to the world as the newest member of the Cleveland Browns.

    The national champion possesses the size, speed and overall athleticism to solve Cleveland's outside corner problem from day one.

    This stud cornerback silenced critics that questioned his speed at the scouting combine by posting a 4.37 second 40-yard dash time.

    The 6'1", 199-pound junior is not afraid to initiate contact in defending against the run and makes opposing quarterbacks pay if challenging him through the air (just ask Notre Dame).

    Earning a unanimous vote to first-team All-SEC in 2012, Milliner led the conference with 22 passes defended, posted four tackles for loss and recorded two interceptions.

    Can the Browns afford not to select him? 


    Follow Andy McNamara on Twitter @AndyMc81