Cleveland Browns Mock Draft Roundup
We are inching closer and closer to the NFL draft, which means mock draft season is almost over. Thank god. Cleveland Browns fans they have literally seen their team select every player under the sun in these fantasy musings.
One expert has Johnny Manziel becoming the Browns next quarterback, while another has them selecting a lineman. Either one could spark a protest march on the team’s facility in Berea.
Could Sammy Watkins end up as the second half of a dynamic pass-catching duo in Cleveland? Maybe Khalil Mack will be a monster that roams the center for the Browns defense for the next decade. The truth will be revealed in less than two weeks.
Before we get to live in reality, however, let’s frolic in fantasy land one more time as we take inventory on exactly who the experts have the Browns selecting in the draft.
1st Round: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M and Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Dane Brugler, CBS Sports
One of the most trusted names in mock drafting is CBS Sports' Dane Brugler. He has the Browns snagging the biggest name fourth and what some think could end up being the best cornerback in the draft 26th.
The city of Cleveland would be torn directly down the middle, as it seems most people are split on Johnny Manziel as the answer at quarterback. The drafting of cornerback Kyle Fuller would be met with much less resistance.
Quick Poll- Do you want the #Browns to draft Johnny Manziel at 4? RT for YES. Favorite for NO
— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) April 23, 2014
Here is Brugler’s reasoning behind the picks:
The Browns will give Brian Hoyer a shot, but is he the long-term option? No, Ray Farmer and his staff weren't at Manziel's pro day, but if you think that means they're not interested, you'd be wrong. ...
As the Browns begin talks to lock up Joe Haden long-term, they'll also be looking to draft a worthy counterpart for the No. 2 cornerback spot in Cleveland. Fuller has the instincts and natural athleticism to be an impact performer on the inside or outside.
I agree with Brugler that the Browns’ brass not attending Manziel’s pro day means absolutely nothing. He has the “it factor” that owner Jimmy Haslam wants. That means it would be up to general manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine to prove why he should not be the guy.
Who they should select: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M and Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA
I think the Browns will go with Manziel if he is available, and why the heck not? They have literally tried everything else to turn the franchise around, so what could this really hurt?
At least it will be an entertaining ride.
I really like Fuller, but I think that the Browns should snag a Pro Bowl guard if he is available at 26. Xavier Su’a-Filo has a bunch of trips to Hawaii in his future and not just because his name sounds like a Hawaiian desert.
2nd Round: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
Mel Kiper, ESPN.com (subscription required)
The man with the biggest hair and biggest reputation during the NFL draft is ESPN’s Mel Kiper. When he drops a mock draft, it makes more waves than a diss record in the hip-hop community.
Whether that last line made any sense to you or not it does not change the fact that when Kiper talks, people listen. He has the Browns selecting a wide receiver in the second round but not one we have seen mentioned very often.
Davante Adams is a 6’1”, 212-pound wide receiver who posted big numbers at Fresno State last season. He had 1,645 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. Here is Kiper’s reasoning behind the pick:
At this stage the Browns have already drafted a QB and a CB, both positions of need, and here they take advantage of the great depth at wide receiver and get a player like Adams who could become a very good No. 2 behind Josh Gordon.
Who they should select: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
If you have followed my Browns coverage since the season ended, then this pick should come as no surprise to you. I think Robinson has special talent that will flourish in the right system.
3rd Round: Ed Reynolds, FS, Stanford and Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor
Dan Williams, RantSports.com
It is tough to find people who write quality seven-round mock drafts. Dan Williams of RantSports.com did a nice job with this one. Unfortunately, I could not disagree more with his projected picks in the third round.
First, he has the Browns taking free safety Ed Reynolds. I like Reynolds a lot but cannot see them selecting a safety this early in the draft. Tashaun Gipson proved last year he is a quality starte,r and a pick this early could be put to better use elsewhere.
I absolutely hate the selection of Cyril Richardson. He is a guard who severely lacks athleticism. He performed very poorly at the combine and through his pro day workouts. No thank you.
Here is Williams’ reasoning behind the picks:
The Browns need secondary help; while they have a young free safety in Tashaun Gipson, he is unproven. Selecting Ed Reynolds in the third round would give the Browns another option to play opposite veteran Donte Whitner. ...
The Browns will look to draft multiple offensive lineman in 2014. Cleveland is still searching for viable options to start along with Joe Thomas and Alex Mack. Lacking depth at guard, the Browns could be selecting the 6-foot-5, 340 pound Baylor product.
Who they should select: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska and Christian Jones, ILB, Florida State
These are two more guys for which I have been pounding the drum for months. Stanley Jean-Baptiste is one of the best cornerback prospects in the entire draft. He is big, physical and showed very good speed at the Nebraska pro day.
Christian Jones is not a typical inside linebacker. He is a freak athlete who has some room on his frame to add muscle. His playmaking ability is undeniable, however, and his coverage skills would be off the chart for his position.
4th Round: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU and Marqueston Huff, FS, Wyoming
Matt Miller, BleacherReport.com
When it comes to the seven-round mock draft, there is just one master, and he resides with us at Bleacher Report. Matt Miller is the most respected name in complete mock drafts. It is a daunting task to figure out literally hundreds of picks, but he does it well.
Miller has the Browns adding a running back in Jeremy Hill and addressing the free safety position with Marqueston Huff. The 127th pick is a much more realistic place for the Browns to select a free safety, so this could very well happen. They do need depth.
Hill is a guy that a lot of scouts are split on. He has all the talent but lots of red flags to go along with it. Off the field, he pleaded guilty for assault in 2013 and was also on probation for a sexual case in 2010.
Who they should select: Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State and Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
If Jack Mewhort lasts until this point in the draft he will be an absolute steal. The 6’6”, 310-pound monster would instantly push Mitchell Schwartz at the right tackle position.
I also have the Browns selecting a running back in the fourth round, but this time it is Lache Seastrunk. He is a quick, shifty runner who has game-breaking ability. He would be a perfect compliment to Ben Tate.
He is also pretty good in pass protection, which is something they will need to have in their third-down back.
5th: Chris Smith, OLB, Ark, 6th: Dri Archer, RB, Kent, 7th: Connor Shaw, QB, SC
Matt Miller, BleacherReport.com
Once again we go with the picks from our very own seven-round mock draft guru Matt Miller. He has the Browns closing out the last three rounds with a linebacker, running back and quarterback.
This is the part of the draft where you have to look at upside more than anything else. The question every team needs to ask themselves at this point is, “What can this player possibly become?”
If you are looking for immediate impact, then you will always be disappointed in this realm of picks.
I really like the selection of Chris Smith in the fifth round because he would be a great special teams player. He could also possibly get a few snaps at linebacker right away for the Browns. He is an aggressive hitter, which is something that Mike Pettine looks for in his linebackers.
I do not think that Dri Archer will last until the sixth round, but if he does, the Browns better snatch him up. He will never be a feature back but could be a unique weapon for whichever team snags him.
If the Browns selected Connor Shaw, or any other quarterback for that matter, in the seventh round, then it would be for the practice squad. The Browns already have enough quarterback youth and will need to bring a veteran. A guy like Shaw would have no realistic shot at making the roster.
Who they should select
- Fifth round: Chris Smith, OLB, Arkansas
- Sixth round: Dri Archer, RB, Kent
- Seventh round: Jay Prosch, FB, Auburn
As I said earlier, I love the selection of Smith. He would be a perfect developmental linebacker who would contribute on special teams immediately. People forget that teams actually draft players based on special teams ability too.
Working under the assumption that Archer will be there in the sixth round, I think it is a great pick. Like I said, however, I don’t really see a scenario where he falls past the fourth round, let alone the fifth.
Instead of a quarterback, I have the Browns rounding out their 2014 draft with a fullback. They do not have one on the roster currently, and Prosch should be able to step right into that role.