NFL Draft 2011: Cleveland Browns' Seven-Round Mock Draft
I wasn't planning on posting this article for another couple weeks, but I just couldn't help myself.
I've already posted several mock drafts for the Browns, adjusting each time for new data acquired, but this is my final draft.
After hours of watching footage and studying scouting reports, I've finally narrowed down the list of who goes where and I feel very good about the list of players I've prepared.
If anyone has read my articles before, then you know that I'm somewhat of a draft guru, at least in my own mind. At the very least I'm a draft junkie, or maybe draft enthusiast would be a more flattering way of saying it.
This is shaping up to be one of the most interesting drafts in recent memory.
Storylines galore have been popping up ever since Andrew Luck announced he was returning for school his senior year, throwing draft boards everywhere into irreconcilable disarray.
Now it appears that the players may not even show up for the draft in a move to upstage the league because of the labor dispute.
Roger Goodell may be standing on the podium all alone and may even face a chorus of boos from the audience.
Man this is gonna be interesting and I can't wait!
So without any further ado, here is my final seven round mock draft for our beloved Cleveland Browns.
Round One, Pick Six: Da'Quan Bowers, DE Clemson
This almost seems too good to be true.
Bowers had been projected to go as high as the first pick not too horribly long ago, but then the combine happened.
Bowers has been recovering from a knee injury and wasn't able to participate in the combine or his pro day, causing his stock to become a little stagnant. Meanwhile other players have seen their stock soar with excellent showings at the combine and their team workouts.
It's possible that Bowers may be gone by the sixth pick, but it's looking more and more likely that he will be available.
At 6'4" and 280 pounds, Bowers is the prototype 4-3 defensive end.
He led all of college football in sacks last season with 15.5 and plays with explosion, strength, and a ruthless motor.
If Bowers is unavailable, there's a very good chance that Nick Fairley could end up being the pick here, which would be perfectly acceptable consolation prize.
Round Two, Pick 37: Marvin Austin, DT North Carolina
Before last season, many experts were projecting Austin to be a top five pick.
Concerns about his character and work ethic have greatly damaged his stock, but an excellent combine has seen his stock raise considerably.
He has all the measureables. He's 6'2", 309 pounds and has great burst and athleticism for his size. He also did 36 reps on the 225 pound bench press.
He can be the perfect penetrating partner(check out that alliteration) to go along with the space-eating Ahtyba Rubin on the interior of the defensive line.
Another possibility here could be Stephen Paea, who did 49 bench reps but has a history of knee injuries.
If the Browns end up not getting Bowers in the first round, then Brooks Reed from Arizona should be the pick here. He looks like a Clay Matthews clone and would be an excellent rush end in the 4-3.
Round Three, Pick 72: Edmund Gates, WR Abilene Christian
Not many people knew much about Edmund Gates before the combine, but after he ran the 40 in 4.37 seconds people started to take notice.
The speed is nice, but check out the production. Last season he had 66 catches for 1182 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is in the top four in his schools history in catches, yards, touchdowns and scoring. This is from a school that produced Johnny Knox and Miles Austin.
Mike Holmgren said that finding a home run hitter was a priority in this years draft. Wouldn't it be nice to find that home run hitter in round three?
Some might think this is a bit of a reach, but he probably won't make it to the Browns in round four. If they like him, they better jump on him here.
Gates also fits the mold of wide receivers that GM Tom Heckert likes: Short and fast as hell.
He could end up being this year's Desean Jackson.
Greg Little could be another possibility here as well if the Browns want more of a chain-moving red zone type of receiver.
Round Four, Pick 101: Greg Romeus, DE Pittsburg
Greg Romeus is another player who has seen his draft stock drop due to injury. At one point he was considered a potential second round pick.
He missed most of his senior year to injuries, but he compiled eight sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, an interception and three forced fumbles his junior year.
At 6'4" and 264 pounds, he has excellent length but could add some bulk. Even being a little light, he still does very well setting the edge against the run. He could be an absolute steal in the fourth round.
I like him more than projected first round picks Robert Quinn and Aldon Smith. Enough said.
The Browns could look to go in another direction and draft a developmental cornerback in Cortez Allen from the Citadel with this pick.
Round Five, Pick 134: Ross Homan, LB Ohio State
Homan had a slight drop-off in production this past season, but the year before he recorded 108 tackles, two sacks and five interceptions.
The main knock on Homan has been his size and strength. He played at 225 pounds during college, but he answered many of those questions when he showed up and the combine weighing 240 pounds and did 34 reps on the bench press, the most of all linebackers in this years class.
Since then his stock has gone up a little bit.
He's a hustle player that makes sure tackles and seems to have a knack for getting into throwing lanes to pick off passes. He could contribute immediately on special teams.
Another player to consider here would be Boston College's Mark Herzlich, who's stock has slipped after his well documented battle with cancer.
He has yet to return to full form, but would be a credit to any teams' locker room.
Round Six, Pick 162: Marc Schiechl, DE Colorado Mines
You may ask, who the !@#$ is Marc Schiechl?
Until recently, I had never heard of him or his school, Colorado Mines. So allow me to educate you.
Marc Schiechl holds the division ll record for career sacks with 46. He also has 70.5 career tackles for loss.
He ran an unofficial time of 4.68 seconds in the 40 and did 37 bench reps. Impressed yet?
At 6'2" and 255 pounds, he might not seem big enough to play defensive end, but when he showed up for college he only weighed 190 pounds. It seems logical to think that adding a little weight wouldn't be a problem for him.
Another possibility here could be Chattanooga cornerback Buster Skrine who lit up the combine with top five finishes in all of the running drills.
Round Six, Pick 164: Mario Harvey, LB Marshall
I've not heard any draft buzz from any of the experts about Harvey and I have no clue why. Most experts project him to go undrafted which just blows my fragile little mind.
I watched two Marshall games this year and Harvey was the only player on that team that stood out to me even then. He made play after play against Ohio State and West Virginia.
He finished this season with 145 tackles and nine sacks as a middle linebacker. He had over 400 tackles in his career at Marshall.
He converted to linebacker from defensive tackle after his freshman season, so he's very versatile.
The main knock on him is that he's very raw. He's just a beast that plays completely on instinct and physical prowess but needs a lot of refinement, especially in pass coverage where he's a liability.
He could make a great developmental prospect. He converted from a defensive tackle to a linebacker, so it's not unrealistic to think that he could convert to defensive end if he can't develop as a linebacker. He obviously has a nose for the quarterback.