The Cleveland Browns will once again just miss out on a quarterback and select a skill player in the 2014 NFL Draft, says Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke.
In an entirely-too-early mock draft posted at SI.com, Burke has the Browns selecting fourth, representing a finish of roughly three or four wins in 2013. This said, the Orange and Brown are presently forecasted to miss out on the two quarterbacks slated to lead the pack at this time next year, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Clemson’s Taj Boyd. Instead, they address the wide receiver position with USC’s Marqise Lee.
“Lee is just 6-feet tall, so we’re not talking about a Calvin Johnson-type that’s going to win jump balls consistently,” writes Burke. “What Lee will do, though, is get open and make plays. He caught a whopping 118 passes last season for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. You’re looking at a Heisman frontrunner for 2013 and a player that could dramatically improve an NFL offense.”
If the Browns do finish among the five worst teams in the NFL, it will undoubtedly be due to poor play or a disastrous injury suffered by quarterback Brandon Weeden. Accumulating a slew of picks in 2013, it is widely expected that the Browns will attempt to trade up in the instance they are in need of a passer come next spring. If Boyd’s name rings a bell, it is because the Clemson star was slated to attend Ohio State but opted to go south once it appeared he would have to wait for Terrelle Pryor to finish his tenure with the team.
In 2012, with sure-fire quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III going first and second, respectively, the Browns picked third and selected running back Trent Richardson. Acquiring a third- and fourth-round selection this past weekend, the Browns will head into the 2014 NFL Draft with nine selections at their disposal.