The NFL Draft is still two months away, but plenty of writers, reporters, and analysts have been trying to predict the picks that each team will make. Whether it’s off of their big board or just their mock draft, plenty of people have tried their hand at projecting who will go where and at what pick.
One of the handful of writers who are very well respected when looking ahead to the draft is Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller. Tuesday night, while responding to plenty of questions from people around the Twitterverse, he was asked a very good question about the Browns: What would be the perfect scenario for them in the first two rounds.
His answer? Select defensive end Myles Garrett No. 1, then follow up with cornerback Quincy Wilson, quarterback Pat Mahomes, and Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan.
Raekwon McMillan https://t.co/QKiDl61OOd
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 22, 2017
No. 1: Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett
Effectively a consensus first-overall selection by any and all writers across the NFL (save for this guy), Garrett would be a game-changer on the Browns’ defensive front. He would give the team a legitimate edge rusher that they haven’t had in years, and on a cost-controlled contract.
In his third and final season as an Aggie, Garrett finished with 32 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and 15 tackles for loss in just 10 games. His numbers aren’t eye-popping, but part of the reason for that was due to the fact that the defensive end was double- or even triple-teamed for much of the season. The defensive end has the speed, strength, and athletic ability to dominate in the NFL.
Garrett is the top player on Miller’s Big Board.
No. 12: Florida CB Quincy Wilson
No. 8 on Miller’s Big Board (No. 1 cornerback), he believes Wilson is the most NFL-ready CB, with the best man coverage and potential. In short, he would be quite the talent to get at No. 12 and would give the Browns a legitimate cornerback to put opposite of Joe Haden and/or be the team’s top defensive back for years to come. Going back-to-back playmakers on defense would be a huge gift for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
As a junior at Florida, Wilson finished with 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, three interceptions (one pick six), and six passes defended. At 6-foot-1, 213 pounds, Wilson has the body type to be elite in the league.
No. 33: Texas Tech QB Pat Mahomes
In search of a quarterback and due to the draft not having a legitimate top quarterback this season, Maholmes not only his the size to be a NFL quarterback, but he has the arm and build as well.
While at Texas Tech, his stats improved drastically all three seasons. As a junior, he completed 388-of-591 passes for 5,052 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 10 interceptiions. The 6-foot-3, 230 pound gunslinger would provide head coach Hue Jackson with a QB that he can develop himself and also one that does not have to start from Day 1, rather ease his way into the NFL game.
Mahomes is No. 54 on Miller’s Big Board, so this could be quite a reach for the quarterback. But if the Browns are confident that he could be their guy down the road, no pick is too high for the gunslinger.
No. 52: Ohio State MLB Raekwon McMillan
A former Buckeye, many Browns fans were able to see what McMillan could do on most Saturdays in the fall. Whether it was step back in pass coverage or get into the opponent’s backfield, he really could do it all. In his third and final season in Columbus in 2016, the junior finished with 102 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks, and five passes defended.
McMillan is No. 42 on Miller’s Big Board and considered the best strong-side linebacker and fourth-best LB overall.
Although the Browns need plenty of help at other positions, being able to grab talent like this at No. 52 would be impressive. A linebacking core of McMillan, Jamie Collins, and Christian Kirksey that they could build around for years to come? I’ll take that.
Many mock drafts and projections could change following the combine, but as of right now, this is what Miller believes would be the perfect scenario for the Browns heading into the draft in late April.
The first round of the draft will begin April 27.