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A Teez, some Peppers, and Myles: SD Tribune Mock for Browns

March is almost here. April follows March. The NFL Draft is in April. We are almost there.

The 2017 NFL Combine is set to take center stage in the NFL’s pre-draft preparation cycle this week. Hand size, shuttle time, and Wonderlic will once again enter the lexicon of football enthusiasts. While the combine is important for front offices to obtain reliable measurables on the players as well as conduct interviews, the entire experience is well over-blown as no actual football is to be played.

Mock drafts that change drastically after the combine should only be due to a measurable- such as height- having been grossly inaccurate beforehand or due to a significant revelation on a red flag (medical or character) that was previously unknown. Great fun will be had seeing quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Mitch Trubisky compete head-to-head in drills, but the “winner” in Indianapolis has no guarantee of being the better quarterback come September.

The Browns own future HOFer Joe Thomas has his own thoughts about the combine.

Against the backdrop of the impending NFL Combine, the San Diego Tribune released their mock draft. Eddie Brown believes that the Browns will target filling their greatest needs early rather than selecting on a pure Best Player Available strategy. As such, the Browns end up with a pass rusher, quarterback, cornerback, center, and safety. The only departure from the need-based strategy is selecting a tight end in the fourth round.

No. 1 DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

The Browns have the most ammunition to land Jimmy Garoppolo if the Patriots make him available — why wouldn’t they? — so they pressure to land a quarterback here is alleviated. Plus, Garrett is the best player in this draft and capable of being a dominant force as an edge rusher at the next level. Many like to compare him to Von Miller — same college and everything! — but that’s a little lazy. He’s bigger and stronger than Miller. An apt comparison could be Jevon Kearse. Top needs: QB, C, S

There has been some understandable backlash against Garrett recently as the best prospect in the draft. Not from the scouting community, but from fans who are wary of a player being so universally acclaimed as the best prospect. Of course, Garrett could bust. He could spend too much time in his NFL career injured or playing hurt that limits his impact. Perhaps offensive lineman who are closer to him in athleticism will give him more trouble than those in college. However, he is a special talent with a fantastic work ethic. The risk of Garrett not reaching the height of being at least a disruptive pass rusher is minimal enough that no other pick in this class makes sense to take over him. Don’t need to grin and bear it; just draft Myles Garrett.

No. 12 CB Teez Tabor, Florida

The Browns have tried desperately to add a decent cornerback opposite Joe Haden. They go back to the Gator well to find one. Tabor is arguably the best corner in this draft class because of his elite ball-skills and athleticism. Top needs: QB, C, S

Teez Tabor in the 2017 NFL Draft is what Justin Gilbert was to the 2014 NFL Draft. Both are incredible athletic players who have higher ceilings than anyone else in their draft class. However, both are players who have rejected authority and refuse to work within a team structure. While Gilbert’s red flags were mostly rumor and conjecture during the build up to his draft, Tabor has been suspended multiple times for his. Some team will take the risk that they can harness the athletic gifts of Tabor. That team will not be one who was so recently fell off the carousel attempting to grab a similar brass ring.

No. 33 LB-S Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

Speaking of consensus picks, many mocks have the multi-talented, uber-athletic Peppers going to the New England Patriots at the No. 32 pick where Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia can creatively utilize his skillset. If somehow Peppers does fall through the first round, then the Browns could have a steal for a player whom defensive coordinator Gregg Williams could easily slot into his hybrid defensive schemes.

No. 52 C Ethan Pocic, LSU

There have been reports since Senior Bowl week that Pocic is not strong enough despite his fantastic athleticism. He is one of the players who can prove something to the scouting community in Indianapolis if he trains well. However, he has another player who has been working with LeCharles Bentley at OL Performance to sculpt himself into the best NFL player possible. If Pat Elflein can prove that he has significantly improved his strength, then the good footwork he displays on film might matter more to his profile. Elflein versus Pocic is a draft battle worth watching for Browns fans.

Other selections
65. Cleveland — Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami, Jr.
97. Cleveland — Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama, rSr.

Last word
Drafting for need is not usually a winning strategy. The Browns have so many needs that drafting the best available player at each slot would also be drafting a need. Taking a player such as Tabor would be disheartening. Throwing a pick at Kaaya in the third round (a Kessler-light type player) seems like a waste of a resource. Still, a draft where the Browns walk away with Garrett and Peppers would be better than any they have had in recent years.

  • jpftribe

    This would be a high risk draft. I mocked at least 7 drafts last week taking the BPA every Browns pick using 3 different rankings. All of them were very good drafts until the 4th round, and none as risky as this one. 5th and 6th rounds seemed to be dominated by mediocre WR prospects where you would obviously go towards need at other positions. I had one draft where the last 4 picks were WR.

  • RGB

    Ignore Tabor’s potential to self destruct, and I like that draft.
    Using his picks, my tweaks:
    1. MYLES.
    12. Sidney Jones – CB, Washington (Possibly Marlon Humphrey – CB, Alabama)
    33. I’m fine with Peppers here. (Although Bolles – OT, Utah is tempting.)
    52. I’ll take Pocic all day at 52. Buuuut, he has Elflein available at #90, so I may pass on Pocic here for Gareon Conely – CB, SUoO. (DeMArcus Walker – DL, FSU is tempting. I’ve fallen in love with since watching him terrorize UM.)
    65. Pat Elflein – C, SUoO
    97. Marcus Maye – S, FSU

  • mgbode

    I had one draft where the last 4 picks were WR.
    The Browns had one draft like that – just last year!

  • NankirPhelge

    I hope the Browns have adopted the following as one of their we-learned-the-hard-way rules of drafting:

    Character counts: Never draft a guy who’s been suspended multiple times.

    This sounds like a no-brainer to me, but we’ve seen that no-brainer has different meanings.

    If the San Diego writer had some closer ties to the ongoing disaster here, I don’t think he’d put Teez down at 12.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi MG … i thought you were high on Kaaya … what happened ??

  • Jaker

    Certainly not my favorite mock out there, but we would be leaving the draft with 4 possibly 5 new starters, so its hard to say its that bad

    My fix while going along with this mock: sub in Humphrey/Wilson for Tabor at 12, Njoku for Pocic at 52, then Elflein in 3rd, Montravius Adams in the 4th. Improve at TE, CB and arguably getting the same quality at OL, and adding a DT that could possibly start at 3tech. We would be ignoring QB, unless we wanted to go Watson/Mahomes at 33 over Peppers.

    Stick with that and you have 6 long term starters.

  • tigersbrowns2

    i’d takeTabor’s teammate , CB Qunicy Wilson , before i took Tabor … we can’t afford another questionable character … well , unless it’s Chad Kelly in the 7th round.

  • tigersbrowns2

    i agree … the only good thing about the above mock is the first 3 picks were all very good athletes on the defensive side of the ball & they should be able to contribute immediately … and i’b bet Pocic or Elfein would start as well.

  • jpftribe

    Yeah, that’s kinda the point. BPA in first three rounds works because they have so many needs, they are potentially upgrading with each pick. When you get to the later rounds, you want to start reaching in areas you haven’t addressed.

  • jpftribe

    Sure it’s easy to wallow in the despair of a franchise that hasn’t won anything in 20 years, but this is proof positive that winning can cause brain damage as well.

  • mgbode

    I was in Week 3 but he didn’t hold up under close examination.

    Any pressure and he gets skittish. Like feet all over, ball sailing or short. His arm is also not as strong as I thought it might be.

    His release is beautiful. Flick of the wrist and the ball is out. I think he has too many issues to go before Round 4 though, which is backup QB territory.

  • mgbode

    we all have our vices – yours is Chad Kelly

  • BenRM

    LOL. Well thanks for making the decision easy. Tyrod taylor cut yet?

  • Saggy

    Trade down and take Allen.
    No Teez.
    And just as a reminder: No Jimmy G. (unless for 2nd rounder).

    I’d be ecstatic with Peppers in the second round.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi SAGGY … i know you are the spokesperson for trading down … and yes , it could work out real well for the Browns … what if the Browns trade down & DON’T get Allen because somebody jumped in front of us & took him after we traded down … wouldn’t we be screwed & look like buffoons ?? if we don’t end-up with either one (Garrett or Allen) that’s gonna look real bad.

    so , unless we trade down to #2 , it is a risk … i don’t see anyone trading into the #1 overall pick for a QB.

  • tigersbrowns2

    fair enough …

  • paulbip

    Tabor will end up playing for the Leavenworth Lifers. Garrett will be too busy trying to get a sack to set the edge. Peppers has no position to play in the NFL. Take Allen who can play any position on the line and Foster who is the best MLB in years.

  • mgbode

    You don’t think Garrett sets the edge well?

    I have been trying to find film of any team getting outside of him. I have come up empty so far. Do you have evidence?

  • scripty

    Any word on Tabor’s leadership, intangibles, mental stability?

  • Skulb

    The Universe is full of conflicts. One of them is that each year the draft rankings appear as if by magic, and almost everyone in the sports media agrees by osmosis. Yet each season there are enormous first round busts and undrafted people who do well. It’s almost as if it might be best to do one’s own thinking/scouting or something. Then again, what do I know?

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