Garrett, Watson, and some LBs : Sporting News Mock for Browns

(Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Trash the mocks you have read until now. With the NFL Combine and the start of NFL free agency behind us, the mocks from even just a week ago have been altered drastically. Team needs and even some evaluations of draft prospects has changed, so it is time for the mocks to change with them. The Sporting News’ Eric Galko’s mock draft was updated Monday night to adjust for these shifts.

The Cleveland Browns were able to revamp their offensive line and sign wide receiver Kenny Britt, while losing wide receiver Terrelle Pryor to the Washington Redskins. So, any relevant mock should take these signings into account.

The Picks:

No. 1 DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

The Browns will be drafting Myles Garrett or trading down to a team searching for a quarterback. Garrett can help rebuild the Browns’ defense.

If it were possible for the Browns to select Garrett as the top overall pick right now so that he could start working out in the Browns facilities and get to know the team more, I think the Browns would do it. But, unfortunately, he cannot be officially named the No. 1 pick until April 27. After the defensive end showed just how much of a freak he is at the NFL Combine, Garrett all but locked up the No. 1 pick by the Browns, if he hadn’t already.

No. 12 QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson

The Browns may have to move up to get Deshaun Watson if he is, in fact, their target. Watson impressed at the NFL Scouting Combine in interviews, and all but assured himself a top-15 pick.

Unlike in years past, NFL Draft experts are having a hard time declaring who the best quarterback is in the draft. Is it Clemson’s Deshaun Watson? North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky? Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer? Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes? Experts cannot determine a consensus top quarterback come April. Each of them have reasons why they could be the best one, but all four also have reasons why they aren’t as well.

Galko believes Watson will be selected by the Browns and the second quarterback off the board, behind only Trubisky (Bills at No. 10) and just ahead of Mahomes (Cardinals at No. 13). Along with being inconsistent at times, Watson’s arm strength could be his biggest deficiency. At the combine, his fast ball thrown was 49 miles per hour. How bad is that? Current Browns quarterback Cody Kessler, who isn’t known for his arm strength or throwing the deep ball, threw 55 miles per hour at the 2016 Combine. In fact, the difference between Watson and Mahomes (60 miles per hour) is the same as between an 83 mile per hour fastball and one clocking in at 100 miles per hour.

No. 33 LB Haason Reddick, Temple

According to both Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller (lists Reddick at No. 20 on Big Board) and CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler (No. 11 on Big Board), nabbing a guy like Reddick at 33 would be a steal. Considered the second-best linebacker and top weak-side linebacker in the draft, he would solidify the Browns’ linebacking corps for the foreseeable future, joining Christian Kirksey and Jamie Collins.

Although he was under-sized for the positions he played for Temple, his athleticism makes up for it. He has the explosiveness and quickness to lock-on to opposing players, whether they have the ball out of the backfield or in coverage. Reddick not only worked as a linebacker at Temple, but also lined up at defensive end. He should be a weakside linebacker with abilities to both rush the quarterback or drop into coverage in Greg William’s defense. Considering he came into college as a cornerback and was a safety (and running back) in high school, the linebacker has experience at all three levels on defense.

No. 50 LB Takkarist McKinley, UCLA

Well, looks like Galko wants the Browns to load up at linebacker, even though two of the best players on the team’s defense are already taking up two linebacking spots. Like Reddick, McKinley doesn’t have ideal size at 6-foot-2, 250 pounds if the Browns want to put him on the line of scrimmage, but he has the athletic ability to make up for it. He also seems to have the relentless effort and work ethic on the field to always get better.

Projected to be a first round pick by many prior to the Combine, he will have shoulder surgery, which could possibly make him miss training camp, hence the reason why he has fallen on many draft boards.

Miller believes he is the best 3-4 outside linebacker, if new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams decides to use that front defensively.

Last word

The draft is loaded with talent all over the field on defense. With the way the Browns secondary struggled for much of 2016, they can improve immensely this off-season in the draft alone. Whether it’s in the front-seven or secondary, there are plenty of players in the upcoming draft that will not only fill holes, but be upgrades for the Browns.

That said, if Watson is head coach Hue Jackson’s guy, they should get him at No. 12. They need to find their franchise quarterback sooner rather than later, so if Jackson believes that Watson is the quarterback of the future, there is no pick in the draft that is “too high” to select him if you’re the Browns.

With so many picks and so much talent in the draft, the Browns must hit on the majority of their picks. They can ill afford to miss on many picks, unlike they have over the years. So far this off-season, the front office has done a good job at improving the team in free agency, now it’s time to see what they can do in the draft.

  • Jeff

    Not sold on any of the QBs are 12. Watson has a low velocity and no injury to account for it. Tyrod Taylor did too, but he was not 100%. Generally QBs with velocity under 55 are not successful.

    I’d be more interested in Webb in the 2nd or even pulling the trigger on Dobbs in the 4th. I think the coaching staff will be more interested in Webb and Dobbs since they’ve worked with both. I could even see them drafting both.

  • Frank

    I don’t like it. I don’t like Watson much at all, and with how often we will be in nickel, even one LB early is a stretch. Two? Get out. Reddick at 33 is probably good value but is it really if he rides the bench for 65% of snaps?

  • mgbode

    Reddick can be a psuedo-weakside DE pass rusher too though. He’s a good enough football player that we can find spots for him.

    Our secondary is still a mess after that draft though & we didn’t help it during FA either.

  • tsm

    Yes. Let’s get some DB’s with some of our 4 selections in the first 2 rounds.

  • Chris

    “The Browns will be drafting Myles Garrett or trading down to a team searching for a quarterback”

    I can’t even put down words to describe the lunacy of the second half of that sentence.

  • Saggy

    Reddick is a 3rd down LB only. Not on board with spending a second-rounder on a part-timer.

    No to QBs in the first 3 rounds.

    I’d like to go DB at 12, and I think they can even trade back to 15-17 and still get the DB they wanted at 12.

  • NankirPhelge

    I know! I thought the same thing, and was going to say so when I read your comment. You said it better than I was going to.

  • Jeff

    It’s completely uninformed reporting from TSN. It’s the worst kept secret in the NFL that the Browns will draft Garrett. Maybe they’d think about trading the pick for a ludicrous haul of three or four first rounders in return, but they’d have to be blown away.

    Garrett looks like a special talent. Fast, strong, and incredible length and quickness. He has the lateral speed to turn the corner and make like a nightmare for an opposing QB. You don’t miss that, especially at an inexpensive five year rate.

  • scripty

    I don’t want to hear it anymore. Watson has a noodle arm and Colt McCoy was 6 mph above that and couldn’t throw a deep out (12-20 yard sideline throw) to save his family’s lives.

    Hard No Thanks. People need to realize Watson-Wiliams was an odd Manziel-Mike Evans situation where the WR masked some issues the QB had.

  • scripty

    When I saw Raekwon there in the 2nd/3rd I knew this was a deep defensive draft. lawdy

  • Chris

    Right? Like the Browns aren’t historically horrible at that position and are just passing on a QB because they don’t need one. If a team is trading into the #1 spot, its because the Browns are choosing to address QB, not the other way around.

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  • Frank

    Even if that’s the case, we shouldn’t be drafting him there unless he’s BPA by a wide margin. There should be no shortage of good players who also have unquestionable fit at 33.

  • RGB

    There is only MYLES.

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  • mgbode

    I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I’d be quite surprised to see Reddick last to the 2nd round (not out of the question but think Pitt is a likely landing spot after they lost Timmons)

  • mgbode

    disagree on Reddick but I don’t think it’ll be an issue (think he’ll be gone)

    that’s a hard line on QBs – interesting

    if Adams somehow falls or Hooker does and his hip isn’t a real issue? could be fun at 12

  • Jaker

    In his defense, Mike Williams missed the entire 2015 season, where Leggett and Artavis Scott were the top options for the Heisman finalist. So that argument has a major hole… But even as one of the biggest Watson defenders, I am souring on him after the MPH thing. He’ll need a very specific offense to do well in. Maybe Hue can do it, but I’m starting to hope San Fran takes him and we go with Trubes or Mahomes

  • Jaker

    Would not approve of this draft. After taking MG #1, I think the only position we should go after in the front 7 is our 3 tech. We have too many needs at CB, S and QB that there will be solid guys we’d be passing at 33 or 52. Demario Davis is a fine 3rd LB, which is less important than a 3rd CB (especially when Joe Haden and his injuries are your 1st CB) in today’s NFL.

    If we went Montravius Adams instead of McKinnley, I’d be happier. And if we went M.Williams (how is he still there at 33?) atop round 2, I’d be on board (even if my doubts of Watson start to arise)

  • Chris

    This Galko guy is a friggin clown. He follows up “or trading down to a team searching for a quarterback” by saying that the first QB off the board goes #10. What team other than the 49ers or Jets need a QB and have the ammo to move up? Yet, he has both of them passing on QB. Idiot.

  • tigersbrowns2

    i don’t know JOSH … Watson at #12 & then 2 LB’s ?? all 3 of these guys are fantastic athletes , BUT , i can’t believe Watson will even be on the Browns radar anymore … not even at #33.

    and it doesn’t make sense to pick 2 LB’s back-to back when S , and possibly CB , are bigger issues. unless you’re thinking about making Reddick a S.

    the Browns are stocked with picks , i think they need to find a way to move up & get Garrett & Adams or Garrett & Hooker.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi JEFF … i agree. at least wait until #33 & see who’s there.

  • tigersbrowns2

    … we MUST nab 2 immediate starters at #1 & #12 … and any QB at #12 would more than likely NOT be a starter.

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