Colin Kaepernick and Jay Cutler still scour theladders.com in hopes of finding new employment, but as even the Josh McCown’s of the NFL world are finding new homes, the impact portion of free agency is petering out. With the NFL Combine in the rearview mirror, and assorted pro days dotting the landscape through the NFL Draft, the prospects are also finding time is short to further impress or depress their draft stock.
As such, a littany of new mock drafts have popped up to account for any recent changes. NFL.com decided to have each of their main four writers run their new mocks side-by-side to demonstrate what is believed to be known versus what is pure speculation at this point in the process. Bucky Brooks, Daniel Jeremiah, Charlie Casserly, and Chad Reuter each have differing opinions on many items as it pertains to the 2017 NFL Draft, but it is more interesting in where they are aligned in thought.
Here is how they see the Cleveland Browns attacking the draft.
No. 1 overall selection
Brooks: DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Jeremiah: DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Casserly: DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Reuter: DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
The Browns are not hiding their obvious intention to draft Myles Garrett with the first overall pick. They have not stated such publicly, but there are enough sourced reports to fully believe only a scandal with Garrett could cause a different selection. As noted before at WFNY, Garrett is as clean a prospect off the field as he is on it.
Myles Garrett engaged with Colin Jeter. Josh Boutte has free shot pulling from RG. Most DE's are getting flattened right here. Holds his own pic.twitter.com/SI4Ll2GhVl
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) March 10, 2017
No. 12 overall selection
Brooks: TE O.J. Howard, Alabama
Jeremiah: TE O.J. Howard, Alabama
Casserly: QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
Reuter: QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Both Casserly and Reuter have the Browns being able to select any quarterback they wish. Reuter is not concerned about Watson’s lack of velocity on this throws, while Casserly must believe Trubisky matches the prototypical Hue Jackson quarterback best.
Brooks and Jeremiah believe the Browns will bypass the potential in quarterbacks available to target the player who might be the most intriguing offensive weapon in the draft. Howard did not put up huge numbers at Alabama, but he demonstrated his outright skill in the National Championship game against Clemson and increased his draft stock at the Senior Bowl. He has the potential of being a great blocker and receiver at the position, which is a difficult one to find, and the last time the Browns took a tight end from the Crimson Tide, it worked out well enough.
— Bradley Ylitalo (@NFL_drafthub) March 4, 2017
Other notes of interest:
As has become more commonplace as of late, none of the analysts have Patrick Mahomes III being selected in the first round. If it plays out that way, then it would be possible to get him a weapon at No. 12 in Howard (or a safety or a cornerback), then take a quarterback at No. 33. In fact, only Casserly has DeShone Kizer being selected in the first round though all four have Trubisky and Watson being taken. There would be some tense moments as there are multiple teams in the 20s who could take a signal caller, and there are multiple teams who could jump back into the first round to do so too.
The strategy is as intriguing as it is risky.