From now until the NFL Draft in late April, Wednesdays should be known as NFL Mock Draft Wednesday, at least here on WFNY every Hump Day morning. As the weeks go on, the 2019 NFL Draft gets closer and closer. It’s now just 64 days away.
With the NFL Scouting Combine beginning next Tuesday and ending six days later on Monday, March 4, both teams and analysts will begin making much clearer predictions simply due to players standing out (or not standing out) in Indianapolis. You can’t put too much stock into the combine, especially with Pro Days still to come, but it all those numbers mean more than you think, especially a skill player’s 40-yard dash time.
Plenty can (and will) change in the next couple months, but let’s take a look at the direction some mock drafts have the Browns going with the No. 17 pick in the first round. In case you don’t see some big-name analysts’ mocks, it’s due to them not having an updated one since last week:
ESPN’s Mel Kiper: DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
I had Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons here in my first Mock Draft, but he tore his ACL and could drop to Day 2. The massive 6-foot-5, 340-pound Lawrence is a different kind of player — he’s not as good of a pass-rusher as Simmons — but he’d fit next to Larry Ogunjobi, who has come into his own. I’ve been told to expect Lawrence to work out well at the combine, too. GM John Dorsey could also try to get a weapon for Baker Mayfield here.
It’s worth noting that Kiper has Alabama OT Jonah Williams and Clemson DT Christian Wilkins going right after the Browns at No. 18 and 19. Those two have been linked to Cleveland by many analysts.
Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski: OT Greg Little, Ole Miss
The Cleveland Browns are finally building toward something after years of varying rebuilds. But last season’s 7-8-1 record shows the roster is far from complete.
With Baker Mayfield now in the fold, Cleveland can concentrate on other important areas.
Despite having one of the league’s best offensive interiors, neither tackle spot is settled. Greg Robinson is a free agent, which leaves the blind side unprotected. Chris Hubbard might have started 16 games last season, but he struggled to get any push in the ground game and anchor in pass protection. Furthermore, the Browns can save $4.1 million by releasing the right tackle.
In either case, Ole Miss’ Greg Little fits a potential area of need.
The former five-star recruit may not quite have satisfied the expectations heaped upon him, but his movement skills are good enough to man left tackle with the power at 6’6″ and 325 pounds to improve the strong side. It doesn’t matter which side Little ultimately plays, because he’s an immediate starter in Cleveland.
CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
Metcalf has drawn comparisons to Josh Gordon but without the off-field concerns. If you’re looking to replace Gordon’s productivity, why not go with the player who reminds you of him? Metcalf is our top wide receiver and he can take over games.
CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin: DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
*Dubin has the Browns trading up to No. 10 and taking Lawrence with what used to be Denver’s pick.The Browns have spent a lot of time accumulating picks and they cash in some right here to move into the top 10 and snag Lawrence, who forms an absolutely devastating defensive line with Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi and company.
NFL.com’s Charley Casserly: LB Devin White, LSU
Excellent instincts and athletic ability. Too good of a player to pass up here.
The Ringer’s Danny Kelly: OT Andre Dillard, Washington State
Adding Dillard would give Cleveland a chance to install a pass-blocking savant at the left tackle spot. The former Cougars lineman combines nimble feet with balance and top-tier mirroring skills to keep opposing rushers at bay. He’d provide a big boost to quarterback Baker Mayfield’s ongoing development.
Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
While his college teammate A.J. Brown is the shorter, scrappier playmaker, Metcalf is the classic size-speed prospect (6-foot-4, 230 pounds). That’s the kind of outside No. 1 the Browns’ offense needs to push the ball better both downfield and in the red zone with Baker Mayfield, especially now that we know their new head coach, Freddie Kitchens, won’t be messing with the passing game.
For The Win’s Steven Ruiz: OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
Some may have concerns about Jonah Williams’ length, but the dude is a nasty blocker who will overpower defensive linemen. The up-and-coming Browns need to figure out their tackle situation if they’re going to take the next step in 2019.
The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak: CB Greedy Williams, LSU
Cleveland and first-round corners is really my favorite team-need marriage of this young draft season, as I think a foil to Denzel Ward really takes that defense to the next level.
Greedy isn’t nearly as polished a player as Ward was coming out, but he does over a length profile that Ward doesn’t have, while also showing the potential to wipe a man-coverage assignment from the ball-game. His fall out of the Top-10 is mostly due to effort questions, especially in the running game — but it isn’t hard to overlook those issues when you see the best coverage reps he has to offer.
Previous WFNY Mock Draft Roundups:
What say you, Browns fans? Do you have a certain position(s) that you want the Browns to focus on early in the draft, specifically in the first round? Do you have a can’t-miss guy(s) that if they drop to No. 17, you want Cleveland to take and it would be considered a steal? Do you want them to trade up since they have a surplus of picks? If you had a perfect plan for the draft, specifically the first round, what would it consist of?
With that said, if there is a certain mock draft(s) that you feel as though we should include in these, please let us know. The more mock drafts and predictions, the better.