Another Wednesday, another WFNY NFL Mock Draft Roundup. With our fifth installment, we get a little better look at what direction the Cleveland Browns could potentially decide to go following the conclusion of the NFL Combine. Then again, general manager John Dorsey seems to do a great job of not letting anyone know who he will pick, so in reality, these mock drafts are just pure guesses and don’t really seem to have any inside information, at least right now.
With that said, the draft is just 50 days from kicking off, so it’s never too early to look at mock drafts across plenty of different platforms. While mock drafts will surely change throughout the next seven weeks, 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:
After signing Kareem Hunt at running back, re-signing Greg Robinson at left tackle and answering many needs with a stellar 2018 draft class, the Cleveland Browns enter the 2019 draft with few immediate needs.
Finding better boundary players on both sides of the ball is one area of potential improvement.
Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown fits well with what the Browns are doing offensively under Freddie Kitchens. Brown has excellent route-running skills, impressive speed (4.49 seconds) and great physicality at 226 pounds on his 6’0″ frame.
While he often played as a slot receiver in college, that was more a product of the system at Ole Miss. He also has the ability to win on the outside of the formation. That’s where the Browns can use him while letting Jarvis Landry and David Njoku get more one-on-one looks.
John Dorsey is committed to building a fortress around Baker Mayfield to let him thrive as a playmaker from the pocket. Dillard might be the best pass protector in the 2019 class.
*Browns trade up to 13, give Dolphins picks 17 and 96.
The Browns don’t have that many roster holes to address after all the talent they’ve accumulated in recent years, so they should be open to the possibility of sacrificing one of their thirds to move up a few spots with Atlanta and now Tampa Bay also needing corner help. Williams gives the Browns another stud corner to pair with 2018 first-round pick Denzel Ward.
It’s hard not to know and like Baker’s game if you watch SEC football on Saturdays. With much better play speed than track speed, he logged seven interceptions in his time at Georgia and went two years without surrendering a touchdown. Denzel Ward and Baker could form a nice little defensive back duo for the Dawg Pound.
*Browns trade up to 15 to take Oliver before Panthers can do so at 16.
Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver is a special player. With three quarterbacks going in the top ten, it pushed some good players down. Instead of waiting for the Carolina Panthers to take Oliver at No. 16 overall, General Manager John Dorsey leaps over them to select Oliver. The Browns have a dynamic pairing at defensive tackle with Larry Ogunjobi and Oliver but it will cost them fourth and fifth round choices.
Oliver is a top-5 talent but he’s been out of sight, out of mind since early in the college football season. It’s not his fault, but other players have flashed in the meantime and the Browns land Oliver, who will be a 3-technique terror in the NFL.
The Browns can’t go wrong with a Clemson player at No. 17, whether it’s Wilkins or defensive end Clelin Ferrell. Wilkins would give Cleveland the three-technique tackle the defense badly needs. Ferrell would get plenty of snaps, but an end is much lower on the Browns’ list of needs.
The Browns are starved for wide receiver talent outside ofJarvis Landry. They have some young receivers who have upside, but I’m sure Baker Mayfield would prefer a more reliable option like A.J. Brown. A.J. Brown has tremendous athleticism, and he’s been a great weapon for Ole Miss the past couple of years despite their turmoil. Unlike his more-athletic teammate, D.K. Metcalf, Brown was actually productive while in school.
Previous WFNY Mock Draft Roundups:
The best part about all of these roundups so far? Each includes a bunch of different directions the Browns could take at No. 17. It’s still so strange to me that the Browns are not only not projected to draft a quarterback in the first round because of Baker Mayfield, but also the fact that that with such a bright future, it allows Cleveland to take the best player available, especially if it’s at a position of need.
With that said, 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?
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.
Who do you think the Browns will pick at 17?