The Browns are effectively an expansion team, so they need to focus on drafting the best player available. With Myles Jack's knee being a growing issue, that would be Ezekiel Elliott in this case. Elliott is a local product who would add a much-needed weapon to Cleveland's horrible offense. I think he's a safe prospect to mock here because only Dallas stands in the way of him falling to No. 8.
Of course, there's a possibility of a trade. The Dolphins or Bears could move up for Elliott. If they do, that's fine, since this selection will still be correct. Either way, Elliott should be the eighth pick in the draft as long as he's not fourth.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Myles Jack, LB - I found it interesting that Cleveland's vice president of football operations, Sashi Brown, declined to comment on Jack's knee. He refused to say anything about it, so perhaps he's trying to hide his interest.
2. Ronnie Stanley, OT - Stanley is a more-logical choice, but he may not be available.
Rd. 2, Pk. 1
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
I don't think Paxton Lynch will be available when the Browns are scheduled to be on the clock. The Jets and Chiefs could both take him, or perhaps the Broncos could move up ahead of Kansas City. Thus, the Browns will have to plot a trade of their own, which is very feasible because they happen to have extra picks. Leaping the Chiefs and swapping choices with the Packers makes a ton of sense.
Pick a position, any position. The Browns need help there. The defensive line could use some help, and Carl Nassib fits the range as a mid-third-rounder.
Pick change; previously Connor Cook, QB
Rd. 3, Pk. 14
Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State
I considered Myles Jack to the Browns, and I had him slotted at No. 8 in another update. Here's a solution at inside linebacker.
Pick change; previously Graham Glasgow, C
Rd. 4, Pk. 1
Max Tuerk, C, USC
The Browns acquired Jack Conklin in an earlier mock draft. An upgrade is needed on the offensive line, which is a train wreck. Max Tuerk can play both guard and center, so I'm sure he'll find some way to sneak into the starting lineup.
The Browns lost Travis Benjamin to free agency. That left just Josh Gordon as a viable receiving option, and now it's sounding like Gordon won't be playing for a while in the wake of his recent failed drug test. Check out the Disaster Grades for more on Gordon.
Rd. 4, Pk. 40
KJ Dillon, SS, West Virginia
Name a position, and the Browns could probably use two of them. Adding more secondary depth isn't a bad idea.
Pick change; previously Daniel Lasco, RB
Rd. 5, Pk. 2
Ryan Smith, CB, North Carolina Central
The Browns have a new front office, so there's no obligation to keep Justin Gilbert on the roster. They need a cornerback, as Tramon Williams can't really start much longer.
Rd. 5, Pk. 33
Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford
The Browns are hurting at right tackle, and they could address the position much earlier than this.
Pick change; previously Nicholas Kwiatkoski, LB
Rd. 5, Pk. 34
Moritz Wilhelm Boehringer, WR, Germany
The Browns are definitely a candidate to double up on receivers, as Josh Gordon isn't the most reliable football player.
Rd. 6, Pk. 1
Darius Latham, DT, Indiana
The Browns could use some more depth on their defensive line, so why not get some with one of their many picks?
It sounds like Cleveland is settled on taking the best player in the 2017 NFL Draft, which is Myles Garrett. He has been the consensus best player all year and and has been No. 1 on my big board since the start of the 2017 NFL Draft process. I think the Browns are wise to take him and not reach for a lesser player.
In 2016, Garrett totaled 33 tackles, 15 for a loss, 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Against UCLA in the 2016 season opener, he collected three tackles, 1.5 for a loss and one sack going against a quality left tackle in Conor McDermott. Garrett is lightning fast off the edge with natural strength to bull rush offensive tackles. He is a freakish athlete with the potential to be one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL.
Immediately after arriving at Texas A&M, Garrett began dominating college football. The 6-foot-4, 272-pounder took the game by storm in 2014 as he was an impact-making defender for the Aggies from Day 1. The fast and athletic Garrett was a force on the edge as a quarterback hunter. He had 11.5 sacks as well with 53 tackles and 14 for a loss. That sack total broke the NCAA freshman record previously set by Jadeveon Clowney.
In 2015, Garrett kept it going, racking up 59 tackles with 12.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles, two passes batted and an interception. He has blinding speed off the edge and is a natural pass-rusher. Garrett could be the best prospect in college football and could have been in the running for the No. 1-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft if he had been able to declare.
Rd. 1, Pk. 1
Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Days ago, I reported that the Browns had spoken with the Jets about trading from No. 12 to No. 6 in order to get Trubisky. I think Cleveland is motivated and has the ammunition to get Trubisky. I think the Browns will get it done and get their guy.
Trubisky looks like a second-round caliber prospect, but that doesn't preclude teams from reaching on him in Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft. Some teams graded Trubisky in the second round, but teams across the league believe he will go in the top 10. One team picking in the top 10 that could take a quarterback told me Trubisky is the only quarterback prospect they would take that high. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder was very efficient in 2016, flashing good decision-making and good accuracy in the short to intermediate part of the field. He has a decent, but not great, arm and some athleticism. However, across the history of the NFL, there have been very few 1-year college starters who turned into good pro starters. His accuracy going downfield is also something he needs to improve.
The junior beat up on some weak secondaries in 2016, but it still is impressive that he had three straight games throwing for over 400 yards without throwing a single interception. On the season, Trubisky completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,748 yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also had five rushing touchdowns.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
Cleveland could use more weapons for its young quarterback.
Scouting sources compare Samuel to Percy Harvin and think Samuel could be a special play-maker in the NFL. The 5-foot-10, 196-pounder would probably fit better as primarily a receiver in the pros given his build. In 2016, Samuel had 74 receptions for 865 yards with seven touchdowns. On the ground, he averaged 7.9 yards per carry for 771 yards and eight scores. Samuel has explosive vertical speed and is a play-maker with the ball in his hands.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
The Browns need a third cornerback, and a bigger one would allow them to move Joe Haden inside to the slot when they go to the nickel.
After losing Vernon Hargreaves to the NFL, Wilson replaced him as Florida's starter alongside Jalen Tabor. Sources with multiple teams graded the 6-foot-1, 211-pound Wilson as a second-rounder, and team evaluators feel that Wilson has above-average speed to go along with his size. In 2016, he totaled 33 tackles with six passes broken up and three interceptions. Sources also feel Wilson has above-average feel and awareness. He is good at running the route to prevent separation with the size to take on big receivers.
Wilson is a longer press-man corner for the NFL with ball skills, but scouting sources say that there are aspects that Wilson needs to improve. He grabs at receivers a lot and could get called for pass interference penalties in the NFL. They also say that he lacks instincts and has some limitations in scheme. Thus, he will need some development. Wilson's best fit would be as a longer press-man corner.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Marcus Williams, S, Utah
The Browns grab a safety upgrade.
Williams had a quality 2016 season with 64 tackles, three passes broken up, five interceptions and two forced fumbles. He put together a tremendous 2015 season for the Utes with five interceptions, five passes broken up and 66 tackles. It was a breakout sophomore season for Williams after he recorded 59 tackles with an interception as a freshman. The 6-foot-1, 202-pounder could use more strength and weight to tackle in the NFL.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas
The Browns could use more tight end talent. Here's a nice value pick.
As a senior, Sprinkle had 33 receptions for 380 yards with four touchdowns. He played well as a junior as part of a pair with Hunter Henry, recording 27 catches for 289 yards with six scores. As one could expect from playing for Arkansas, Sprinkle (6-5, 252) is a decent blocker, but he also has some off-the-field concerns.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Tanzel Smart, DT, Tulane
The Browns could use some competition at three-technique, and this could be a nice value pick.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
The Browns grab more receiving competition.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Matt Dayes, RB, N.C. State
The Browns haven't taken running back depth yet, and it would make sense to grab a tailback on Day 3.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Josh Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
The Browns could use take multiple quarterbacks with the all the picks they have in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Jadar Johnson, S, Clemson
The Browns could use take multiple safeties to upgrade that weak position.
Sources have said they think Wentz could be the best quarterback prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft. In order to help make that happen, Wentz had an excellent Senior Bowl showing off his big arm, ball placement, field vision and athleticism. Teams believe he will continue to rise in the lead up to the draft.
Multiple teams have told me they gave Wentz a first-round grade and think that he is the real deal. They say that Wentz has a good arm, size and athleticism, plus they love him off the field. They also like his pocket presence, field vision, experience under center, ability to make play calls in the huddle, and potential to grow in the NFL. They believe that he will fill out his frame in a NFL strength and conditioning program. The big challenge for Wentz, in their view, will be the drastic change in the speed of the game coming from North Dakota State's opponents compared to the NFL. He also will need to mature into a leadership role.
On top of his good arm, mobility, pocket presence, field vision and accuracy. Wentz operated in a pro-style system with play calls in the huddle and working under center. In 2015, he completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,669 yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions while missing almost half the year with a broken wrist. Wentz also had four rushing touchdowns.
As a junior, Wentz completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,111 yard with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also had six touchdowns on the ground. Wentz was a backup as a freshman and sophomore.
It's a toss up, Goff or Wentz. Wentz has the size (6'6 237 and 10 1/2 inch hands), arm, and athleticism, in contrast Goff has the smarts, pin point accuracy (at times), and has competed at a high level for the last three seasons, unlike Wentz who had to play South Dakota State the past 4 years. Tough. Goff isn't as big as Wentz (6'3 210) and only had 9 inch hands. The both seem to be smart, but we haven't truly seen Wentz against NFL caliber players for more than a game. Go back and look at his tape and there are some good throws, and some bad ones. Goff although he had some poor games, managed to have a very successful career for a CAL team that was outmatched by the rest of the conference. Wentz feels like the better prospect, but Goff seems like the better player. It's really anyone's call, the Browns might as well flip a coin, unless a team trades up and takes the other.
Well the Browns look to be huge winners at this point. They trade out of the number 2 spot and now have 6 picks in the top 100, all while still getting one of the 6 top tier prospects in the draft (the way I see it these 6 non-qbs are in the top tier and after this pick there is a huge drop off). The best thing the team can do at this point is help make life easier for RG3 as he is now the QB for the current moment, and continue to build to support their next hopeful franchise QB. This pick comes down to an offensive tackle (Ronnie Stanley) or Zeke, ultimately Zeke will just be too good to pass up. This guy is a pure stud. Running backs are devalued in this current version of the NFL but having a back that can be a legitimate 3 down bell cow superstar back just makes life so much easier. A 6’ 225lbs bulldozer with soft hands and elite level quickness and speed, not just for a man of his size but for the position as a whole, Zeke is the total package. He’s able to stop on a dime and make the correct read as well as any recent running back. Perhaps the most interesting and telling aspect of his game is that he is very likely the best pass blocking back scouted in a while on top of his amazing running skills. This shows his willingness to get down and dirty and truly displays his desire to win and help his team at all costs. Zeke truly has very few weaknesses in his game and is probably just a small step below Adrian Peterson as the best running back prospect in the past 10 or so years.
Browns trade back and get Bosa
Scouting report: Has an NFL-ready frame. Good muscular definition and flexibility to go along with a confident, competitive attitude. Solid upfield burst off the snap. Has booming power in his hands. Uses arm extension and forward lean as his primary weapon. Generates speed-to-power bullrush and plays off of that with a punch and pull technique that pulls tackles off-balance. Focuses pass rush attack on outside shoulder of tackle using forward lean and aggressive hand play. Active hands can completely wipe out a tackle?s weak outside hand allowing him to cave-in the edge. Usually gets hands on defender first. Able to stack and slide along line of scrimmage in pursuit of ball-carrier. Strong core and able to rag doll tight ends who aren?t committed to the fight. Adequate closing burst to the ball. Looks fluid and nimble when dropping into space. Has the talent and traits to be used more aggressively than he was at Ohio State. Grew as a run defender this season. Has forced five fumbles over the last two years. Football is in his blood with a father who was drafted by Dolphins in first round of 1987 draft and an uncle who played at Ohio State in the mid-80s. Motor will never be a problem
Other possibilities: Ezekiel Elliott RB, DeForest Buckner DE, Mackensie Alexander CB
*TRADE ALERT!!!! The Browns trade Joe Thomas and a 5th round pick in next years draft, for the #26 overall pick.*
While I am not sure if Lynch will be the pick here, I put it at 80/20 that this trade is made on draft night. Lynch makes sense for the Browns, as they seem content with RGIII this year, and Hue Jackson wants his guy for the future. I have been high on Lynch since the Cincinnati game this year, and am quite frankly surprised he is expected to drop this far. The Browns move ahead of the Cardinals, Cheifs, and Broncos who are either looking for a starting QB or looking for someone to stash behind aging QB's.
The Seahwaks get a Pro Bowl Left Tackle with 2-3 years left of high level play, to help the them return deep in the playoffs.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Paxton Lynch Going to Browns
Rd. 1, Pk. 15
Corey Coleman, WR
The Browns needed a play-maker. Actually, they needed about five play-makers. Well, one down, four to go.
This is a bit higher than I've seen Corey Coleman projected, but part of that was the fit. Most teams like larger receivers, so it was difficult to slot him. However, Coleman is an athletic freak, and he's exactly what Cleveland had to acquire. Even better, the Browns moved down to snag him, which definitely helps this grade.
Rd. 2, Pk. 1
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE/3-4OLB
I CHANGED MY MILLEN Grade
I said I'd give the Browns a Millen if they didn't take Myles Jack at No. 32. Well, OK, I guess I lied, but I'm still marking Cleveland down for not taking perhaps the best talent in the 2016 NFL Draft atop Round 2. The reason this is not a Millen is because I like Emmanuel Ogbah. However, I don't know about his scheme fit in a 3-4, so this is still pretty bad. I don't get why Cleveland didn't pick Jack.
Actually, you know what? I changed my mind. This is a Millen. The Browns are a losing franchise and needed a winner like Jack. This is a Millen.