Another week, another Mock Draft. I’m addicted, I know. I accept it. I admit it. I need help.
That said, hurray for another Mock Draft! Once again, I used the Mock Draft Generator over at Fanspeak, so that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted. It autopicks based on the needs and big board of every NFL team, so I couldn’t cheat my way to a successful draft. That said, the generator was kind to me, and I am thrilled with this run.
1st Round, 4th Overall Pick
Blake Bortles, QB, University of Central Florida
Blake Bortles gives you a lot to like in a future franchise QB. His size is prototypical for a successful NFL Quarterback at 6’3″ tall and 230 pounds. That frame should do well to survive the rigors of the typically aggressive defenses of the AFC North. Outside of that, he has outstanding arm strength and accuracy. He’s shockingly athletic and can make plays with his legs if the pocket collapses. He’s likely to need some work shortening his delivery, and would benefit greatly from a year or so behind an established passer, such as Brian Hoyer. His non-marque name (ie Johnny Manziel) means that sitting him behind Hoyer for a couple of years isn’t likely to be a dramatic media circus, and so that’s why at 4, I’m taking Bortles. Compares to a combination of Andrew Luck and Jake Locker.
1st Round, 26th Overall Pick
Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Penn State University
I had planned to target either Marqise Lee or Kelvin Benjamin here, but the draft generator took them off the board before we got to pick. Allen Robinson is far from a consolation prize though. The gap between Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and the other receivers may exist, but it gets very tight between the rest after that. Robinson is a great physical specimen, with similar height and weight as Josh Gordon. He’s not as fast as Gordon, but has good hands and an ability to shrug off first hits. Outside of that, the idea of having two towering receivers on the outside should be the Browns focus when drafting their first receiver in this draft.
2nd Round, 35th Overall Pick
Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver, Oregon State
I was pretty thrilled when Cooks fell to me in the second round. He’s a speed demon, and he’s got great route running abilities and sure fire hands. He should be a first year starter, and take over the disaster that is Davone Bess. He’s an automatic upgrade at the position, and with Gordon and Robinson able to draw a defense’s best cover corners, he’ll likely draw a nickel corner or an inside linebacker, and his speed advantage will create a nightmare to cover when all three receivers are on the field. He’s got insane acceleration, fluid control of his hips and movements, and fantastic footwork (something he’s spent a lot of time developing). He’s got fantastic work ethic, absolutely loves the game of football, and great toughness. He’s actually never missed a game at any level. The down side is his size, at 5′ 10″, 185 pounds, he’s not built to play physical corners as well, but because of his likely spot in the Browns offense, I don’t think it will hinder him. Compares to a slightly slower version of Tavon Austin.
3rd Round, 71st Overall Pick
Cyril Richardson, Offensive Guard, Baylor University
At 6’5″, 348 pounds, Richardson is an absolute monster of a man. This mountain is also versatile, able to play Guard or Tackle on the offensive line. With the lack of run blocking, Richardson would be a great upgrade over 3/5th’s of the Browns current offensive line. He’s shockingly nimble for such a beast, and should be an immediate starter, upgrade and impact player.
3rd Round, 83rd Overall Pick
Carlos Hyde, Running Back, The Ohio State University
I usually hate the homer’s who call for the Browns to draft Ohio State players, or hire Ohio State coaches. It usually doesn’t make any sense, and is based on nothing but homerism. That said, Carlos Hyde is too perfect a match for the Browns to ignore. With the Browns existing backfield speed of Dion Lewis and Edwin Baker, Hyde gives you the bruiser you need to beat up opposing defenses and to succeed in short yardage or red zone situations. The Thunder (Hyde) and Lightning (Lewis) combination is too exciting to miss. I was pretty pleased that he fell this far as well.
4th Round, 102nd Overall Pick
Jaylen Watkins, Cornerback, Florida
For all the Browns fans who want Watkins in this draft, I give you what you cry out for. This is Jaylen Watkins, however, the older brother of Clemson WR Sammy Watkins. The older Watkins has good size and build for a cover corner, at 6′ even, 194 pounds. He’s got good speed (4.48 40), and is a physical, tough defender. He’s great about getting his hands on receivers, disrupting them well in man coverage, and has decent size and closing speed to play the zone or cover 3 if need be. He’s a willing hitter, and never shies away from contact. Generally, he’s a tough, scrappy defender who would do well taking over the 2 Corner spot from Skrine and letting him move back to the nickel.
4th Round, 123rd Overall Pick
Jimmy Garoppolo, Quarterback, Eastern Illinois
I hear you. “BUT WE TOOK A QB AT FOUR!”, you scream, as you smash your cheetos cheese covered fingers against your keyboard, enraged by the audacity of this move. Relax. Go clean up your hands and face, you’re a mess. The logic, especially for the Cleveland Browns, on taking 2 Quarterbacks, is pretty simple. Twice the chance of finally getting “THE” guy. It worked for Washington in the RGIII/Cousins scenario, and I feel like it gives us a better chance on stopping our Quarterback carousel long term. Jimmy Garoppolo is probably the 5th best QB prospect in this class, and if he played for a real school (sorry EIU), he would likely be a top 10 pick. Jimmy G has good (not great) size and build, at 6’2″ tall, 219 pounds. The other thing worth noting here is that he’s the 57th rank draft prospect in this class, and he fell all the way to 123 for me here, because not a ton of teams are looking for a QB after the first four go. Jimmy Garoppolo is likely to be selected in the 3-4th round, and he may end up being the steal of this draft class. He’s smart, confident and a natural leader. He’s got very good accuracy and an ability to time throws extremely well. He’s calm, smooth and has a very short memory for bad throws/plays. He has outstanding passing vision and a quick delivery. He does need work under center, as he’s played (like Carr) primarily out of the spread or shotgun in college. He lacks elite physical abilities, but compensates by his intellect, timing and quick release. Compares closely to Tony Romo.
5th Round, 133rd Overall Pick
Lamin Barrow, Inside Linebacker, LSU
6th Round, 164th Overall Pick
De’Anthony Thomas, Running Back, Oregon
I have no idea how Thomas fell this far, but what a steal for us. He’s disgustingly fast, clocking a 4.34 40 yard dash time on numerous occasions. He’s a true all purpose back and player, amassing major yardage as a Running Back, a Kick Returner, and a Receiver at Oregon. He’s third all time in all-purpose yards in school history, only behind Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James. I could say an awful lot about Thomas’s skills, but I’d rather just let you watch the highlights, because wow. He fast.
7th Round, 195th Overall Pick
Vinnie Sunseri, Safety, Alabama
Make no mistake about it. If Vinnie Sunseri had not torn his ACL last year, he would be at the latest a 3rd round pick. But, injuries can kill draft stock. All reports are that Sunseri is recovery well, and his big play potential and elite speed make him a steal this late. His size is not ideal, but his ability to hawk the ball, and his 4.5 40 times more than make up for it.
Shawn is the Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer for Dawg Pound Nation. He’s also an Army Sergeant, married to the beautiful and brilliant @MrsStarr, dad to three and aspiring Browns Writer. You can follow him on Twitter @ShawnMStarr or @DawgPoundNews, as well as on the Dawg Pound Nation Facebook Page.