It’s draft time! We’ve had our experts tell you who will be drafted where, but now it’s time for you to throw on your GM cap and decide for yourself. Each day we will present an argument for each player and why the respective team should pick him. Then, it’s up to you. You make the pick. The next day, we will compile the results, and you can see who is off the board. Disagree with all of the options? Be sure to write in your pick below in the comments section. OK, let’s get into it. The Cleveland Browns are on the clock.
The new regime in Cleveland made some waves in free agency with the signings of running back Ben Tate, safety Donte Whitner, linebacker Karlos Dansby and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. Now, the Browns, who have 10 picks in May’s NFL Draft, must find players who can contribute right away.
With three picks (Nos. 4, 26 and 35) in the first 35 selections, general manager Ray Farmer isn’t tied to selecting a quarterback with the first pick. After releasing Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden this offseason, they are left with Brian Hoyer, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL, and YouTube sensation Alex Tanney.
First-year head coach Mike Pettine could also lobby to add a dynamic defender to an ascending unit. So, whom will the Browns select with the No. 4 overall pick?
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
How quickly would offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan adapt his system to fit Manziel’s unique skill set? After designing an offense in Washington in which Robert Griffin III flourished during his rookie season, Shanahan would have another mobile quarterback to work with. While Manziel stands at just 6 feet, 207 pounds, he’s built low to the ground with exceedingly big hands and feet. He’s a big play waiting to happen, but NFL evaluators want to know whether Manziel can consistently throw from the pocket.
Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater
Bridgewater flourished in offensive coordinator Shawn Watson’s pro-style system at Louisville. The 6-foot-2, 214-pound gunslinger has been knocked for his slender frame, but his accuracy on intermediate and underneath routes is exceptional. While he had a lackluster pro day, several draft analysts note that he’s the most polished quarterback in this year’s class.
Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
The Browns have serviceable outside linebackers in Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo, but adding Mack would be an instant upgrade. Pettine, a defensive-minded guy, would be able to maximize Mack’s potential as he stockpiles talent on a very tough unit. Oh yeah, Mack had some success in the Buckeye State as he was a one-man wrecking crew against Ohio State last year.
Texas A&M WR Mike Evans
Josh Gordon’s breakout season can’t be forgotten. The receiver dominated competition despite playing in an offense without a real franchise quarterback. If the Browns were to add Evans at No. 4 overall, they could select a quarterback with the 26th or 35th overall picks.
Auburn OT Greg Robinson
Joe Thomas and Alex Mack are centerpieces of the Browns’ offensive line, and adding Robinson would really bolster the unit. The 6-foot-5, 332-pound monster is light on his feet and can effortlessly handle a wide array of speed rushers.