The Cleveland Browns own a pair of selections in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. What do the various media sites see them doing with those picks?
The Cleveland Browns head into the 2017 NFL Draft currently in possession of eight selections — including the No. 1 overall selection for the first time since 2000.
Thanks to last year’s smart trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Browns also hold the No. 12 overall selection in the first round, marking the third time in four years that Cleveland will have a pair of first-round selections.
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In addition, the Browns pick twice in the second round (No. 33 and No. 52), once in the third round (No. 65), twice in the fifth round (No. 128 and No. 158) and once in the sixth round (No. 159).
Now that we’ve entered the NFL’s offseason, mock drafts are all the rage, so let’s take a look at what some of the more prominent media sites believe the Browns will do come draft weekend.
No. 1, Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: Hypothetically, the Browns could use this pick on Myles Garrett and then package Nos. 12 and 33 to jump back into the top 10 somewhere for a QB. They also could stay put and (possibly) find a quarterback they like at one of those spots. Either way, their options are too numerous to pass on a player like Garrett.
No. 12, DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame: Save for the 49ers, Bears, Jets and Bills all taking a quarterback (or the Cardinals trading up), the Browns should have at least one of the Watson-Trubisky-Kizer-Mahomes quartet available here. Kizer is big, strong and athletic.
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) runs a touchdown ahead of Clemson Tigers safety Van Smith (23) during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
No. 1, Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: The Cleveland Browns desperately need a franchise-level quarterback, but there are other ways beyond the draft to add a passer. With the first overall pick, the Browns must select defensive end Myles Garrett.
Garrett is a 6-foot-5, 270-pound team-changing presence coming off the right edge of the defense. While he can’t throw touchdowns, Garrett’s elite athleticism and pass-rushing moves will do a great job limiting them.
With two first-rounders and two picks in the second round, the Browns can entertain trading for New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo or Washington’s Kirk Cousins, but they could also look to add a highly rated quarterback if one remains on the board at No. 12 overall.
Years of bad drafting can’t be undone overnight, but selecting Garrett instead of forcing a pick at quarterback is the right move.
December 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second half of the the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
No. 12, Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: Cleveland gets a quarterback, but will this one finally work out?
Pairing Deshaun Watson with head coach Hue Jackson could be lethal for the Browns. Watson’s quick-strike ability, big-game poise and athleticism will allow him to execute well in the play-action game. Early on, he can run an offense that lets him roll out and essentially cut the field in half in terms of his reads. Much like what we saw from Dak Prescott in Dallas or Marcus Mariota early in 2016, Jackson can scheme an offense to fit Watson’s strengths.
The biggest questions about Watson are not only the 30 interceptions he tossed over the past two seasons, but also the poor decisions that led to those picks. While he dominated against Alabama in the national title game, he struggled with inconsistent play in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State a week before.
No. 1, Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: Garrett has an all-pro ceiling and combines elite traits with high-end football character. The Browns obviously need a quarterback, but they need great football players first and foremost, and Garrett has a chance to be special.
No. 12, Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: If Fournette fell to this spot, the Browns might race their card to the podium. Teams don’t typically build around running backs anymore, but Fournette has rare size and speed and the potential to carry an offense on his back.
No. 1, Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: Cleveland is in a unique spot, with a plethora of top picks in the draft. While the need for a quarterback is pressing, the Browns can exhibit some level of patience knowing they have another pick at No. 12 and an early second-rounder, both strong ammunition to either get a quarterback or move up to do so. With that in mind, they’re going to draft the top player on the board in Garrett who has the skills to become an elite edge rusher in the NFL. Garrett has ranked among the top edge defenders in the nation for three straight years, and he has the athleticism and power to back up his performance. That combination bodes well for his NFL future, and he’s a cornerstone piece to build around on the defensive side of the ball.
Dec 30, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball in the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Hard Rock Stadium. The Seminoles won 33-32. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
No. 12, Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: The Browns do not pass up the opportunity to add another game-changer to the roster as Cook’s big-play ability is as good as it gets in the draft. The play here is to grab one of the second-round-worthy quarterbacks either at the top of the round or perhaps by trading back into round one to secure their spot (Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech is a viable option). Adding Cook to the offense brings a player capable of scoring any time he touches the ball as he’s capable of sneaking through the slightest crease to create a big play. Cook also showed capable of maximizing subpar blocking in 2016, leading the nation with 90 missed tackles forced and averaging 4.2 yards after contact per rush.