Could Devin Smith be a Brown?
Devin Smith has been an Orangeman, a Tiger and a Buckeye. Could he be a Brown next?
FOXSports.com’s Peter Schrager sees it as a possibility, as laid out in his first mock draft for 2015.
"An NFL scout told me that Smith’s performance in Ohio State’s final three games was even more impressive than the show put on by celebrated quarterback Cardale Jones," writes Schrager. "A 6-foot-1, 200-pound specimen, Smith isn’t listed as a first-round pick in many of the mock drafts I’ve seen thus far. That doesn’t add up with what I’m hearing."
Smith, who finished his high school career at Massillon Washington before signing with Ohio State as a four-star recruit in 2011, was a four-year contributor for the Buckeyes who had some ups and downs. He displayed his ability to beat opposing defenses deep from the beginning, but he also had a tendency to disappear at times throughout his career.
This season he had some of his best games when the lights were brightest, including six catches for 129 yards and a touchdown against Michigan State, four catches for 137 yards and three touchdowns against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game and two catches for 87 yards and a touchdown against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Smith caught only one pass against Oregon in the national championship game, but it went for 45 yards.
For the year, he caught 12 passes of 40 yards or more and averaged a national-best 28.2 yards per catch.
Schrager’s mock draft has the Browns taking Florida linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. with the No. 12 pick before grabbing Smith at No. 19.
Of course this is very early in the draft evaluation process, but that would make some history if it came to pass. The Browns have not picked an Ohio State player since Brian Robiskie (another receiver from Northeast Ohio) in the second round in 2009, and they have never taken a Buckeye as high as 19th overall since the AFL-NFL merger.
The last Ohio State player taken by the Browns in the first round was linebacker Craig Powell at No. 30 in 1995.
The last time Cleveland chose a receiver from Ohio State in the first round? That was 1964, when they made Warren Harding High School product Paul Warfield the No. 11 overall pick. Warfield ended up playing eight seasons for the Browns and five for the Dolphins in what turned out to be a Pro Football Hall of Fame career.
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