What are the Cleveland Browns thinking regarding the fourth overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft? Would they trade up to ensure that they will be able to take the player of their choice? Will the city soon have its own Johnny Cleveland? Is it possible that the Browns won’t even take a quarterback until later on in the draft?
We won’t know the answers to those questions until May 8, but that doesn’t mean the speculation on them is going to end anytime soon.
Reminder: The Browns still have two first round picks.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (March 5): Walter Football
First pick: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson: With both Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel off the board in this simulation, Walter Football has the Browns passing on Teddy Bridgewater for the best offensive player available. Don’t be shocked if Watkins ends up wearing brown and orange next fall. Quarterback Brian Hoyer, coming off of a torn ACL, is expected to be 100 percent at the start of training camp, and Cleveland could wait and get a QB on another day of the draft.
Second pick: QB Derek Carr, Fresno State: There’s no way of knowing for sure if the Browns are really so high on Carr, or if Carr would be available this late in the first round. If he is, it would be a sign that several teams in need of a quarterback passed on the Fresno State product. Would that be good luck for Cleveland, or would it sound off “bust” alarms?
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (March 5): Rob Rang
First pick: QB Blake Bortles, UCF: Rang has the Browns going with Bortles over Johnny Football. Bortles continues to be compared with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger because of his size, but the belief coming out of the combine is that he is not yet ready to start for a NFL team. Of course, that wouldn’t be a problem if Hoyer is ready to go in Week 1.
Second pick: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama: I am far less surprised by this prediction than I was when I first saw it earlier this year. Mosley has fallen down big boards and mock drafts for a variety of reasons, and Cleveland needs an inside linebacker. The Browns will likely take him if he’s there.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (March 5): Pete Prisco
First pick: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: Prisco, in his latest mock draft, believes that the Browns can’t pass on Johnny Football. The Manziel buzz has cooled a bit now that the NFL Combine has come and gone, but it’s a safe bet that it will again heat up as the draft gets closer. There’s no other college QB like him, but whether or not he can win on Sundays remains a debatable topic.
Second pick: WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State: The lengthy red zone target would make for a great partner to play alongside Josh Gordon. Benjamin, as I’ve pointed out in prior pieces, had 15 touchdowns in his final college season. It is possible that a team that needs a wide receiver, perhaps the New York Jets, could take Benjamin before the Browns use their second pick.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (March 5): Dane Brugler
First pick: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville: With neither Bortles nor Manziel available, Rang sees Cleveland taking the best quarterback on the board. While the buzz around the combine was that Bridgewater was the most “NFL ready” QB in the draft, there is a worry that he doesn’t have much of an upside.
Second pick: Mosley: Cleveland needs to acquire both an inside linebacker and a wide receiver in the draft, and here is where they could do so. I like the notion of the Browns going for “best player available” out of the wide receivers/linebackers on the board with this pick. If it’s Mosley, so be it.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (March 5): Christopher Price
First pick: Bortles: Bortles told teams at the combine that he wouldn’t mind sitting and learning the NFL game from the sidelines. If Cleveland takes him, that’s probably happening unless Hoyer looks awful in preseason games.
Second pick: Mosley: What I considered to not even be a possibility all that long ago is now becoming a favorite prediction. My, how quickly things change.
More: Last week’s Browns mock drafts