We have officially entered the “silly season” of NFL Mock Drafts. This is especially true as it pertains to the Cleveland Browns. Predictions that I haven’t seen in any mocks since November are now appearing seemingly from nowhere, and Cleveland is again being linked with multiple quarterback prospects. It’s back to both square one and to a whole new beginning all at the same time.
Note: The Browns still have picks No. 4 and No. 26
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL mock drafts: Walter Football
First pick: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson: The Browns have a No. 1 wide receiver in Josh Gordon, and there are other receivers that could be grabbed later on in the draft. Cleveland taking Watkins here would be the team acquiring the top available player rather than them drafting on need. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Second pick: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: Well, this is certainly new. The draft stocks of quarterbacks not named “Blake Bortles” or “Derek Carr” are falling with every week. If the Browns have the chance to grab Watkins and then get Johnny Football later on without having to trade up, the team had better run to the podium.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL mock drafts: Rob Rang
First pick OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M : Rang currently has the Browns selecting Matthews over Watkins, LB Khalil Mack, Manziel and Carr. Matthews is a tremendous offensive lineman, but there is not a single part of me that believes the Cleveland front office would go down this route.
Second pick: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville: Remember when Bridgewater was the consensus No. 1 overall pick? Those days are long gone, and they are never coming back. Bridgewater is now beneath three QBs on some big boards I have seen this week. Despite the fact that he may be the most “NFL ready” of any of the to-be rookie quarterbacks, Bridgewater could be there for the Browns here.
That could prove to be quite the bargain for Cleveland.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL mock drafts: Dane Brugler
First pick: Manziel: Brugler plays it safe and predicts that the Browns will take a quarterback with their first pick. Johnny Football is a winner, and he is an injection of life that the city of Cleveland and that its losing football franchise desperately needs. Why anybody would even suggest that the Browns should leave Manziel available without absolutely knowing they could grab him at a later point of the draft boggles my mind.
Second pick: CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech: I find Brugler’s second pick for the Browns to be interesting in that I’ve seen Fuller being taken as high as in the teens in mock drafts. Fuller may not be a No. 1 cornerback, but that’s no problem for the Browns since they already have Joe Haden. Fuller at No. 26 could be a steal.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL mock drafts: Pat Kirwan
First pick: Manziel: Kirwan remains skeptical that the Browns would take Manziel over a wide receiver such as Watkins. The rumors that franchise owner Jimmy Haslam is a fan of Johnny Football, reports that emerged last September, have never fully been silenced, and the fact that the Cleveland front office remains coy whenever Manziel is brought up during media events leads me to believe that the Browns are attempting to hide their true intentions.
Second pick: WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State: Players such as Benjamin are why I think the Browns using the fourth pick to get any wide receiver is foolish. Benjamin had 15 touchdowns and over 1,000 receiving yards in his final college season. He is 6-foot-5 and an ideal red zone target. Line him up with Gordon and with tight end Jordan Cameron when inside the 20-yard line, Cleveland, and watch opposing defenses panic.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL mock drafts: Chris Burke
First pick: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn: Robinson will likely enter May 8 and the first night of the NFL Draft as the top-rated offensive lineman on the board. While Cleveland, like just about every other team in the league, could use the help up front, the Browns need play-makers on both sides of the football. There are solid o-linemen that will be available later on in the draft.
Second pick: QB Derek Carr, Fresno State: Whether or not the Browns are actually interested in grabbing Carr with this pick may be irrelevant. David White of the Fresno Bee recently reported that the Oakland Raiders have a “massive crush” on Carr, and the Raiders are apparently not the only team to have the Fresno State QB on its board. The Browns had better grab Carr with the fourth pick if they are sold that he is going to be a star on Sundays.