With 3 weeks into the season SI has published their First, 1st round mock for the 2014 NFL Draft. The Browns now have 2 picks in the draft and many expect the team to go after a franchise QB and either a big time WR or CB to fulfill some of their biggest needs. SI predicts the Browns to be drafting #4 overall behind the Jaguars, Raiders and Buccaneers. SI has the Jags selecting Teddy Bridgewater #1, the Raiders selecting Jadeveon Clowney #2 and the Bucs taking Oregon QB Marcus Marriota. This leaves the Browns with a chance to select the 3rd QB or go in a different direction.
4. Cleveland Browns: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
The Trent Richardson trade obviously makes the Browns an extremely intriguing team to watch approaching the 2014 draft. Assuming Bridgewater lands No. 1, Cleveland needs to pick its guy at QB and go for broke to get him. Will that be Mariota? Hundley? Johnny Manziel?
The selection of Hundley could be a surprise now but by the end of the season looked at as a best case scenario. Hundley is 6’3″ quarterback who is good in the pocket but also is very mobile. So far the UCLA redshirt Sophomore has thrown 8 TDs and 3 INTs leading the team to 3 wins, including a big one at Nebraska. He may choose to stay another year which could lead the Browns to draft Tajh Boyd, who goes #5 in this version’s Mock Draft to the Vikings.
They predict the pick from the Colts to be #17, which after their performance on Sunday could be a little high. With this pick the Browns look at a WR.
17. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis): Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
As trade rumors swirl around current Cleveland receivers Josh Gordon and Greg Little, the possibility of landing both a top-flight QB and an elite WR should have Browns fans feeling giddy. Don’t be surprised if Evans winds up being the most productive 2014 wide receiver.
Evans would also be the 3rd WR off the board as Marquis Lee goes 14 to the Jets and Sammy Watkins goes 12 to the Chargers. One of the expected Top 2 CBs, Bradley Roby from The Ohio State University, is also off the board at #9 to the Panthers. The other CB, Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu drops to 21 and the 49ers, but could easily be the pick here as well. Evans could fall as teams consider Texas A&M and the receiver happy system they run with “Johnny Football” often opening up plays for his receivers with his feet. Evans is a big target at 6’5″ and currently sits with 22 receptions for 575 yards and 3 TDs. A big receiver like Evans could rise based on workouts.
In SI’s first Mock Draft the Browns come away with the 3rd drafted QB and WR. While Hundley and Evans could be big time players, having to choose the 3rd, especially at QB and #4 in the draft, could really damage the team long term. The other big issue is that none of the top 3 QBs are seniors, 2 being redshirt sophomores, and could come back leaving Boyd as the top QB on the list.
How would you feel about this draft? If this happens, and rumors of interest in RB Ben Tate are true the Browns would build around Hundley, Evans, Tate, Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon as offensive skill position players. Adding these players to a good/great defense could be a long term success story.