We’re continuing our look at mock drafts around the sports world right alongside our ongoing FanSided Local and NFL Sites 2014 Mock Draft. Next, we take a look at first round picks for the Browns by Will Burge over at Bleacher Report. Remember that these could change drastically over time and specifically for the Browns based on the new head coach.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: The Browns hold the fourth and 26th (from Indianapolis in the Trent Richardson trade) picks in the first round and face a huge question. Is there a quarterback worth the price of admission? While the average fan may not think so, it certainly seems like the Browns do… If they want Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel he will probably be available with the fourth overall pick. I think this is the direction the Browns will go.
In Burge’s scenario, Teddy Bridgewater is long gone. He doesn’t feel the need to trade up if someone like Johnny Manziel will fall to 4. He’s also putting a lot of pressure on the organization to coach him up and surround him with talent. It’s a lot. If Blake Bortles is still available and they’re set at taking a QB here, we think he would be a better option than the polarizing figure. And if Tim Tebow kept bouncing around partially to sell tickets, impatient fans in Cleveland will likely want a refund just as fast should Manziel initially struggle.
26. CLEVELAND BROWNS (FROM INDIANAPOLIS)
Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: The wide receiver from Texas A&M is a huge target and would instantly free up Gordon from defensive double teams. Evans caught 69 passes from Manziel in 2013 totaling 1394 yards and 12 touchdowns. That was following an 82 reception season where he also broke 1000 yards receiving. He is no flash in the pan… Taking a quarterback with the fourth overall pick is a risk. Not surrounding him with big-time playmakers is an even bigger risk. The Browns will hopefully do the right thing.
Here’s the talent Burge was seeking for Manziel, and obviously they’re familiar with each other. The only problem with this pick is Burge doesn’t think Mike Evans will be available at 26. He concocts a scenario where the Browns trade a second round selection to Dallas for the 17th overall pick, right ahead of the New York Jets whom he believes highly covet a talented WR in the draft. It all seems a little far-fetched for our taste. While grabbing a big target wide receiver – specifically one that’s rated second by many draft experts – would be ideal, there are just too many factors for that to happen. If you’re going to take another A&M player in addition to Manziel, we’re much more comfortable selecting OT Cedric Ogbuehi instead of trading a second round pick to move up.
Is there anyone you’re targeting for the Browns with the 26th pick? We’d like to know in the comments below.