Mel Kiper’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

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Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles celebrates a second half touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Central Florida defeated Baylor 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Blake Bortles Cleveland Browns (4-12) 
COLLEGE: UCF Class: Jr
HT: 6-5 WT: 232 
POS: QB

Analysis: The Browns have already released Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell. In other words, the writing is on the wall and the depth chart has a pretty big vacancy. So they’ll keep Brian Hoyer as a possible starter and draft a QB at this spot knowing it’s not such a bad place for a young QB to succeed, given their ability to pass-block up front and the fact that they have some dangerous weapons in the passing game in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. Yes, I can see either Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel here, but this is a bet on where the Browns end up after evaluating all of them closely.

With possibly the best possible option for the Browns all 3 big QBs are on the board when they pick. Kiper has the team going with Bortles which fits the Browns long term need in the physical AFC North. Bortles could sit at least a year behind Brian Hoyer before taking over in the year. Most analyst agree that Bortles has the best combination of physical tools to go along with a high football IQ. Having a chance to sit and learn behind Hoyer with Kyle Shanahan may be the best place for him. As Kiper notes the Browns pass blocking will also help in his development when he gets on the field.

Now that the Browns have their QB of the future what will they do with pick #26?

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  • Jarod Cook

    Drafting Bortles and Benjamin in the 1st wouldn’t be to bad of a draft, they get a QB for the future and a big body to play WR2 but now for my fan annalists. At #4 my order of preference is Mack, Clowney, Robinson, Matthews, Watkins, Bortles, Bridgewater. Judging by the moves they’ve made so far in FA I’m assuming they’re targeting QB or OT at #4. Of the 3 QB’s I like Bortles the most reminds me a lot of Roethlisberger, needs a year to polish his skills though. Bridgewater is second he can jump in and take the reigns now if need be, but he has a small body frame for his size which could lead to injuries (which he has a history of injuries). IMO Manziel is the next Tebow great collage QB but won’t make it in the pros. His decision making is atrocities at times, and the way he doesn’t try to avoid hits is a major concern. Taking an OT at #4 speaks for it self, you win and lose games by the wars in the trenches. I’d take Watkins at #4 over on of these QB’s it would give the Browns one of the most dynamic receiving cores in the NFL, and lets face it nobody is tripping over them selves trying to get one of these QB’s. The pick at #26 is going to be interesting, depending on what they do at #4 will kind of dictate what they do with this pick. I haven’t seen his mock draft outside the top 10 so don’t know who went where. Personal i hope ILB Mosely falls to this spot, but i don’t think that’s going to happen. Outside of Watkins and Evens my favorite WR is Jordan Matthews. From what I’ve read and heard about him he sounds like he’s a finished product, he can work the outside and the slot, has good hands, and able to help out in the return game. Benjamin on the other hand isn’t a finished product he’s a limited route runner and is know for catching a case of the dropsies. They can probably wait till #35 and pick Matthews, but it wouldn’t be to much of a stretch to take him at #26 if he’s there guy, that being said my order of preference for #26 is OL/WR/LB/CB/QB.

    • Jared Mueller

      I hear you Jarod. I am not a big fan of Benjamin just because he is big doesn’t mean much. I think the QBs in the draft are starting to be devalued but not sure if that is just using the media to get the word out so they drop farther. I still would not be surprised if one of the big 3 drops to the Browns at 26, or a trade up gets them the guy in the early 20s.

      • Jarod Cook

        The only problem I’ve got taking 1 of these QB’s at #26 is look at the last 2 guy we drafted in the late 1st rd. Quinn was supposed to be a top 10 player, but I personal thought he was overrated much like these QB’s are in this draft. It didn’t help him that he came to the Browns, who at the time really had no receiving core and no real running game. At least now we have Gordon and Cameron, and 2 serviceable RB’s. Then there’s Weeden Who they reached for and took in the late 1st. I personal thought it was a stupid pick when it happened, I was hoping they were going to tack Decastro and help solidify the OL. Maybe if Bortles or Bridgewater fall to #26 I’ll accept 1 of those 2, but don’t see that happening. IMO they need to wait till the first pick in the 3rd rd to grab a QB. In this area I can see Carr, Garopollo, McCarron, and Mettenberger all QB’s that need some polish but have good upside.