We are getting closer to the 2014 NFL Draft, one that I hope to attend one where or the other. Mock Drafts will abound between then an now. Evan Silva, from Yahoo Sports, put out his 2 Round Mock Draft which hits on 3 needs of the Cleveland Browns offense. For many fans upgrading the offense is priority #1 but will Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine decide to spend all 3 picks on offense? Hard to tell with the smoke and mirror campaign being played out so nicely in Berea. On to Silva’s Mock:
4. Cleveland Browns – Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews
Armed with ten selections in his first-ever draft, rookie GM Ray Farmer may opt to go “safe” with his first-ever pick, aiming for a top-five double rather than a home run. A strong bet to be a solid long-term starter and natural fit in new playcaller Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme, Matthews’ addition would allow Cleveland to kick incumbent RT Mitchell Schwartz inside to guard. With Alex Mack, Joe Thomas, and John Greco returning, the Browns would suddenly boast a top-shelf offensive line. Cleveland has two more top-35 picks to address quarterback and receiver.
Sammy Watkins and all 3 top flight QBs are still on the board at this point but Silva has the Browns going safe here. Matthews is a high quality player who could create a dominate offensive line for years to come. Not getting Watkins could upset many but in a draft deep at WR it won’t be surprising. Not drafting a QB, specifically Blake Bortles who could be a perfect developmental guy behind Brian Hoyer, would be a bit surprising.
26. Cleveland Browns — Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
I don’t pretend to know what will happen in the draft. I’m connecting dots and simply looking for reasonable explanations of why particular players might attract particular teams. And I think this year’s quarterback class is flawed, and the signal callers will not go as early as others predict. I do think the Browns make sense for Manziel, whether it’s at No. 4 or 26. New OC Kyle Shanahan has a diverse quarterback history, having tutored Matt Schaub, Rex Grossman, and Robert Griffin III. Shanahan has consistently designed his offenses to emphasize strengths and mask weaknesses. I think he would be an outstanding teacher for this year’s most polarizing quarterback prospect.
With all of the QBs on the board Silva has the Browns adding Manziel. Manziel’s fit in the Shanahan scheme has been mentioned often. He can do well with roll outs, play action and the occasional planned runs. With all 4 of the top guys still on the board it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Browns pass on QBs again here and hope they would be there in the second round, or trading back into the first to get a 3rd first round pick. In Silva’s draft all but Bortles would still be on the board at 35.
35. Cleveland Browns — USC WR Marqise Lee
Lee is a prospect that was expected to go much higher in the draft at the beginning of the year but has fallen down. He runs precise routes and could be a dynamic playmaker for the Browns. Silva’s note about Robinson echoes this writers who really likes the idea of Robinson paired up with Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and Andrew Hawkins.
What grade would you give Silva’s draft if this played out in a few weeks?