Mel Kiper Jr’s NFL Mock Draft 4.0 came out last week and we covered it here. Today Kiper presented a list of team needs (Insider, cost $) as the NFL Draft approaches in a little over two weeks. None of the needs listed should be a surprise but take a look at Kiper’s explanations:
Quarterback: Brian Hoyer played pretty well last year, but that’s a very limited sample size, and ceiling is a significant question. Neither quarterback currently on the roster was drafted. I would be shocked if the Browns don’t add a quarterback by the end of the first round.
Not a surprise to see QB listed at the top of Kiper’s list. Last year Hoyer’s success is a blessing and a curse. He looked good and could be a starting level QB but he got injured quickly and his sample size is small. Kiper notes that he would expect a quarterback more at 26 then at 4.
Cornerback: The distance between Joe Haden and everyone else – Buster Skrine, Leon McFadden, etc. — is pretty significant. The Browns could add more than one player here given it’s a deep position and they have a bounty of picks.
Another big need is at corner where the Browns tried to upgrade this off-season but were unable to. Adding a corner or two in a deep draft would solidify the secondary. The Browns could easily get their #2 and #4 corner in this draft. It also would not be a surprise to see them take a corner to convert into a free safety in Pettine’s defense.
Wide receiver: Similar to the situation at cornerback, there’s one really good option in Josh Gordon, and then the drop-off is significant. Greg Little is still more potential than performance, and the depth chart is uninspiring thereafter.
Pretty clear need for more receiver help. Kiper forgot about Andrew Hawkins, but Browns fans may be more excited for him then nationally. Hopefully local is right. The Browns are blessed to not need a #1 guy as Gordon has proven to be just that. They are in need of a solid #2 as well as depth throughout after Gordon and Hawkins. Little, unless his hands drastically improve, will be camp cut.
Guard: A healthy Jason Pinkston changes the equation here, but Pinkston hasn’t been healthy, and the Browns will suffer up front if they don’t add some playable depth here.
Unlike many Browns fans Kiper doesn’t have right tackle listed here, showing confidence in Mitchell Schwartz. Instead he lists guard play, which Browns fans would agree has been problematic. Whether Pinkston is a game changer in that area or not is another question. His ankle injury last year, and late season concussion, are cause for concern. If Pinkston is healthy he could be a great fit in the Zone Blocking Scheme with John Greco at the other guard spot.
No surprises here but do you agree with the 4 spots he chose? If not what area needs addressed more? What order would you put the top 4 needs in (regardless of who is in this draft)?