We are getting closer. Like Christmas morning that seems to take forever but is here before we know it, the NFL Draft is next Thursday. This writer will be in New York covering whatever parts of the draft I am able. Whether that is through buying tickets, standing outside to talk to people or networking with as many people as possible we will carry coverage the best we can of the NFL Draft. Rob Rang of CBS Sports has his 2 Round Mock out today, a little over a week and a half before the the big night. Let us see how he addresses the needs of the Cleveland Browns:
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Veteran Brian Hoyer is a serviceable quarterback but he, like virtually every other quarterback the Browns have trotted out since Bernie Kosar, lacks the star power to turn around this rudderless franchise. Do I have questions about Manziel’s ability to hold up in the ultra-physical AFC North, especially at gusty and grassy FirstEnergy Stadium? Sure, but waiting to see which quarterback may fall to No. 26 (or lower) could mean more of the same for a long-suffering fan base. If he is not chosen here, Manziel could be in for quite a slide.
Many want the Cleveland Browns to address the QB need later but Phil Savage, yes the former Browns GM, made a great point on Twitter:
Basically if the warts were there the first time you passed them over, they will still be there the second shot you get. If you think a guy is a Franchise Guy you don’t pass on them. It matters not whether this writer or you the reader think one of the QBs in this draft are, if Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine do then they should take them at #4 and not risk them being snatched up. Thankfully with Brian Hoyer the Browns could mitigate those concerns and give Manziel time to develop. The Browns need a QB for the future. Maybe it is Hoyer, maybe its Manziel, or Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater. No matter what they need to get him.
26. CLEVELAND BROWNS (FROM INDIANAPOLIS)
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: The Browns feature one of the league’s better young corners in Joe Haden but need better play on the other side to complement him. Roby has the athleticism and physicality to warrant top 20 consideration but off-field issues and inconsistency makes him a bit of a gamble and could push him down the board.
Bringing a Buckeye to Cleveland usually is a recipe for celebration. Roby may be the one exception. Buckeye fans watched him play poorly last year then leave early and aren’t to keen on him. NFL types seem to believe in his physical ability enough that a first round pick is all but guarenteed. With the depth at the position a strong level corner could be had at 26. The same could be said for the wide receiver position, but will also be true at #35. The corner draft is not as deep with top flight talent but does have some interesting mid round choices.
3. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss: With Josh Gordon one failed test away from a year-long suspension and Greg Little as likely to drop a ball as catch it, the Browns can’t afford to let big, talented receivers slip by.
And the Browns address all 3 of their big needs with a wide receiver in the second. Moncrief has the build and make up to be a #1 receiver, though he will need some time to develop. He will work on his route running and catch point to really explode as a top level guy. For now he would be the #3, at best, threat in the Kyle Shanahan system behind Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. Andrew Hawkins and Ben Tate, out of the backfield, will also take some of the touches away and Moncrief develops.
If you dislike Manziel you will tend to hate this draft. Pretend they drafted the QB of your choosing at #4, now how do you feel about that QB, Roby and Moncrief?