Next Quarterback of the Cleveland Browns? Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
It’s Draft Week meaning it’s heaven for Mock Draft enthusiasts and seeing as I’m the people person that I am, I’m giving back to the Mockers. Here’s one for you.
Full 1st Round & Bonus Early 2nd Round Coverage
1.) Houston Texans – Blake Bortles QB UCF
No one knows the importance of solid quarterback play in respect to winning and losing more than the 2013 Houston Texans. Here’s a a playoff team that bottomed out due to the sharp decline of Matt Schaub. The Texans realize they can’t win without a strong quarterback and knows guys, especially J.J. Watt, can’t stand to lose. They’ve done nothing to solve their quarterback issue and I highly doubt they’re going to let the guy they like most potentially fall to someone else, especially with so many quarterback hungry teams in this draft.
2.) TRADE St. Louis Rams trade pick to Jacksonville Jaguars – DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney
St. Louis has the pick up for trade and the race will heat up when Jadeveon Clowney is still avaliable. Atlanta will come after hard but Jacksonville will end up with the pick due to the Rams not wanting to fall behind the Browns. Clowney is a freak of nature and one Gus Bradley will love to bring to the team to build the nasty D he envisioned when he took over. With the Jags resigning Chad Henne, I believe that indicated they would wait till the 2nd or 3rd round for a quarterback but Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater, Sammy Watkins (Justin Blackmon isn’t likely to return to the field this season) and Khalil Mack are very in play here if they don’t trade up. The trade up will likely cost the Jaguars their 3rd round 70th pick, 4th round 105th pick and 5th round 144 pick (or their 4th round 114th pick from Balitmore for Eugene Monroe)
3.) St. Louis Rams – Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
A lot of people have OT Greg Robinson for the Rams but I just don’t see it. The T class is decently deep and they have Jake Long at LT. I believe the Rams will address some G help and other line depth later in the draft. Having a chance at Watkins will really help take off the pass rush. People always assume that the reason a quarterback is getting sacked a lot is because of a poor offensive line but that’s not always the case and isn’t here. Sam Bradford has yet to have a solid #1 WR. Tavon Austin is a great slot reciever but will never be a true #1. Watkins will be that go to guy for Bradford and gives Austin room to stretch the field. With these two, the defense will need support and won’t be able to bring the house knowing the receivers will be able to get open giving Bradford more time and more weapons to make this offense dangerous pretty quickly. Sammy Watkins is a special talent and will be one of the top 4 receivers very soon (Calvin Johnson, Josh Gordon and A.J. Green as the other 3, with Dez Bryant possibly jumping in the conversation)
4.) Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
With Watkins off the board the Browns can either take Manziel or Bridgewater and take another shot at the most important position on the field and something that has haunted them to 14 disappointing seasons, Mike Evans at Wideout to pair with Josh Gordon or take, or possibly trade down for, Darqueze Dennard to pair with Joe Haden. I have a strong opinion on Johnny Manziel and I think the Browns do to. There’s a LOT to like with this kid. He’s very strong mentally. Nothing phases him. He could be down 3 touchdowns with 4 INTS so far and he’ll still feel like he can come back and win the game. This is the type of player that changes the culture of your franchise. He infuses a winning spirit and a never-die attitude. He also brings an over-whelming arsenal of talent with his ability on the ground, quickness, improviseness, arm strength, accuracy and ability to throw on the run. He’s a tough competitor who adapts his game to win. The knocks are that he’s small (not a huge issue especially in Kyle Shanahan‘s system), he’s a gun-slinger (not always a bad thing), and that he improvises and runs too much (all things that will be taught to him). I think the Browns’ organization loves him and Jimmy Haslam, the SEC guy that he is, has seen him win in the biggest games of the year. He knows the talent and knows the excitement he brings. When was the last time you could say that about a Browns’ quarterback or offense? Manziel makes the Browns watchable and with Brian Hoyer still there it gives the Browns the option to go with Hoyer if Manziel isn’t progressing to their standards in training camp, making Manziel earn the starting spot which will only fuel his competitiveness and make him an instantly better player.
5.) Oakland Raiders – Greg Robinson OT Auburn
The Raiders have been very active this offseason. They’ve made a lot of improvements on the defensive side of the ball, added Matt Schaub at QB, James Jones at WR and some adjustments on the front line. The issue though is that the offensive line still needs improvements especially at the LT position. I’m fairly certain the Raiders are confident in Matt Schaub as their starter, hence the Terrelle Pryor push for release, and it might be interesting if Manziel drops to them but he’s not in this draft so the Raiders wait till later to look at QB. I think Mike Evans might be an option here but the Raiders still have Denarius Moore and Rod Streater both who had a solid season considering the quarterback play they had and they also added Jones from Green Bay. I think the Raiders jump on the tiny slide of Greg Robinson and have him start right away at LT over Donald Penn, who is not who you want your starting LT to be.