Grading The Latest Pro Football Focus Cleveland Browns Mock Draft: 3 Rounds

Dec 28, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Nathan Peterman (4) throws the ball during 2nd half of The Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Northwestern defeats Pittsburgh 31-24. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Nathan Peterman (4) throws the ball during 2nd half of The Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Northwestern defeats Pittsburgh 31-24. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s always interesting to see who Pro Football Focus predicts the Cleveland Browns will take in their mocks leading up to the NFL Draft.

With Cleveland’s front office being very analytically oriented, the website Pro Football Focus is said to be  the “Bible” of the Browns.

The website heaped praise on the Browns immediately following the 2016 draft, while some old-school draft experts gave the Browns an average grade.

Pro Football Focus writer Steve Palazzolo conducted a three-round mock draft. Here’s who he has the Browns drafting.

Round 1, Pick 1: Myles Garrett, EDGE, A+

Myles Garrett is best player in the draft. Nothing more needs to be said. If there was any doubt about Garrett, it was probably to put to rest on the day Gregg Williams was hired as defensive coordinator.

In addition to identifying a quarterback, the franchise hasn’t had luck in finding a consistent, dominant pass rusher. Garrett should change this.

Round 1, Pick 12: Jamal Adams, S, B-

No the Browns don’t take a quarterback here, and that’s OK because Mitch Trubisky is tapped by the Jets with the sixth overall pick.

It’s easy to like this pick because Jamal Adams has been mocked as high as No. 2 by some prognosticators and safety is a huge need for the Browns. Think about it? Who’s going to start in Week 1? Tyvis Powell? The coaches didn’t even bring his name up at last week’s annual meetings.

The Browns swung and missed on two safeties in free agencies. With Garrett and Adams, their defensive would instantly be transformed for years to come.

So why isn’t this pick an A?

It would be, but not with Alabama tight end O.J. Howard on the board. Palazzolo believes Howard will be hanging around until the Broncos pick at No. 20.

The Browns do need a safety, but they can find a starter with the 33rd selection. Howard provides the offense with some much needed artillery.

If Cody Kessler is going to start this season at quarterback, and that scenario will likely become reality,  at least give the second-year signal caller some weapons. Kenny Britt was a good signing, but Corey Coleman has a lot to prove and Josh Gordon can’t be counted on. Gary Barnidge is still a nice asset, but Howard has a tremendous ceiling.

Round 2, Pick 33: Jourdan Louis, CB, Michigan, Grade: C+

There’s a lot to like about this pick because corner is a position of need, too, even if you’re counting on Joe Haden to be better than he has been the past couple of years.

Jamar Taylor got a contract extension last season, and he was a good find by the front office, but he’s probably best covering slot receivers.

Briean Boddy-Calhoun also appears to have a future with the Browns, but I’m not ready to throw him into the starting mix, yet.

Cleveland probably needs to start formulating a succession plan for Haden, and Louis, who allowed a passer rating of 46.0 on throws into his coverage, would be a great start.

The problem with this pick is obvious: The front office has done nothing at quarterback and is obviously looking toward 2018’s crop of quarterbacks.

Round 2, Pick 52 Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Browns, Grade: D

Nothing against Ahkello Witherspoon, but it’s impossible to support this selection with DeShone Kizer still on Palazzolo’s board.

The Notre Dame quarterback, who’s recently come under criticism from his college coach, finally gets picked by the Texans with the 57th overall pick in Palazzolo’s world.

Witherspoon led the nation with 16 pass breakups a season ago. He’s big (6-foot-3) and gets high marks in press-man coverage.

Round 3, Pick 65, Nathan Peterman, QB, Pitt: C+

Wit the first pick in the third round, Palazzolo finally delivers Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman to Cleveland.

The author wrote:

"The Browns finally pick a quarterback, and while they’ll still likely be in the market next season, Peterman is worth a shot at this point. He impressed in a couple of key areas, including his accuracy at the intermediate and deep level, and recorded one of the highest percentages of big-time throws in the class."

And embedded this tweet…

Peterman has ideal size (6-2), but he might as well be another Cody Kessler. He’s accurate, which is why the Browns liked Kessler, but like the 2016 third rounder, there are questions about whether Peterman’s arm strength is good enough to push the ball down the field.

In his velocity test at the NFL combine, Peterman threw just 53 miles per hour. You’d like to see your quarterback throw at least 55 (under 55 is usually a recipe for disaster).Kessler threw 55, and we saw what his deep ball looks like.

Next: 5 QBs The Browns Should Consider After Round 1

Peterman gives Hue Jackson someone to work with, but it’s clear in Palazzolo’s draft. The Browns are looking at 2018 to finally find their quarterback of the future.