The Browns mock draft silly season is in full throttle, as linebackers from Kentucky and a wide receiver from Ole’ Miss have been mocked Cleveland’s way over the course of the week.
ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi is back with mock draft 7.0 (subscription required) and he circles back to the top defensive tackle prospect with the 26th pick: Christian Barmore.
Grossi arrived at Barmore’s selection after noting how the top four corners and top four edge rushers were gone by the time of Cleveland’s pick.
Again, you’ve read this here before: Barmore is worth taking over the fifth rated corner or defensive end. Grossi noted that the Browns do need a fifth defensive tackle, even with Sheldon Richardson, Malik Jackson, Jordan Elliott and Andrew Billings on the roster.
I wrote a little about Barmore yesterday, stating how he’s pretty much exactly what the Browns need considering you need to generate a pass rush with all four down linemen. Larry Ogunjobi flashed this trait early in his career, but he didn’t seem to have the same ability to get to the quarterback in years three and four.
Barmore can get into the backfield, while also slowing down the run. He’s the best defensive tackle prospect by a long shot, which is why I’m worried he won’t even be available at No. 26.
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy tweeted how the NFL is higher on Barmore’s stock than the media. Mock drafters routinely have him going in the the mid to low 20s, while Nagy called him a top 15 talent.
Other Grossi notes…
1. The quarterbacks stay the same: Trevor Lawrence to Jacksonville, Zach Wilson to the Jets and Justin Fields to the 49ers–at least for now.
2. I don’t understand the flak Fields is taking in the pre-draft process. He was excellent at Ohio State. Wilson is a fine prospect, but I can’t believe he’s eclipsed the Buckeye.
3. Grossi mocked Kyle Pitts to the Lions with the seventh pick. They’re head coach, Dan Campbell knows something about the position, having played it and coached it.
4. The Broncos go with Trey Lance at No. 9. It’s a good pick as long as they’re patient. It’s going to be a slow burn and the North Dakota State product shouldn’t be rushed into action.
5. Grossi loves mocking Mac Jones to the Patriots at 15 and does so again.
6. The first edge rusher off the board is Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari, who goes 11th to the Giants. Last week, Grossi had Miami DE Jaelen Phillips pegged for New York.
7. Jamin Davis jumped into our consciousness earlier this week, and Grossi took note of his rising stock, slotting the linebacker to go 29th to the packers.
8. Zaven Collins, the Tulsa linebacker many Browns fans are interested in, goes 27th the Ravens. Yikes, you know that will come back to bite Cleveland. Will be interesting to see if Baltimore will bypass its need on the offensive line to take a linebacker.