With the Cleveland Browns set to possibly transform their moribund franchise at 8pm tonight, they are once again on the clock.
Thanks to holes on the defensive and offensive lines, quarterback, defensive back, running back and so forth, Cleveland has a lot of holes that they need to fill. But which one will be address first? Quarterback or edge rusher?
Make no mistake that the Browns need a QB after seeing the likes of first-round busts such Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden, Robert Griffin III and journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer pass through the so-called Factory of Sadness.
Below is my five-round mock draft for the Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft.
(Editor’s Note: Additional writing and editing done by INSCMagazine Publisher, Robert D. Cobb)
Round 1, Pick 1: Myles Garrett, Defensive End- Texas A/M : The Browns need another pass rusher and Garrett is the consensus top pick according to NFL scouts. Garrett has the sort of size and power that the Raiders Khalil Mack possesses. Sashi Brown will likely change his mind and listen to Hue Jackson’s input.
Round 1, Pick 4: Projected trade with Jaguars- Jacksonville receives 2017 12th overall pick and a second-round pick(52nd overall pick) : Mitchell Trubisky– Quarterback North Carolina- The Browns front office is desperate to get a winner at quarterback.
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson will be in the discussion but the intriguing prospect of the Ohio-born Trubisky is like a Bernie Kosar story. Trubisky only started 13 games at North Carolina, but had the talent for many more starts.
His accuracy mirrors Kessler and he could be the Browns starter at some point this season.
Round 2, Pick 1 (33rd overall) David Njoku- Tight End- Miami- Njoku is an athletic freak that the Browns need in Hue Jackson’s offense which depends heavily on two dominant tight ends.
Njoku will fit the Browns offense and this will be the steal of the draft, as Njoku is a first-round talent that be available in round 2 if the demand for tight ends turns out to be low.
Round 2, Pick 20 (52nd overall) Traded to Jaguars along with 12th overall for QB Mitchell Trubisky
Round 3, (65th overall) Juju Smith-Schuster—Wide Receiver—University of Southern California—Cleveland drafts their replacement for the talented—yet troubled—Josh Gordon, who may be on his way out of Berea shortly, in the physical 6’2 220-pound former USC Trojan star and ex-teammate of Cleveland’s projected starting quarterback in Cody Kessler .
Round 4, (Pick 108th overall) Eddie Jackson – Strong Safety—Alabama: A bit high for the talented—yet injured Jackson, the former 2016 CFB National Championship Game MVP would provide the Browns with a dangerous run-stopping hitter and return man, capable of changing the game anytime he touches the ball.
Round 4, (142nd overall –compensatory pick) Kareem Hunt—Running Back—Toledo: Another MAC diamond in the rough, former Willoughby South High and Toledo Rocket standout running back Kareem Hunt gives the Browns another option in the backfield, as he rushed for 1,475 yards and ten touchdowns, in case Crowell doesn’t work out.
Round 5, (145th overall) Quincy Wilson—Cornerback—Florida: Cleveland addresses it’s suspect secondary in adding another Gator to it in 6’2 212-pound Florida’s Quincy Wilson. With a nose for the football in recording three interceptions and six pass break-ups, Wilson would be a steal for Cleveland at this point.
Round 5, 32st pick (177th overall, via Patriots) Amarah Darboh—Wide Receiver—Michigan: The Browns double-dips at WR again in grabbing 6’1 215-pound Michigan wideout Amarah Darboh. A projected slot/X wideout, Darboh hauled in 57 passes for 802 yards and seven touchdowns.
Round 5, 38th pick (183rd overall, compensatory pick) Sam Rogers, FB: Cleveland makes the obligatory full back pick in former Virginia Tech fullback in Sam Rogers.
After missing out on free agent Kyle Juszczyk, Cleveland goes in a different direction in nabbing the 5’10, 227-pound Rogers, who is versatile in both the running and passing game by rushing for 283 yards, two touchdowns and as a receiver in catching 24 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns.