With the first full week of NFL free agency nearly in the books, the Cleveland Browns came out big winners. How will they approach the draft? That is the bigger question?
They were able to re-sign former New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins to a new four-year, $50 million extension. Cleveland would see wide receiver Terrelle Pryor defect to the Washington Redskins on a one-year, $8 million deal.
While not the flashiest in terms of star power and being the most marquee. In fact, the signings of WR Kenny Britt, C J.C. Tretter, and RG Kevin Zeitler, addressed big holes at the wide receiver and offensive line positions.
Cleveland could have gone in a number of directions. Addressing needs at OL, DL, DB, QB, and LB via free agency. The Cleveland Browns can change their draft strategy now that they have addressed WR and OL. The question is? How much?
With five picks in the first 65 overall, Cleveland has a chance to do some major damage. By filling whatever remaining holes.
Below is my post-Free Agency Frenzy Browns mock draft.
1.) Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M: As stated in my last mock, Cleveland is in desperate need of a pass-rusher on the edge, Cleveland tabs Garrett to pair opposite promising second-rounder Emmanuel Ogbah and a recently re-signed Jamie Collins in new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams aggressive 4-3 system is simply too much to pass up.
Depending on how Garrett performs during his pro day and private workouts, Garrett is still a lock.
12.) Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: With San Francisco, Buffalo and Chicago recently addressing their QB needs with the likes of former St. Ignatius standout Brian Hoyer, Mike Glennon and Tyrod Taylor, the prospect of Cleveland having a chance at former Mentor High star and former North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky will right there for the QB-starved Browns.
With the prospect of Deshaun Watson and Trubisky likely to be on the board at No.12, the Browns have a HUGE decision facing them. Do they risk the wrath of their already impatient and vocal fanbase in passing on another Ohio-born, Cleveland-area kid in The Artist Formerly Known As Mitch, or take the top-rated QB in the draft who beat the semi-pro team from the Heart of Dixie in perhaps the most thrilling college football game in years.
33rd) Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: Thanks to the aforementioned loss of Pryor to the Redskins, the uncertainty of Josh Gordon and the loss of veteran slot wideout Andrew Hawkins, the Browns may need to address the WR position again in 2017. While last year’s first-round pick Corey Coleman failed to live up to expectations, the other four wide receivers in Ricardo Louis, Jordon Payton and Rashard Higgins failed to step up into a more prominent role.
A tall, strong and athletic 6’3 and 213 pounds, Davis caught 97 passes for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. He is comparable to Gordon in terms of pure physical ability and would give the Browns a formidable trio of Coleman, Britt and himself.
Due to concerns over an ankle injury that caused him to miss the combine and will most likely cause him miss his upcoming pro day, don’t be surprised if he drops out of the first round.
52nd) Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut: There are football freaks, and then there is UConn’s Obi Melifonwu.
Melifonwu, a 6’4, 220-pound safety who us both good in run support and pass coverage would be the perfect fit for Gregg Williams secondary. A four-year starter at Storrs, “Obi” recorded 349 total tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, eight interceptions, and two fumbles recovered.
A tall, rangy and instinctive talent, Melifonwu put himself on the map at the NFL Scouting Combine. As a matter of fact, he recorded a broad jump of 11 feet, nine inches, 44-inch vertical and running a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash.
Yes. That is not a typo.
Considering the Browns need for a ball hawk and centerfielder, don’t be shocked if he name is called by Cleveland.
65th) Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson: With Gary Barnidge getting older, and the lack of a dynamic pass-catching tight end across from him, Cleveland rolls the dice on former Clemson Tiger tight end Jordan Leggett. Leggett, a 6’5, 260-pound pass-catching mismatch waiting to happen, caught 46 passes for 736 yards and seven touchdowns, would be a steal for Cleveland if he drops to the third round.