The Cleveland Browns will likely select a quarterback with the fourth overall pick. It is no secret that Cleveland wants a franchise quarterback for the long term. Brian Hoyer showed a lot of potential and if he continues his successful rehabilitation, he could be named the starting quarterback at the end of the preseason.
There are also a few doubts about Hoyer. He has a small sampling of games he started which makes it extremely difficult to evaluate him. Browns fans remember when Colt McCoy had a similar start when he torched two of the NFL’s juggernauts, the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots. It was all too easy to label McCoy as the future of the franchise, the savior of the sinking ship; the one quarterback would deliver the Browns to the promised land of the NFL Playoffs. However, McCoy was not chosen one sent to deliver the Browns from the evil of losing seasons. He was not the “LeBron James” of the Browns.
Who is the “LeBron James” of the Browns? One could easily point their fingers at Josh Gordon, Joe Haden, Joe Thomas, and perhaps even Alex Mack if he resigns. However, a quarterback is supposed to be the main attraction of the show. The quarterback is the movie star, alpha, and omega on any NFL team, period.
It may be nice and rosy to say Hoyer is that guy, but the Browns are obviously looking for more proof of that. It is better to have a second option to count on this season or in the not so distant future.
Johnny Manziel is the most logical choice for the Browns with the fourth overall pick. It seemed all too obvious that the Browns had no chance to select him given the possibility Jacksonville would relish the chance to select him. However, there is a great possibility Jacksonville would rather pick former Clemson star wide receiver Sammy Watkins to build around Chad Henne.
If Manziel falls to the fourth overall pick, Browns fans can bank on him being selected. Waiting until the 26th overall pick could be extremely risky given that this is a thin quarterback class. There are several teams looking to take a quarterback despite concerns of the level of preparation these passers have.
Here is an updated mock draft:
4th pick- Johnny Manziel- quarterback- Texas A/M– Manziel possesses a unique quality that any quarterback needs- the ability to make a strong accurate throw while under duress. Given Cleveland’s usual history of failing to protect the quarterback, Manziel fits in nicely. Although Cleveland’s offensive line has been significantly better the last few seasons, this is the kind of talent General Managers rarely pass up on.
26th pick- Marqise Lee– The Browns may have a serious debate on this pick. Lee is a great choice because he presents the Browns with a great deep receiver to pair up with Josh Gordon. Having two flashy receivers that are known for speed is essential. The Browns are clearly obsessed with building a team that has speed.
35th pick- Davante Adams- wide receiver- Fresno State– Adams is another receiver that has some speed to offer. He is not as quick as Lee but Adams has enough speed to get open. He could be a good slot receiver, especially since he is relatively tall at 6 feet one inch. He has excellent leaping ability which will come in handy should the Browns use him in the slot and occasionally on deep passes.
Wow! How about Cleveland’s new three headed monster on offense? This is the group of playmakers that most teams wish they had. The front office looks more like a genius if they didn’t already appear that way. The Browns now have the cannon arm with accuracy from Manziel and pair up two of the fastest receivers in the draft to pair up with Gordon. This offense is looking scary already.
71st pick- Anthony Steen-offensive guard-Alabama– He is a monster at 6 feet 3inches tall and 314 pounds. He will need to be quicker on his decision making ability but he possesses surprising speed for his frame and has shown the ability to drive defenders into the ground. This is like having a second Joe Thomas but at guard. The Browns won’t dare pass up Steen.
83rd pick- Louchiez Purifoy- cornerback- Florida– Buster Skrine is becoming a better cornerback but there are still some concerns the Browns do not have enough depth at this position. Purifoy is another outstanding product out the Gators’ program. With his abilities and common ground with Joe Haden, the Browns get a cornerback that possesses the proper skill set and chemistry with Haden.
102nd pick- Christian Jones– inside linebacker- Florida State– It would be wise to have a solid backup for Karlos Dansby. Jones could pressure quarterbacks and drop back into pass coverage. This is a true gift for the Browns and Mike Pettine.
123rd pick- Dion Bailey– free safety- Southern California– Pettine loves hybrid defenders. Pairing Jones and Bailey on the Browns would be a huge offseason victory.
133rd pick- Devonta Freeman– running back- Florida State- Normally Freeman would go much higher but projecting running backs can be a difficult task for this upcoming draft. Freeman falls to the fifth round and the Browns quickly select him.
164th pick- James Wilder Jr. – running back- Florida State- Freeman and Wilder Jr. split carries at Florida State. Having depth at running back is crucial to success in the AFC North. After the Ben Tate signing, selecting the two Florida State running backs is a great backup option if the Browns pass on Carlos Hyde.
195th pick- J.C. Copeland– fullback- LSU– The Browns urgently need a fullback. J.C. Copeland is the logical choice.