Here it is folks, the one and only NFLFan.uk 2018 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Draft that I know you’ve all been waiting for seeing as I’m a font of knowledge when it comes to the prospects and what the Cleveland Browns are likely to do with their picks.
Ok, that opening to this blog post is written with sarcasm intended. I just thought I’d clarify as I know how touchy people can get on the internet.
Seeing as nothing is really happening in the NFL that’s report-worthy and as such I’m getting bored, I thought I’d bang out my final attempt at a mock draft of what I’d quite like to see the Browns do.
Again, I used the Fanspeak website to run the draft in order to keep me in check and stop me drafting all the best players. I stuck to the Fanspeak prospects list and the team needs list as well, even though there are more recently updated ones. I did try a couple of the more recently updated ones but thought they were out on their rankings of a lot of the players in this draft class — we all see things differently, especially when it comes to sports, so you might want to try a few different draft boards.
Cleveland Browns 2018 Draft Picks
After a very busy off-season for John Dorsey and his front office, the Browns now have a different looking draft selection list to the one they had when the new guys took over. The picks they currently have are:
- Round One: #1 and #4
- Round Two: #1, #3 and #32
- Round Three: None
- Round Four: #14
- Round Five: #13
- Round Six: #1 and #14
- Round Seven: None
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this changes again during the draft itself but, for now, I can just go with what they have. What they have is nine picks altogether with five of those in the first two rounds…nice!
NFLFan.uk Mock Draft
So, without further ado, here is the Cleveland Browns draft you’ve all been waiting for, hehe.
And there she is in all her glory. No, wait, come back! Let me explain some of my selection, wontcha?
Baker Mayfield | QB | Oklahoma
Speculation and “discussion” on social media has gone bonkers over who the best QB is in this class and who the Browns should be taking with the first overall pick. I must say that I find it hilarious still how everyone is saying that the Browns would be doing a typically Browns f**ked up move if they were to take RB Saquon Barkley first overall but yet it’s perfectly acceptable for the New York Giants to take him second overall even though they are a team in a very similar situation to the Browns now that we’ve picked up Tyrod Taylor. Anyway, that could be something for a different post, if I could be arsed.
I’ve mentioned it before in previous posts about how not many people know what kind of offence the Browns are going to employ going forward. We have a new OC who has worked with Ben Roethlisberger for the past six seasons and now suddenly he finds himself in Cleveland with a different type of QB in Tyrod Taylor.
As far as I’m concerned, Mayfield is the best QB in the class and has the most heart and has shown a great desire to lead and be successful. People have likened him to Johnny Manziel because of his ways but I’d have to say that I disagree. Obviously, I don’t know either of them personally, but I just think Mayfield is talented and confident whereas Johnny Football was a talented spoilt little rich kid with substance-abuse issues. If Baker Mayfield is the same as Manziel, I just hope this regime in Cleveland is way better than the last bunch of useless people were at finding out the bad stuff as well as evaluating the on-field stuff.
According to the very good PFF guys, Mayfield is easily the best overall QB in this class and no-one could criticise the Browns for taking him first overall, even though many will spout the usual crap about him being too sort to play in the AFC North.
He’s also mobile like Taylor, about the same height as Taylor and can throw like Taylor. It just makes sense to me that Mayfield should be the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft considering the importance of the position to a team these days.
I don’t think he’s the best overall player in the draft as that title could be reserved for players such as Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb or Quenton Nelson, but with the position he’s plays being QB, it would be acceptable to take him at #1.
Another argument could be made for another QB to be taken slightly later who plays like Taylor and that is Lamar Jackson of Louisville. Both he and Mayfield can move well but the difference seems to be that Mayfield moves to open up the play for him to finish it with his arm, whereas Jackson moves to finish the play with his legs. Both look like exciting prospects but I’d rather have the mobile throwing QB, thanks.
Bradley Chubb | DE | NC State
This spot of the early proceedings would be reserved for either Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb. It all depends on what happens at #2 and #3. The New York Jets now hold the third overall selection and will take a QB so it just comes down to whether new Giants HC Pat Shurmur wants to get his guy in at QB or use his high pick for something else. In the draft I ran for this mock, the Giants took Saquon Barkley so I went and got the perfect player to create a formidable bookend pairing on the Browns’ defensive line.
I’d still play last year’s first overall pick Myles Garrett at RE and I’d put Bradley Chubb straight in at LE with Emmanuel Ogbah rotating in as I still think he’s a decent-good player.
Chubb is slated as one of the top-5 players in the draft so it’s not a reach to take him at #4 even though there is other talent at this position should the Browns choose to trade down.
According to PFF, Chubb is an explosive player who can pass-rush very well but grades slightly better against the run. This, for me, is why he’d make the perfect LE playing opposite Myles Garrett. Those two could be a force for years to come and would make a pairing I’d love to see playing for the Browns.
Calvin Ridley | WR | Alabama
The wide receiver class of 2018 doesn’t exactly get me excited but, still, there’s some definite talent to be had outside of the first round. I’m not sure it will play-out that Ridley makes it out of the first round still available but the class seems to be full of players graded closely so who knows. Fanspeak had him still available at the top of the second round so I grabbed him with the first overall pick of that round.
Even though the Browns have made moves to improve their WR unit, it’s still one of the areas of the team that I’m not comfortable with. Yes, we now have Jarvis Landry tied to a 5-year contract which makes him a very rich man, but I just hope he continues to put 100% into his job and be the leader he’s shown he could be since moving to Cleveland. I do get concerned about these large, up-front contracts with lots of money guaranteed. You couldn’t fault players for thinking “F**k it, I’m loaded now so why should I go out there and get myself killed?”.
Add to that the fact that we also have “Glass Hands Coleman” and “Pot Smoker Likes a Drink Gordon” in that unit as the other best two players and I’m not confident about the unit making it through the entire season. Josh Gordon appears to be keeping himself clean and in fantastic shape so hopefully, he’ll play hard to get his big payday in 2019.
Calvin Ridley has speed and runs routes well to make him a threat in all areas of the field during passing plays. I’ve seen concerns about his drop-rate and the fact that he might be considered to have been a man playing amongst boys due to his age, but I’d still take him due to his speed, route running and size.
Tyrell Crosby | OT | Oregon
The Cleveland Browns desperately need a new LT adding to the roster now that Joe Thomas has retired. It’s reported that last year’s starting RT Shon Coleman will get the first crack at the job but, to be honest, I’m not comfortable with that due to the amount of false-start and holding penalties he gave away last year. Those kinds of penalties tell me he feels out of his depth and so tries to get the edge by cheating a little.
I’d like to know if last years 5th-round tackle Rod Johnson has made any progress after being placed on IR last season but even so, I’d pick an LT from this draft to add to the roster and battle for that LT spot.
Tackle is another position that isn’t filled with standout talent in this draft and none are expected to go high in the first round. In my draft, I was left with a choice of a few decent players worthy of being picked early in the second round with Tyrell Crosby of Oregon and Jamarco Jones of Ohio State being the favourites. I went for Tyrell Crosby but Jones would also be acceptable here.
I’m still intrigued by the recent acquisition, Chris Hubbard in free agency from the Steelers as I can’t get it out of my head that he might actually be our best option at LT rather than RT as it’s been announced he’ll play. Both Hubbard and Crosby can play at both tackle spots so I’d get them in and assess during training camp before making a final decision knowing that they are both good players.
Sony Michel | RB | Georgia
I’d absolutely love to have Saquon Barkley playing for the Cleveland Browns but I just think that his stock value is reduced due to the depth of talent in this year’s draft class at the running back position. That’s one of the reasons I’m more than happy to have taken Bradley Chubb at #4 rather than Barkley as that’s where the generational RB would have to have been taken for the Browns to get him. He might not even be there that late if the Giants stay at #2.
The Browns currently have a couple of RB’s on their roster that are good at what they do; Duke Johnson is a great pass-catching RB who makes people miss after the catch and new addition Carlos Hyde is a violent, downhill runner who can punish and wear down a defence. I picked Sony Michel because he is a good compliment to those two with his size, speed and elusiveness when running. Adding Michel to the RB unit would give them a great number of options and he’d be the all-purpose back of the three.
If Ronald Jones III is still available here, I’d have a difficult choice to make as both he and Michel are what I think the Browns need. I guess that would be one of those nice problems to have but one that was made for me in this scenario as Jones had already gone.
Rashaan Gaulden | CB | Tennessee
Ok, so I’ve spent the previous four out of five picks on offence so it’s time to add a little more to the defence.
I started off by adding another player to the DB’s with former Tennessee cornerback Rashaan Gaulden. He’s not without a hint of discipline issue but I think that could be tamed once he hits the big time.
He’s said to be a good nickel corner and with all the different looks that defences give today, he’d be sure to see lots of action. He isn’t the quickest of corners but is quite polished as a cover corner. Daniel Jeremiah has also stated that he’s regarded as being quick rather than fast, which is another thing I’d want in my nickel/slot corner.
One of my favourite analysts is Mike Mayock and he’s said that Gaulden plays with aggression, physicality and toughness. Again, these are all things I’d want in my slot corner if that’s what he ended up being along with Briean Boddy-Calhoun. I also liked the fact that he’s 6’1″ and 193lbs. One thing that seems to be apparent this year is the number of short-ass WR’s and CB’s.
Deadrin Senat | DL | South Florida
I’ve addressed the defensive secondary with the addition of CB Rashaan Gauldin and so now it’s time to address the line a little more.
Last year the Browns picked up two excellent DT’s with Larry Ogunjobi in the third-round and Caleb Brantley in the sixth (he only dropped that far due to an accusation made against him that turned out to be false), but I still think they need to add to that quality at the interior.
Larry Ogunjobi is a starter in 2018, for me, and Caleb Brantley has potential to be the same. I see the two of them as 3-technique and so I selected Deadrin Senat in the fifth-round as he’s listed as a nose tackle but could be a 1-technique as well, tieing up a couple of linemen to even up the numbers for the others on defence to make the plays.
Getting this guy in the fifth-round could be a steal, in my opinion, and however he’d be used, he’d be a great addition to the likes of Ogunjobi, Brantley and Coley.
Mike White | QB | Western Kentucky
It’s back to the offence with the first of our two sixth-round picks as I select our second QB in the draft.
Mike White isn’t going to be high on any team’s radar, but I’d put him in the second tier of players at the position in this draft along with the likes of Kyle Lauletta, Luke Falk and Riley Ferguson etc.
I was impressed by both him and Josh Allen at the Senior Bowl but Allen will be loooong gone by this stage so I take another of the QB’s I like at the top of the sixth-round.
I wouldn’t expect him to turn into anything other than a backup in the NFL but, hey, you never know!
PFF has him in the third spot on the Adjusted Comp. % list with a grade of 76.3. He doesn’t fare so well under pressure and in deep passing, but he’s still well-worth a punt in the sixth-round from what I’ve seen.
D.J. Reed | CB | Kansas State
I was torn between three cornerbacks with the final selection of the draft. I had either D.J. Reed, Parry Nickerson or Greg Stroman as my pick here. I ended up with Reed, but this could be a mistake as he is projected as a slot corner in the NFL due to is short size at just 5’9″.
I already took Rashaan Gaulden in the fourth-round who would probably end up as an aggressive slot corner so this selection could well change to one of the other two I just mentioned if I were to do it again.
D.J. Reed does play well for his size, though, and is a good cover corner so could defy his size and be good in the NFL.
So, there we have it. I quite like the look of this draft for the Browns and would like to think that I’ve addressed a few needs on the roster.
I get the QB I want from this class as well as another one I quite like from the tape I’ve seen on him. I also get one of the best players in the draft with the addition of DE Bradley Chubb to terrorise opposing offences for years along with last year’s first overall pick Myles Garrett. I also added a good interior lineman late with the thirteenth pick in the fifth-round to add to the talent we picked up last year.
The backend of the defence has been addressed with the addition of a couple of corners, although I’d probably change one of those picks as they’re both similar in what they’re projected to be in the NFL.
The offence was in biggest need of additions and so I added a good LT with Crosby and one of the better RB’s in the draft with Sony Michel to be our all-purpose back to compliment the two veterans already on the roster.
The other unit that still needs solidifying and settling down is the wide receivers. I added one of the top talents in the class there, as well, with the pick of Alabama’s Calvin Ridley at the top of the second-round.
So, what do you think of my attempt to improve the Cleveland Browns? Let me know in the comments below, and why not have a go at one for yourself over on the Fanspeak website? Let me know how you got on in the comment below.