The Browns need a quarterback, but draft experts don’t think that’s the direction Cleveland will go with the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
ESPN’s Todd McShay dropped his latest mock on Wednesday, and he has the Browns taking defensive end Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M with the first overall pick. Our own Dan Kadar and ESPN’s Mel Kiper agree in their most recent mocks.
To be fair, the Browns have plenty of needs on both sides of the ball, and 13 picks to work with in 2017 to fill them.
Cleveland has two first-round selections this year, thanks to a 1-15 regular season record and last year’s trade that allowed the Eagles to move up to select quarterback Carson Wentz with the second overall pick. That would free Cleveland up to take quarterback Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina. McShay thinks that’s precisely what will happen.
Trubisky would be an especially interesting choice for the Browns at No. 13. He hails from Mentor, Ohio, which is just about 30 minutes from Cleveland. Trubisky’s bio on the University of North Carolina website claims that if he could play for any team in the NFL, Trubisky would choose the Cleveland Browns. This may be a perfect fit.
There are plenty of teams in addition to the Browns that need to address the quarterback position this spring, and there isn’t enough top quarterback talent to go around.
The 49ers will need to get a competent signal caller to run new head coach Kyle Shanahan’s dynamic scheme. McShay projects San Francisco will take Deshaun Watson with the second overall pick despite the fact that McShay doesn’t have a first-round grade on the Clemson product. Both Kiper and Kadar project Trubisky to the Niners with the second pick.
Here are some other trends from the latest mock drafts.
The experts vary on the top wide receivers in this draft
The big names in the 2017 draft at the receiver position are Mike Williams out of Clemson and Corey Davis from Western Michigan. Draft experts are all over the place in terms of where they project these playmakers to be selected.
In his latest mock, Kadar projects Williams to go to the Cardinals at No. 13 and Davis to go right behind him, to the Eagles following a trade with the Vikings to get to No. 14. McShay has Davis going fifth overall to the Titans, and expects Williams to go No. 11 to the Bills — who have found success with another Clemson product, Sammy Watkins, at wide receiver. Kiper thinks Williams goes to Tennessee with the fifth overall selection, and has Williams going much later, to the Chiefs with the 28th pick.
Two projected top 10 picks will be limited at the combine
Speaking of Davis, he suffered an ankle injury while preparing for the NFL Combine, and it may keep him out of participating. The injury kept Davis out of the Senior Bowl, but he’s likely to still attend the combine to go through physicals, psychological testing, and team interviews.
Ohio State’s Malik Hooker, a top safety prospect, won’t be able to participate in the combine as he continues to recover from core muscle and labrum surgeries. Like Davis, Hooker should participate in the interviews and physicals at the combine, but won’t be able to go through workouts at the event.
Both Kadar and McShay have Hooker projected to go to the Chargers with the seventh overall pick. Kiper believes Hooker will be selected by Washington at No. 17.
Other consensus picks
Kadar, McShay, and Kiper all believe the Panthers will go running back with the eighth overall pick. They’re just split on which running back that will be. Kadar believes that pick will be Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, while both McShay and Kiper project LSU’s Leonard Fournette to Carolina at No. 8.
The Titans need a cornerback, according to the experts, and Kadar and Kiper both think the 18th pick will send Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey to Tennessee. McShay is on board with the cornerback need, but believes the Titans’ pick will be Sidney Jones out of Washington.
There’s no question that the Broncos need to shore up the offensive line. For both Kadar and McShay, the expectation is that Denver will be the first team to take a tackle this year, with Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk coming off the board at No. 20. Kiper has the Broncos selecting Utah’s Garett Bolles with that pick.