I Hate Mock Drafts…
…they aren’t privy to inside info, they are rarely right, and really they are just a ‘perfect world’ narrative of how the draft might go if everyone worked together and used the same draft board to address positional need. Worse, I am addicted to them.
Though I haven’t been trawling lately, the Cleveland Plain Dealer thoughtfully compiled a summary of all the big mock drafting sites, indicating who they thought the Browns would take. What caught my eye and caused me to literally jump for joy, was the prevalence of sites suggesting the Browns would take LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.
I have been advocating for the Browns to take “The Cloak” (yep, I’m coining that) from the beginning. He is a spectacular talent who has flown under the radar (as far under the radar as a top 5 pick is) by playing with the far flashier corners like Patrick Peterson and The Honey Badger. But, though those two get all the press, “The Cloak” might be the best professional corner of the three.
WalterFootball’s mock is the most appealing to me, pairing Claiborne with OT Mike Adams with the 22 pick. I want the Browns focusing on that line (thus my advocacy for a Carl Nicks signing). I’m not all that fond of Mike Adams though. If Jonathan Martin is there, it seems like a no brainer, but if he isn’t maybe OT isn’t the pick there.
NewNFLDraft pairs Claiborne with Baylor WR Kendall Wright. While I understand why it’s easy to project the Browns taking a WR in the first round, I don’t think it will be Wright, who underperformed at the combine. While the WR pool has some talent and big potential, there aren’t many ‘for sure’ guys out there that demand a first rounder. If they take Wright (or any other receiver), I hope it’s in round 2.
In my perfect world, the Browns really ratchet up the defense with those first two picks.
“The Cloak” seems like a great idea to me. It’s important to have a good secondary in the pass happy NFL and Morris could be a shut down corner. Meanwhile, I think Joe Haden is much better suited to be a #2 guy and Sheldon Brown, in his slower, older stages could be a nice free safety in coverage that allows TJ Ward to roam free and make hits.
For the second pick I like the Browns getting a DE. Their off-season acquisitions (especially Frostee Rucker) are fine, but are no solution for the future and wont create an imposing line in the AFC North. Bringing on someone like Whitney Mercilus or Vinny Curry to add to the rotation and unleash upon opposing QBs would be genius.
Strong pass rush + good coverage = wins
Here’s my last thought on this: I said I hate mock drafts because they never seem to be accurate. Sure, no one can predict every pick, I get that. But, they rarely seem to predict ANY pick outside of the top 3. And, I’m not always sure why. One thing Sam and I have been saying for a long time is, “IT’S NOT THAT HARD.”
Sometimes I think GMs overthink picks, or decide not to go with the obvious, lay consensus to prove they are more advanced and thus deserving of the GM job than the common man. In doing this, I think they miss out on a lot of obvious picks- for example, why DON’T the Browns have Houston LB Brooks Reed? If these bloggers was drafting that year, they certainly would.
So, let’s hope the Browns DON’T over-think this one and reach for some guy that no one else really noticed just to make a point and instead, take “The Cloak,” who no one really noticed, because no one threw at him this year, thus garnering plenty of attention from draft scouts that universally list him in the top 5 talents.
Seriously, the guy is so good teams would rather through at Heisman hopeful Tyron Mathieu. Wow.