Yesterday ESPN's Todd McShay released his first mock draft for the 2016 NFL Draft. The entire piece is an ESPN Insider article, but being that Cleveland perennially drafts high enough, we don't have to worry about the rest of the article hidden behind their paywall.
McShay used ESPN's Power Football Index (more on that here) to determine the draft order for the 31 first round selections (Patriots' pick forfeited). Therefore, you'll notice the Browns draft second in his mock, when their present draft position is actually third.
What you'll also notice is that the position McShay has the Browns targeting is a familiar one..
2. Cleveland Browns
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis Tigers*
Lynch has been an extremely efficient passer for the Tigers this season (69.0 completion rate, 28 TDs vs. 3 INTs) -- and he showed up in a big way against Memphis' best opponent (Ole Miss). He has not yet declared for the draft -- and I still have a lot of work to do on him in terms of analyzing his work ethic, leadership skills, mental makeup and durability history -- but Lynch has the physical skills to develop into a good starting NFL QB, which Cleveland needs.
I have freely admitted that I am a firm Johnny Manziel supporter, so seeing the Browns mocked with a QB early is a little unnerving. However, I really like Paxton Lynch. Like, a lot. Johnny's electrifying playmaking ability has always been something that I've been draw to as a fan, but if there's another QB attribute I've always enjoyed watching; it's the big, tall gun-slinging QB's. Plus, Lynch is surprisingly mobile for being as big as he is - listed at 6'7" 245 lbs.
I really hope Manziel can be the team's quarterback of the future, and I am at a crossroads when it comes to Lynch. While I think he could be a really good quarterback, personally, I'd rather see what Johnny can do. Now, say Johnny implodes the last few games, or say he has another off-field slip-up, then the Lynch discussion becomes much more realistic.
For now, I just don't see the Browns using a top-5 pick on another QB. There's a whole hell of a lot that can, and will change over the next 4-5 months. So we'll see how this all plays out.
What do you all think, should the Browns take yet another QB with their first round pick?