The annual SB Nation Writers Mock Draft is in progress over at our network's draft coverage stream. The way it works is that each NFL blog picks a player for their team when their site is on the clock. Heading into Cleveland's pick at No. 12 overall, the following eleven players were already off the board:
(In parenthesis is the average voting rank given on Mocking the Draft by voters -- 1 = F; 2 = D; 3 = C; 4 = B; 5 = A)
- Tampa Bay: QB Jameis Winston (3.80)
- Tennessee: QB Marcus Mariota (3.43)
- Jacksonville: DE Vic Beasley (3.51)
- Oakland: DT Leonard Williams (4.71)
- Washington: OT Collins (3.25)
- New York Jets: WR Kevin White (3.83)
- Chicago: NT Danny Shelton (4.10)
- Atlanta: OLB Randy Gregory (3.87)
- New York Giants: OT Brandon Scherff (4.23)
- St. Louis: WR Amari Cooper (4.11)
- Minnesota: CB Trae Waynes (3.95)
Last year, I went against the grain and selected an offensive tackle for the Browns with their first pick, bypassing on a wide receiver like Sammy Watkins. After consulting with my fellow staff writers at Dawgs By Nature, I made a pick that fit in more with the consensus at No. 12 overall: WR DeVante Parker.
|12. Cleveland Browns||DeVante Parker, Louisville
Chris Pokorny: "When the casual fan looks at the Cleveland Browns wide receiver situation, they probably perceive it as one of the worst in the NFL. However, when you factor in all of the Browns' receivers, they are spending the eighth-most money against the cap at the wide receiver position in the NFL this year.
General manager Ray Farmer has stressed how he wants to have a versatile group of receivers. The Browns really like Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel, but both of them are undersized. Brian Hartline was signed to a three-year deal, but he's a complementary piece, not a No. 1 receiver. Dwayne Bowe was signed to a two-year deal, and while he used to be a No. 1-caliber receiver, it's been awhile since he's held that status. If Josh Gordon can avoid another suspension, Cleveland will hold the rights to him for another year or two. Although the Browns addressed the receiver position in free agency, it's more of a patchwork fix than a longterm solution. The team can't place an ounce of faith in Gordon, so it may as well act like he's not in the equation anymore. Bowe is getting toward the tail end of his career, so Cleveland needs to find a young receiver who can be the No. 1 guy for years to come.
Enter the 6'3, 209-pound DeVante Parker. It was painful to see the Browns miss out on one of the talented receivers from a year ago, but taking Parker would make amends for their mistake. He seems to be the receiver who Farmer prefers the most, so of the top three players at the position, it would be convenient if he fell right into Cleveland's lap."
To see what Dan Kadar thought of our pick (and what people are saying in the comments section), go here. The voting has us at a grade of 4.00 right now, but if you feel the pick should be rated higher (or lower), feel free to head on over and vote!