Mel Kiper of ESPN released his first mock draft of the year on Thursday. With all of these mock drafts, we are treated to double the fun due to the Cleveland Browns having the No. 1 and No. 12 overall picks. However, does that fun last once you actually see who is projected to go to the Browns at those spots?
Things started off as expected at No. 1 overall, falling in line with what five personnel executives said the other day:
No. 1: Cleveland Browns - DE Myles Garrett - “Garrett is the top prospect on my Big Board, and he's a premier pass-rushing talent who had 32.5 sacks in three seasons for the Aggies. The Browns are in the beginning stages of a rebuild, and Garrett would be a foundational piece. Keep an eye on a potential trade down from Cleveland, though, as it did last year out of the No. 2 spot. The Browns want to keep acquiring picks. They could also fall in love with one of the talented but green quarterbacks.”
At No. 12, though, things took a bit of a turn when Kiper projected the Browns to go running back.
No. 12: Cleveland Browns - RB Dalvin Cook - “After picking Myles Garrett No. 1, this would give the Browns two prospects in the top five of my Big Board. Cook is a speedy home run hitter who rushed for 4,464 yards and had 48 total touchdowns in three seasons for the Seminoles. Cleveland also could look at an offensive lineman, cornerback or linebacker.”
This is something we’ve already highlighted and discussed -- the success of the Browns’ running backs this past season, and how Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had already listed running back as a top need for Cleveland, to my disbelief. And now, we have Kiper thinking along the same lines.
You can check out the rest of Kiper’s mock here, if you have insider access. Regarding quarterbacks, Kiper has Mitch Trubisky going to the 49ers at No. 2 and Deshaun Watson going to the Bills at No. 10.