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Cleveland Browns Post NFL Combine Mock Draft

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Build the Defense and get the QB

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Combine has come to a close and now that all the numbers are in it’s time to continue the debate. Let’s take a look at who I was able to grab within the first 5 rounds using the current CBS rankings via Fanspeak Draft Simulator. I tried to focus on players that fit a number of the analytic “trends” that I believe were started last year. Players with athletic testing that “popped” with production / upside to match.

For those interested in a deeper dive into the numbers and comparisons for the players I selected, I have highlighted the work of a good friend of mine, Jim Cobern (@Jimetrics). Jim and I have worked together in the past on analytic analysis of players’ athletic testing. He operates and has shared with me his database going back nearly 20 years as well as his process for comparing players inputs to predict their outputs. While nothing is “full proof” I truly believe in the merits of his system and his process which he’s shared with me over the year. Be sure to check out his site for more interesting stuff.

1: Myles Garrett - EDGE, Texas A&M

It’s really not even close. Myles is the best player in this draft and passing on him would be catastrophic for the Browns. While I have some mild concerns about his effort level at time during college, the man is freak and it shows when you turn on the tape. For his career, his production is off the charts and is easily comparable if not better than Clowney and Bosa, while receiving the same amount of attention if not more from opposing offensive lineman, TE and RB. Garrett is an every down stud to pair opposite of another athletic freak in Ogbah. He’s going to be an All Pro and offensive coordinators are going to have more than their fair share of headaches devising ways to stop these freaks coming off the edge. Gregg Williams is going to be a happy man and so should Browns fans.

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 272LBS

40yd Dash: 4.64 sec

Bench Press: 33 reps

Vertical: 41”

Broad Jump: 128”

3 Cone: DNP

Where Does He Rank / Who’s His Comp?
Jim Cobern - https://draftcobern.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/de-chart-ath.png

12: Solomon Thomas - EDGE, Stanford

I’m not picking who I want here, but who I think the Browns will target. If I had my druthers, I’d go with Patrick Mahomes, but more about him later. Solomon Thomas gives Greg Williams another powerful, explosive, athletic, and versatile playmaker to an already budding defensive front. Thomas would most likely play the 5T in Williams’ defense and in my opinion, is far more than a sub-package guy. Put him next to Danny Shelton and watch him not only get pressure on the QB, but make plays in the run game as well. He’s going to have to work to add weight and he’s going to have to consistently play with better pad level and technique, but he’s a fantastic football player and athlete who’s driven to succeed. He showed you just a hint of what he can do vs. North Carolina in this season’s Sun Bowl.

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 273LBS

40yd Dash: 4.69 sec

Bench Press: 30 reps

Vertical: 35”

Broad Jump: 126”

3 Cone: 6.95 sec

Where Does He Rank / Who’s His Comp?
Jim Cobern - https://draftcobern.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/de-chart-ath.png

33: Patrick Mahomes - QB, Texas Tech

While I doubt he makes it here, if he’s there, you absolutely have to jump on him. The Browns would be taking a big gamble waiting on him at 33. There are many QB Thirsty teams out there right now who are going to see the same traits and skill set that I do in him and most likely pull the trigger. I mentioned in my recent film breakdown here, but teams like the Saints, Chiefs, Cardinals, Patriots, Bills and Bears will be very tempted to take the QB who I consider to have the highest ceiling in this draft.

Mahomes has some work to do with his feet and will also have to prove to NFL teams that he is more advanced that what many bill him to be by the “Air Raid” association. I hope to dig deeper and debunk some of these myths myself in the coming weeks as I work to set up an interview with his agent. I truly believe he’s a franchise QB and has all the physical and mental tools needed to succeed in the AFCN. The one thing that’s undeniably clear, the ball goes where he wants it to go and it goes there on target. He’s going to be a special player and the Browns would be silly to pass him up at 33.

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 225LBS

40yd Dash: 4.8 sec

Bench Press: DNP

Vertical: 30”

Broad Jump: 114”

3 Cone: 6.88 sec

52: Obi Melifonwu - S, UConn

Another player who I have a hard time envisioning dropping this low in the draft, however, if he’s there, I’d personally fly the card up to the podium from Honolulu. I’ve been as high on this kid as I’ve been on Mahomes and for even longer. Obi has NFL size and athletic ability. He’s got the knack for taking good angles not only vs. the run where he shows the ability to make big hits, but he also uses his length and instincts to turn and make plays on the ball in coverage. He possesses the size, strength and leaping ability to matchup vs. TE’s over the middle and in my opinion would be an absolute steal here at 52. He’s going to have to work to develop his coverage skills more if he wants to play centerfield. I could see him best utilized as a SS in Gregg William’s defense.

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 224LBS

40yd Dash: 4.4 sec

Bench Press: 17 reps

Vertical: 44”

Broad Jump: 141”

3 Cone: DNP

Where Does He Rank / Who’s His Comp?
Jim Cobern - https://draftcobern.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/safety-data-c-hart.png

65: Fabian Moreau - CB, UCLA

Another player who probably won’t make it this far down the draft, in fact my guess is that he’ll have a hard time making it out of the top 40. But it didn’t take long to pull the trigger on this pick in my mock when I noticed he was still there.

I have talked about him on Twitter with several others who agree and feel Moreau can play the boundary and the show he put on at the combine proves he has the athletic ability to do so. Moreau has a solid build for corner and good power at the POA. He is able to jam and control receivers early in their routes and then he shows the ability to flips his hips like “flapjacks” and has the speed to cover down field. He’s good in run support and tackling but will need to continue to develop his abilities in coverage once his back is to the QB and he’s outside of 5 - 10 yard range. He might take a bit of time to become a boundary, and might be best suited for early zone work, but I believe in the flashes I’ve seen on tape and wouldn’t hesitate to pick him at 65.

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 206LBS

Bench Press: DNP

40yd Dash: 4.35 sec

Vertical: 38”

Broad Jump: 136”

3 Cone: 6.94 sec

Where Does He Rank / Who’s His Comp?
Jim Cobern - https://draftcobern.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/cb-chart-data.png

108: Ahkello Witherspoon - CB, Colorado

A late bloomer who really showed his potential this past season. Witherspoon had 22 PBU in 2016 and 1 INT. He brings great athletic ability and a rare combination of size and speed. He appears to move effortlessly in coverage, showing a long / smooth gait, flexible hips, and the ability to locate the ball and break up the pass. He’s not the strongest run defender and will need to add some more strength / bulk to his frame, but my bet here is that we use his strength to our advantage and continue to develop him in coverage and give our secondary another key piece to build with on the outside.

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 198LBS

Bench Press: DNP

40yd Dash: 4.45 sec

Vertical: 40.5”

Broad Jump: 127”

3 Cone: 6.93 sec

Where Does He Rank / Who’s His Comp?
Jim Cobern - https://draftcobern.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/cb-chart-data.png

142: Zay Jones

Jones is a tremendous football player, plain and simple. He also happens to be a great wide receiver showcasing strong hands and the ability to catch the ball away from his frame with consistency. Where he really soars, no pun intended, is winning jump balls in traffic. The biggest concern I have with him is that he’s not elite in any one area, however when you watch his film you can visually see the passion and heart that he plays with. Browns fans might not like adding another WR to the mix in the 4th round again this year, but if we do, this is a kid that I could really get behind and be excited about developing.

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 200LBS

Bench Press: 15 reps

40yd Dash: 4.45 sec

Vertical: 36.5”

Broad Jump: 133”

3 Cone: 6.79 sec

Where Does He Rank?
Jim Cobern - https://draftcobern.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/wr-scores.png

145: Eddie Vanderdoes - DT, UCLA

This is a kid who’s combine numbers didn’t really blow me away as much as they impressed me. He’s athleticism jumps out at “by surprise” when watching him play but what impresses me is just how athletic he is for a 300lber. He shows power and explosion in his hands and off the snap. I might even say he plays with a nasty streak while engaging at the POA. He’s able to take on double teams and thrive. His strength allows him to control offensive linemen and often put them on roller skates. Like Danny Shelton, he will need to work on being more consistent with his pad level and his fitness. He had an ACL injury in 2015 that might cause some teams to dig deeper. ultimately, if we can grab him at 145 and develop his strengths and improve his weaknesses, he could be a steal this late in the draft and another aggressive, powerful piece of Gregg William’s defensive next to / spelling Danny Shelton.

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 305LBS

Bench Press: 28 reps

40yd Dash: 4.99 sec

Vertical: 28.5”

Broad Jump: 111”

3 Cone: 7.69 sec

Where Does He Rank / Who’s His Comp?
Jim Cobern - https://draftcobern.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/2017-nfl-scouting-combine-dt-athleticism-analysis/

175: Ejuan Price - EDGE, Pittsburgh

Price has had to overcome some injuries, but when healthy has put up some impressive numbers. He had an impressive Junior season, notching 48 tackles, 19.5 TFL, and 11.5 sacks and then finished his career with 13 sacks and 23 TFL in his senior season. He’s an explosive athlete who shows the ability to get off the edge and bend. Has a few good moves that he’ll be able to develop at the next level along with his athleticism. He’s going to have work to do at the next level to consistently bend the corner and show that he’s interested in run support, as well as prove that he can maintain his health. I like Price because of his athleticism on tape but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Browns go a different route that EDGE at 175.

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 241LBS

Bench Press: 20 reps

40yd Dash: 4.84 sec

Vertical: 31.5”

Broad Jump: 117”

3 Cone: DNP

Where Does He Rank / Who’s His Comp?
Jim Cobern - https://draftcobern.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/de-chart-ath.png

181: Michael Roberts - TE, Toledo

A versatile, large target with enormous hands, Roberts is also productive when it matters. Over 80% of his career catches went for 1st downs and during his 2016 season, over 35% of his catches went for TD’s. His 3 cone shows his ability to sink and find soft spots in coverages and his ability make plays on the football is very good. He’ll need to work on his blocking at the next level, especially while moving in space. But I really like the ROI he possesses this late in the draft and think he could be a good candidate for the PS where he can develop and improve his game if he’s unable to make the final roster.

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 270LBS

Bench Press: DNP

40yd Dash: 4.86 sec

Vertical: 30”

Broad Jump: 111”

3 Cone: 7.05 sec

Where Does He Rank / Who’s His Comp?
James Cobern - https://draftcobern.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/te-chart.png