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Cleveland Browns NFL Draft Live Blog (Day 1) - Rumors, Picks, and More

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Super Bowl 50 Preview Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

[THURSDAY'S 1ST ROUND NFL DRAFT LIVE BLOG HAS A NEW THREAD]

The 2017 NFL Draft officially begins for the Cleveland Browns and the rest of the teams in the NFL tonight at 8:00 PM ET. We've been busy the past few days preparing for our draft coverage and speculating about which players the Browns might be interested in drafting. The mock drafts that are staff completed for the first round can be found here. We also did Cleveland Browns Big Boards, ranking the top 50 players we'd like to see our team draft.

We will have all of your Browns-related coverage on the draft here at Dawgs By Nature throughout the weekend. There will be individual posts about each draft pick that Cleveland makes, or any other significant news. This thread will act as a "live blog" of sorts, with short one-liners about the latest small rumors, picks, or trades involving Cleveland or other NFL teams. You should also use the comments section as your NFL Draft open thread! (Newest updates will be at the top of the live blog below)

Browns NFL Draft Live Blog

[NOTE: There is a new live blog / open thread available here for the first round]


6:48 PM: We’re getting ready to start a new live blog / open thread at 7 PM, which we will post a link to here. One more update before then, though: Tom Pelissero of The USA Today says the Browns are among the teams who could be in on TE Evan Engram at the end of the first round or start of the second round.


6:22 PM: I think it is a copout when people adjust their final mock drafts, but in light of the Garrett news, Todd McShay of ESPN now has the Browns getting Garrett-Trubisky at No. 1 and No. 12:

No. 1 - DE Myles Garrett: The Browns like QB Mitchell Trubisky, too, but it looks like Cleveland will opt for Garrett, the consensus No. 1 overall prospect in the draft. Garrett has tremendous upside as a pass-rusher.

No. 12 - QB Mitchell Trubisky: Everything I hear suggests the Browns like Trubisky the best among the QBs. It would be ideal for Cleveland if Trubisky fell all the way to No. 12. That might not happen, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Browns made a move up the board to get their QB after spending the No. 1 pick on Garrett.


6:20 PM: The DBN Network is live, hosted by Ezweav; listen in now:


5:53 PM: First reported by Thomas George of SB Nation, who was in contact with Garrett’s agent earlier: the Browns have informed DE Myles Garrett that he is the No. 1 overall pick:


5:12 PM: We have some exclusive quotes via SB Nation from the agent of DE Myles Garrett this afternoon. You can read all of the agents’ quotes here, but here is a snippet:

"I do not know, but I am hopeful it will happen,’’ Cook said in a telephone interview late Thursday afternoon, in reference to whether the Browns would draft Garrett. "And I am encouraged by something. We represent Jamie Collins. When we did his deal with Cleveland they stressed that they were going to build that franchise from the ground up on defense. If that’s the case, if they still feel that way, then Myles is the guy in this draft for that. We’ll see.’’


5:03 PM: You have to appreciate Mary Kay Cabot’s sense of humor:


4:40 PM: And now even more subtle confirmation, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network — this describes no one but DE Myles Garrett.


4:38 PM: Hit the breaking news music! (dun da dun da dun da dun) According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer, DE Myles Garrett will be the pick at No. 1 overall. From her report:

With the NFL draft just hours away, Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett will be the Browns No. 1 pick, per multiple league sources. The Browns' top brass met Thursday afternoon to solidify their plans, but some of them have known for awhile that Garrett was the pick. ... The Browns have been working the phones and will continue to try to trade up for Trubisky from No. 12.


4:14 PM: FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager tweeted that the Ravens are in love with WR Corey Davis. That prompted Matt Miller of the Bleacher Report to tweet that “the Browns’ love for him is real too.”


3:16 PM: Every year, I go on the hunt looking for the Browns’ draft table and their M&Ms on the desk. I have no doubt that we’ll eventually get a snapshot of it from somewhere (last year the Browns’ Twitter account posted it), but for now, we’ve got a shot of the Jaguars’ table with the Bengals behind them.


3:10 PM: I mentioned this in the DBN Roundtable, but it might have gotten lost in the shuffle. Last week, Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst said that two teams provided their actual Top 32 draft boards to him, and remarkably, 28 of the players appeared on both teams’ boards (note: this was before the Conley news broke).

Then today, Pauline has another article out that discusses the latest draft rumors he is hearing. Among them are the fact that the stocks of DE Derek Barnett and DE Charles Harris are quickly rising. He’s also hearing that the CB Chidobe Awuzie is the most undervalued player in the draft, while CB Marlon Humphrey is the most overrated.


2:25 PM: Echoing what he hinted at earlier, Mike Silver is now saying on the NFL Network that “all signs point to the Browns taking DE Myles Garrett at No. 1 overall.”

In other news, I asked Dan Kadar of SB Nation what his personal Top 5 big board for the Browns would be. Here’s what he said:


1:52 PM: Here is a cool panoramic view of the NFL Draft room in Philadelphia, showing the Browns “on the clock” on the big screen.


1:27 PM: There were two more mock drafters I was waiting to read before the end of the day: Dan Kadar of SB Nation and Dane Brugler of CBS Sports. Well, I didn’t realize that Brugler actually posted his mock draft last night, but Kadar just got his up a few minutes ago. Let’s take a look at each, starting with Kadar:

No. 1 - DE Myles Garrett: Browns chief personnel man Sashi Brown has known for two weeks what he wants to do with this pick. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t consider Garrett the top player in the draft. Although the Browns need a quarterback, the value just isn’t there.

No. 12 - QB Mitchell Trubisky: Somehow I see the Browns finishing the first night of the draft with Trubisky. To trade up to the fifth pick they’re likely giving up pick Nos. 12 and 33 and maybe something else.

And here is Brugler’s mock:

No. 1 - DE Myles Garrett: This pick should be Myles Garrett. Anything is possible, but it would be a surprise if the Browns select a quarterback over the impact pass rusher.

No. 5 - QB Mitchell Trubisky: In this projected trade with the Titans, the Browns get back into the top five to secure the quarterback they want.


1:18 PM: DBN’s Josh Finney is at the NFL Draft in Philly today, and hopefully we’ll get to share a few snapshots of his throughout the day, such as this one:


1:15 PM: Thanks to BrownsChalkTalk on Twitter, who transcribed some quotes that Mike Silver of the NFL Network made on air today about defensive coordinator Gregg Williams after he had put DE Myles Garrett through a private workout:

He goes on to say, "Williams put Garrett through an intense workout with a 15 play drive, and made Garrett do up-downs in between plays. On the last play on a goalline situation, Garrett made a 'game-closing sack' and was relentless."


1:10 PM: An interesting little exchange I just noticed from Mike Silver of the NFL Network and some fans on Twitter. One fan asked if the 49ers could trade up to No. 1 for Garrett, and Silver said, “Nah.” That in itself doesn’t reveal much, but then another fan said, “[The 49ers] will get [Garrett] at No. 2 anyway,” to which Silver responded, “Good luck with that.” The exchange seems to lean toward the Browns taking Garrett first overall.


1:00 PM: Yesterday, I said on Twitter that the Browns have to be in good graces with the NFL for the A+ job they’ve done keeping everyone on their toes with respect to what should be an obvious No. 1 overall pick. Here is an article from NFL.com that expresses just how confused everyone is. With respect to the Browns reportedly having reached out to 27 teams, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell (or top-secret Browns employee, if you ask Tony Grossi) amusingly tweeted the following:


12:50 PM: Over at SB Nation, they have a great feature that looks at (in pie chart form) the most-selected player in mock drafts for teams. Here is how the Browns' chart panned out at No. 1 overall:

As of this post, 98% of mocks have the Browns taking DE Myles Garrett, while 2% are going with QB Mitchell Trubisky. Let’s take a look at No. 12 overall:

If you can't make out the percentages, here is the text version, as of this update:

  • 36.7% say QB Mitchell Trubisky
  • 23.5% say QB Deshaun Watson
  • 15.3% say TE O.J. Howard
  • 12.2% say “Other”
  • 7.1% say QB Patrick Mahomes
  • 5.1% say CB Gareon Conley

12:43 PM: In case you wanted to be endeared to DE Myles Garrett a little more, here is his reaction to Warren Sapp’s recent criticism of him.


12:06 PM: If you got the Plain Dealer yesterday, here is the cover art they had for their draft preview, featuring Paul DePodesta, Hue Jackson, and Sashi Brown in unison.


12:00 PM: Fewer prospects are actually attending the NFL Draft this year, and DE Myles Garrett already announced a few months ago that he wouldn’t be walking the stage. By the way, some inside site news: I just finished my pre-write of the Browns selecting Garrett tonight!


11:27 AM: And now it’s time to look at Mel Kiper’s final mock draft! He took the same bait that McShay took earlier:

No. 1 - QB Mitch Trubisky: How's this for a curveball to begin the night? The thinking is the Browns get antsy about Trubisky being available at No. 12 and don't find any takers to trade up. Could Cleveland ownership get involved and insist on a QB here? Remember, the Browns passed on Carson Wentz last year and really need a franchise-changer at the position. Myles Garrett is my No. 1-ranked prospect.

No. 12 - CB Marshon Lattimore: Lattimore could drop if there is lingering concerns about his hamstrings, which hampered him his first two years as a Buckeye. He's my top corner, though, even with only one season of tape, and he has all the traits of an All-Pro. The Browns could also try to trade up.


11:20 AM: Here are a couple more notes from ESPN’s Josina Anderson via her Browns source:

Anderson’s source from the Browns also said the following on the quarterbacks:

“I think Trubisky has the most upside of the QBs, but you don’t take him that high. I don’t think you chase him. ... But if you ask me who is the most ready of all the quarterbacks, it'd be Deshaun Watson. He's played in the most big games and performs under pressure."


11:00 AM: A cool shot of the Browns’ draft room in Berea tonight, via the team’s Twitter feed:


10:58 AM: According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Browns have “contacted roughly 27 teams gauging interest in moving up or down.” That is a lot of contingencies. Given how adamant Sashi Brown was last week that he’d be very surprised if the Browns moved down from No. 1, one can only assume that the team is building a huge, “if-then” tree of options for both No. 12 and No. 33 overall. Don’t be surprised if Cleveland ends up making three picks tonight.


10:55 AM: Are other teams, including the 49ers, finally starting to realize, “wait a minute...maybe Sashi Brown and Cleveland have been playing us the whole time with all these Trubisky rumors!”


10:52 AM: Alright, I’m back to the live blog now; I spent the past 45 minutes doing an article that compares PFF’s big board to our Browns big board. It should give you a perspective of their analytical point of view (which could align with the Browns) vs. what fans of the Browns think from a positional need and value perspective.


10:00 AM: This morning, we have Todd McShay’s final mock draft, and he’s flipped the switch to have QB Mitchell Trubisky going to the Browns at No. 1:

No. 1 - QB Mitchell Trubisky: Everything I hear suggests the Browns like Trubisky the best among the QBs. It's unlikely he drops to No. 12, where Cleveland picks again. So the questions become: Take Myles Garrett here and try to trade back up for Trubisky? Or take the QB and address pass-rusher at No. 12? Fascinating dilemma.

No. 12 - DE Derek Barnett: Barnett finished his career with 33 sacks. He's not the longest or twitchiest athlete, but he plays with great technique and a consistent motor.

It sounds like McShay has fallen for the Browns’ smokescreen perfectly.


9:45 AM: Per ESPN’s Josina Anderson, at least one Browns source doesn’t see QB Mitchell Trubisky going No. 1 overall. Also, just to re-inforce the point, I remain 99.99% confident the Browns are taking DE Myles Garrett at No. 1 overall, but I’m still going to report on any rumors so we cover all bases.


9:25 AM: Although he couldn’t get a Top 50 big board in this year, DBN’s Mike Krupka was able to provide us an alternate concept -- it’s his big board, but ranked in terms of what rounds he grades the prospects in:


9:15 AM: Every year, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network only posts one mock draft, which he unveiled late Wednesday night. Here is how he sees the first round unfolding for Cleveland:

No. 1 - DE Myles Garrett: Garrett is just too good to pass up. He's explosive off the edge. If he works at it and stays healthy, he could be the best DE in football.

No. 5 - QB Mitchell Trubisky: (PROJECTED TRADE WITH TITANS) Cleveland trades up to get its QB. Trubisky is the QB prospect most ready to play. I would prefer not to play him this year because I think it will take him a while to adjust, but at the end of the day, he'd come in and compete for the starting job.


9:10 AM: Given the Browns’ need for defensive backs, I’m following the story of CB Gareon Conley closely. I said in the roundtable discussion the other day that I’d be willing to throw the No. 33 pick at him if he falls that far. Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, he hears that Conley’s stock might be in the third round:


9:05 AM: Right before I woke up this morning, I had a dream that Joe Banner was re-hired today by the Browns and was walking through a Browns hallway. I happened to be there too for some reason and was questioning what his official title was. He wouldn’t say, and then I posed a hypothetical title, and the next thing I know we’re debating the semantics of the type of title I proposed. Poof, I woke up. Thankfully, just a dream.


9:00 AM: Let's start off with some quick primer news for tonight. The first round of the draft takes place THURSDAY, APRIL 28TH at 8:00 PM ET. The Browns have 2 picks -- No. 1 and No. 12 overall. Cleveland has been in the rumor mill for awhile now with crazy theories about what the team will do at No. 1, No. 12, and even if they might trade up from No. 33 to gain a third Day 1 pick.