Mel Kiper of ESPN released his second mock draft of the year on Thursday. To compare, here is who he had the Cleveland Browns taking in his first mock draft:
Kiper 1.0: QB Josh Allen, RB Saquon Barkley
Despite there being plenty of buzz about the other quartebacks, Kiper is sticking with his guns at No. 1 overall and still projecting the Browns to select Allen:
No. 1: Cleveland Browns - QB Josh Allen - “I’m sticking with Allen here. The only way I see the Browns not ending up with a quarterback at No. 1 is if they sign Kirk Cousins, which is going to cost them around $100 million in guarantees. Then they could trade down with a quarterback-needy team to pick up more talent -- and remember, they have the No. 4 pick, too. Allen had a strong week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, improving every day. The NFL statistical comp I make to Allen: Matthew Stafford, who completed 57.1 percent of his passes in 39 games at Georgia and still went No. 1 overall. And Stafford had better talent around him.”
Kiper’s second mock draft now has the New York Giants taking Barkley at No. 2 overall, so that means a change was in store at No. 4. DE Bradley Chubb was off the board at No. 3 to the Indianapolis Colts, leaving Cleveland to take a highly-touted cornerback:
No. 4: Cleveland Browns - CB Minkah Fitzpatrick “With Saquon Barkley off the board, Cleveland can fill a huge need at cornerback with the pick it acquired in the Texans’ trade up for Deshaun Watson last year. And yes, that’s where Fitzpatrick would fit with the Browns. I said in my Mock Draft 1.0 that he is the top cornerback and safety in this draft. Fitzpatrick is a big-time playmaker as a deep safety, outside corner and in the slot -- he really has it all. He is a defensive coordinator’s dream.”
Here is how the rest of Kiper’s Top 10 looks — would you be happy with this?
Baker Mayfield is in and Josh Rosen is out in Mel Kiper's latest top 10. pic.twitter.com/YSHWyqNKSJ— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 21, 2018