Todd McShay of ESPN released his second mock draft of the year on Wednesday. It just occurred to me that we never got to his first mock draft, which was posted in mid-December. at the time, he had the Browns selecting QB Sam Darnold at No. 1 overall, and RB Saquon Barkey at No. 6 overall.
That was kind of a spoiler, because McShay still has Cleveland going with the same duo; although he acknowledges that his methodology for Cleveland would change if they landed QB Kirk Cousins in free agency:
No. 1: Cleveland Browns - QB Sam Darnold: “I still believe the Browns need to address the QB position here, and any of the top four quarterbacks are in play now that Darnold and Josh Rosen have officially declared for the draft. This pick obviously changes (or is up for grabs via trade) if Cleveland lands Kirk Cousins in free agency. Between off-field issues for Rosen and his tools and intangibles on the field, Darnold should be the pick. I understand why Kiper went with Josh Allen in his first mock, but Darnold is a little safer. He’s the best of the bunch at this point.”
And then, the goods on Barkley:
No. 4: Cleveland Browns - RB Saquon Barkley - “The Browns have a lot of needs (CB, WR, DE opposite Myles Garrett among them), but they have a real chance to finish off a home run draft in this scenario. With a new QB at No. 1, running back is also a need. Isaiah Crowell is a pending free agent, and Duke Johnson has one year left on his deal. Barkley is better than both players and is No. 1 on my list of the top 32 prospects. He’s the best player in this draft.”
We can debate which quarterback is the right guy until we are blue in the face. When Mel Kiper mocked Josh Allen to the Browns at No. 1, it didn’t go over so well. What about the combination of Darnold and Barkley?