The Super Bowl is done.
The Cleveland Browns and the rest of the NFL can now move forward toward the 2023 season. That means coaching staffs filled, free agency and trades, the combine, pro days and the NFL draft leading into offseason activities and the summer.
For those that hate mock drafts, that probably is not a good thing. For those that love them, time to rejoice.
The reality of the mock draft exercise is generally twofold:
- A look at a lot of “what ifs?” in the process of a draft unfolding
- A way to introduce fans to prospects that maybe they haven’t heard of before
Today, we got a three-round mock draft from the NFL Network. With the Browns not having a first-round pick, we get excited when a national network decides to go beyond the first 31 selections (Miami forfeited their pick this year for tampering violations).
We got a very familiar name for Cleveland in the second round:
Pick #42: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
It was in the third round, with the team’s compensatory selection, that we got a name that might be new for some fans:
Pick #98: Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford
Wilson has not been a big name so far in draft prep but he was noted by The Draft Network as someone who “is blossoming into a difference-maker” while down in Mobile for the Senior Bowl.
An interesting description for a 6’1” receiver who is unlikely to show blazing speed and had just 26 receptions, 418 yards and four touchdowns last season. Wilson is seen as a raw prospect who had major injuries in two different seasons.
Adding Smith to the defensive tackle room has become almost a norm at this point in the process. It will be interesting to watch how his stock changes throughout the process as lacking production and an off-the-field criminal charge could see his stock drop even lower despite hype during the college season.
What do you think about a Smith/Wilson combo at the top of Cleveland’s 2023 draft?