As we will continue to say, NFL mock drafts have a couple of purposes but, primarily, it is not to be predictive. Maybe the start of draft week is when mock drafts turn more toward the predictive nature but for now, so early in the offseason, it is more of a thought experiment and a way to introduce new names to fans.
We get a little of both with the mock draft we are reviewing today.
Cleveland Browns fans are used to either a defensive lineman or wide receiver being their first selection in a mock draft. With limited depth on the interior of the defensive line, players like Mazi Smith will likely be connected to the Browns selection most of the offseason.
The continued push toward more offense and the team’s lack of a dynamic speedster will lead to a receiver name every once and a while.
Today, we look at Touchdown Wire (a part of USA Today’s Sports Media Group) and their most recent mock draft. In it, they have Cleveland (potentially) replacing John Johnson III with another Johnson:
42. Cleveland Browns: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
This Johnson is similar to the current Browns safety in that he is very versatile without a true position. He is a hard-hitting player with good coverage skills but some limitations that may not make him great at any individual thing.
With the next selection in their mock, DT Siaki Ika comes off the board while Gervon Dexter, Nolan Smith, Calijah Kancey, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Derek Hall and Andre Carter II, all defensive linemen, were also second-round picks after Cleveland selected.
Johnson is likely to be a second-round pick but could fall slightly given his versatility lacking a true position. Overall, he wouldn’t be a bad selection for the Browns, especially if JJ3 is released, but also would not fill the immediate needs the team has.