There are just nine days until the NFL draft opens and just 10 days until the Cleveland Browns make their first selection. Most, if not all, of the visits are complete for prospects, evaluations are finalized and teams’ boards are mostly set.
For the next week plus, front offices and coaches will continue conversations, final background checks on specific players will happen and rehearsals will happen for the teams.
For the media and fans, information will start to trickle out that is either truth or smoke. That information will impact NFL mock drafts all over the place.
For today’s Browns mock draft, we had the opportunity to use a new simulator. Surprisingly late to the simulator game, ESPN just published their first NFL mock draft simulator. ESPN’s lacks the bells and whistles of most of the ones we are used to but still gets the job done.
This week’s mock draft for the Cleveland Browns still has a couple of familiar names and, hopefully, a draft fans will love:
DE Tuli Tuipulotu, USC Trojans - A versatile defensive lineman that can play outside or move inside when needed, Tuipulotu is a tweener in size which allows him to fall here. With only four defensive ends on the roster, the Browns need to add to the depth chart here.
DT Siaki Ika, Baylor Bears - Ika’s size makes him an attention magnet but there are some concerns about how his game translates at the next level. Late in the third round, however, is good value for a nose tackle that can eat up blockers and help in the run game.
WR A.T. Perry, Wake Forest Demon Deacon - At 6’4” and having run a 4.47 40-yard dash, Perry is everything you want in a developmental outside receiver.
CB Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville Cardinals - My favorite player in this draft, ESPN has one of the highest grades on the slot corner. Clark is everything Cleveland needs in the slot and fans will love.
LB Nick Herbig, Wisconsin Badgers - An undersized 3-4 OLB in college, Herbig just gets the job done. Figuring out where he will play at the next level is likely why ESPN has him falling in their simulator as their 98th-ranked player. He can play a variety of roles for the Browns and is too valuable not to snatch up here.
LB Ivan Pace Jr., Cincinnati Bearcats - We go from very big players in Ika and Perry to undersized players in Herbig and Pace. Pace has a specific role as an inside linebacker who will benefit from Ika in front of him. A lot like David Long, DC Jim Schwartz will love how Pace plays.
S Brandon Hill, Pittsburgh Panthers - An interesting safety prospect out of Pitt, Hill plays very physical but is undersized for a strong safety. He has good coverage skills but is a little too aggressive at times. A depth player and special teams starter right away.
QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA Bruins - Cleveland seems to be looking for a backup QB in this draft to compete with Kellen Mond and DTR would be the perfect fit. It will be interesting how high he actually goes, seemingly much higher than the seventh round, during the NFL draft.
What do you think of our first spin on ESPN’s simulator with this week’s Browns mock draft?