Drafting is such an inexact science that players once thought to be “can’t miss stars” are out of the league within six years while mid and late-round picks are scattered all over Pro Bowl rosters.
This year’s NFL draft will be no different. Players that fans and media think are certain to succeed will fail and others that aren’t currently being discussed will be massive hits.
This year’s NFL draft is different for the Cleveland Browns, even if it is almost exactly the same as last year’s version. Last year, the Browns went into the draft with a pick in the second round but traded down before making their first selection (CB Martin Emerson) in the third. This year, GM Andrew Berry already traded the team’s second-round pick to acquire WR Elijah Moore and an extra pick in the third round.
In an event that is an inexact science, predicting what a team will do when they are finally on the board with pick #74 is difficult. Peter King, a legend in NFL coverage, had an interesting thought about what Berry should do with that selection, pick OL Cody Mauch:
Cleveland: Browns don’t pick till 74. A brawling, versatile offensive lineman like North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch would be a good fit for depth.
There are multiple reasons that Mauch to the Browns is unlikely starting with his age as a player who spent six years in college. Mauch also is likely destined to play on the interior where Cleveland has locked up Joel Bitonio, Ethan Pocic and Wyatt Teller for multiple seasons. As an older prospect, Mauch is likely to be drafted by a team that needs him to play right away.
Unless the Browns have trade plans for either Bitonio or Teller, selecting Mauch with their first pick is a waste of a selection.
Finally, Mauch is projected to go in the second round by the NFL Network and ranked 52nd by the Consensus Big Board. Unless Cleveland is trading up to get an older prospect to be a backup this year, the North Dakota State lineman isn’t going to be around at #74 anyway.
Again, if the draft is an inexact science than mock drafting is throwing darts at a dart board. King covers the league on a national level so it isn’t surprising that his guess for the Browns misses the mark by a lot here.