For some, NFL mock draft season is exciting. For others, NFL mock draft season is annoying because it doesn’t mean anything.
In general, there are three purposes of mock drafts:
- Predicting what will happen
- Introducing fans to a variety of players that might fit their team
- Showing how a draft could unfold with each pick impacting the next one
A vast majority of the time, unless someone has trusted inside sources, the last two are the most likely goal.
Pick 74 - Zach Evans - Mississippi - RB
Running back is one of the only positions Cleveland has not added to this offseason. With Nick Chubb and Jerome Ford at the top of the depth chart, adding another back makes sense. Using the team’s first selection on one may not.
Evans is fast with a great burst. He didn’t have a ton of receptions, just 30 over three seasons, and never had more than 936 yards rushing in a season.
Pick 98 - Owen Pappoe - Auburn - LB
Pappoe is a leader’s leader and played middle linebacker well in the SEC. He’s also a little undersized for what we expect at the NFL level but DC Jim Schwartz doesn’t care about size as much as some fans. Pappoe isn’t small, 6’ and 225 pounds, but plays the run well with angles while still being light on his feet in overage.
Pick 111 - Clark Phillips III - Utah - CB
Phillips is a player we highlighted during the season when Utah matched up with UCLA. A slot corner, Phillips has quick feet and is able to match with receivers inside quite well. With a need for a pure slot corner, the Utah Ute fits the bill and is good value in the fourth round.
Pick 126 - YaYa Diaby - Louisville - DE
Besides having a unique name, Diaby is someone that has been linked to Cleveland previously. As covered in that linked piece, Diaby has elite get-off and quickness for a defensive end.
The NFL Network mock draft may not have had a lot of the names that we have seen going to the Browns but addresses a lot of needs. Evans, Pappoe and Diaby could have immediate rotational roles while Phillips would immediately step in as the primary slot corner with the team’s top three rotating outside and moving around more than the last few years.