Matt Miller’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft


With the Cleveland Browns coming off their bye week, one that hopefully helped them prepare for a long end of the season, the Browns have their fans hopes up. Three close games, although they only won one of them, against three tough opponents will do that for the fan base. What makes this season so exciting is that not only do the Browns fans get to root for a team that is showing they can compete but can also look forward to next year’s draft where they have two 1st round picks.  That makes 2015 NFL Mock Drafts all the more interesting.

The Buffalo Bills just demoted E.J. Manuel and promoted Kyle Orton to starter after losing their last 2 games. If the Browns win this week they will be 2 – 2 like the Bills are now, but would be seemingly going in the opposite direction. It is possible the Browns will get a Top 10, or even Top 5 pick, from the Bills come next year’s draft. Today Matt Miller of Bleacher Report presents his new 2015 NFL Mock Draft with the drafting order based on record.

Let us look at how he has the Browns spending their two 1st round picks:

"The Pick: OLB Randy Gregory, NebraskaWith their first of two picks in Round 1—thank you, Buffalo—the Cleveland Browns can afford to draft the best player available. That also fits what they’ve done in previous drafts given the talent on this roster.Right now, the Browns have a young quarterback (Johnny Manziel), a good duo at running back, a returning Josh Gordon, a good tight end in Jordan Cameron and are set on the offensive line. That rules out spending pick No. 9 on what would be a reach for another wide receiver."

Miller goes on to discuss that the Browns cannot have too many pass rushers. This is especially true with Jabaal Sheard being a free agent at the end of the season. Miller says that Gregory is a longer, stronger and more sound player than Mingo was coming out. For Browns fans who are frustrated with Mingo that sounds good.

Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer have shown they will go with what they believe is best for the team. A nose tackle or defensive end would also not be a surprise here. Coming into the season the Browns defense was seen as a strength but so far they have underachieved. With two picks expect the Browns to pick the best player available with their first rounders and then look to address needs in later rounds.

If either the Browns or the Bills fall into a Top 5 pick the options are endless. Drafting another quarterback, taking a receiver or trading down all become more likely with a Top 5 pick, or two. The draft is all about talent acquisition, especially in the first round. The Browns are young and talented could this draft put them over the top? Let us see with Miller’s second pick for the Browns:

"The Pick: WR Devin Funchess, MichiganThe Buffalo Bills traded up in the 2014 draft for Sammy Watkins, and the Cleveland Browns took their 2015 first-round pick in exchange. And with that pick the Bills used to draft a wide receiver, the Browns should draft a wide receiver.Devin Funchess lining up opposite Josh Gordon, Andrew Hawkins and Jordan Cameron is exactly what Johnny Manziel needs in Cleveland for the 2015 season. Funchess, a former tight end, has the size and length that will remind folks of Alshon Jeffery or Kelvin Benjamin when he gets into the open field. You won’t get amazing stats from him on a terrible Michigan team, but Funchess is a legit top-15 prospect."

If this comes to pass, with the 4th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Browns would have acquired Justin Gilbert, Funchess and whoever they pick in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The 4th round pick is not just a throw in, Farmer has already shown an ability of pulling in talent in the late rounds. Two starters and a solid contributor for Sammy Watkins seems like a pretty good deal.

Funchess is an interesting prospect. Miller compares him to two similar boom/bust prospects in Jeffery and Benjamin. Is he fast enough to compete in the NFL? If he can have close to the career path that Jeffery has had, or the rookie season of Benjamin, the Browns offense will be humming. It will still depend on Manziel but a great offensive line with a 3 headed stable of running backs and Gordon, Hawkins, Cameron and Funchess as the pass catchers and the Browns would have something.

The Browns would benefit from adding another free safety, offensive and defensive lineman and inside linebacker. Those could all be selected, even after these 2 picks, by the end of the 4th round. Much will depend on Manziel but if a draft like this is completed the Browns would be set up long term to compete, not just in the AFC North but in the AFC as a whole.

What do you think of Miller’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft?