Matt Miller’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft: Big for Browns


As the Cleveland Browns continue their up hill battle for the NFL Playoffs by turning to rookie Johnny Manziel, draft experts are starting to really dig into college prospects now that the College Football regular season is over and most teams only have one game left.

That leads us to Matt Miller’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft that he just released today, which also includes a ton of great college football notes. The Browns have two picks in the first round, and 10 picks overall, in the 2015 Draft. With a roster stacked with young talent, the Browns have a chance to take a big step forward next year. Like every team, the performance of the quarterback is key. We will get a glimpse of Johnny Manziel over the next 3 games.

What does Miller’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft have in store for the Browns?

"14ClevelandWR DeVante Parker, Louisville"

Like many Miller has the Browns addressing their receiver problem right away. Josh Gordon has returned but hasn’t gotten into rhythm just yet but adding a stud like Parker would both make Gordon’s life easier and give the Browns a backup option if Gordon isn’t long for the team.

In Miller’s draft Parker is the 2nd receiver off the board, with Amari Cooper going fifth overall to the Oakland Raiders. Miller then has Kevin White to the Miami Dolphins with the pick after the Browns. Devin Funchess, the big WR/TE from Michigan, and Jalen Strong, from Arizona State, are also first round receivers for Miller.

Last year’s draft provide some information as to what the Browns want to do. While they have said they would have drafted Sammy Watkins had they stayed at the 4th pick, they didn’t draft any receiver in the entire draft. While they may have seen a need at the position they either didn’t value that need as high or refused to place need over value.

The rookie WR group, including undrafted Taylor Gabriel, has been impactful this year. That may encourage GM’s to draft receivers earlier than has been true over the past few seasons. Whether that includes Ray Farmer and the Browns remains to be seen.

Parker is a solid 6’3″ 210 pound senior who has seen a bit of a drop in stats without Teddy Bridgewater as his quarterback at Louisville. That shouldn’t impact his evaluation for the next level but could make fans less excited. Last year with Teddy he had 55 receptions and 12 TDs. This year those numbers dropped to 35 and 5. Most still see Parker as a long term #1 type receiver, a possible replacement for Gordon when his contract is up or if he gets suspended, or an amazing #2 next to him.

The Browns also have the Bills pick to work with. Miller goes to the other side of the ball, an area that still needs some help, with that pick:

"17Cleveland (from BUF)DT Danny Shelton, Washington"

The biggest need for the Browns is right in the middle of the odd man defensive line. Shelton is the lone nose tackle prospect getting universal 1st round grades from analysts. The 6’2″ 339 pound lineman fits perfectly the need for the Browns. He can take on a number of blockers with his strength but has enough explosiveness to get into the backfield.

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Stats are not always a great indicator for inside linemen but Shelton, with his talent and motor he has made an impact all season in the stat sheet. Shelton has 9 sacks to go along with his 88 combined tackles. He was named 1st team All Pac-12 and 1st team Academic All Pac-12.

Miller has Leonard Williams, many people’s Top 5 pick, as the only pure defensive linemen drafted above Shelton. Shane Ray and Randy Gregory could play both defensive end and outside linebacker. Miller has two defensive tackles a few picks later: Malcolm Brown, from Texas, and Eddie Goldman, of Florida State.

Adding Shelton to the interior, pairing him with Phil Taylor after he recovers, to go along with Desmond Bryant, Armonty Bryant, Billy Winn and John Hughes on the outside would give the Browns a stout line. That along with the strong linebacking corp and Top rated secondary and the Browns defense could be game changing.

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How do you feel about Miller’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft adding Parker and Shelton?