Todd McShay’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft: Browns Big Additions
Nov 28, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Jaelen Strong (21) dives to catch a pass in the second quarter against the Arizona Wildcats during the 88th annual territorial cup at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Browns still have another first round pick, back to McShay’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft, version 1, to see how else they add to their team:
"19 Jaelen Strong Cleveland Browns (7-7) COLLEGE: Arizona State Class: Jr HT: 6-3 WT: 212 POS: WR Note: This pick is traded from the Bills. Analysis: The Browns passed on several opportunities to select a receiver in the WR-rich 2014 draft, but I’ve got them addressing that need here. Strong has excellent size for the position with a big catch radius and the ball skills to make contested catches in traffic. He’d provide an insurance policy for Cleveland in case the team again loses Josh Gordon, who has missed significant time due to suspensions the past two seasons."
A pick that is bound to make many a fan happy. The Browns add a big, fast receiver who should be able to quickly help the offense as an outside threat. Josh Gordon has struggled upon his return to the NFL while the Browns have quite a few undersized receivers that can work both inside and out. The Kyle Shanahan system often has focused on one big play receiver and a bunch of smaller, quicker, precise route running guys.
Strong could be that primary guy in a year or two, and might have to be depending on how contract negotiations go with Gordon. Strong’s selection would mean the Browns traded Sammy Watkins for Justin Gilbert, Strong and the 4th round pick, a likely starter in year 2 or 3. Even though Gilbert has struggled in his rookie year, he is bound to improve. Strong is bigger than Watkins, which could help him in the rough NFL.
McShay has two receivers going off the board between the Browns picks. Devin Funchess, the tight end/wide receiver out of Michigan, that many love as a big target guy and Kevin White, the senior star from West Virginia. McShay has the Browns passing on Andrus Peat, a big offensive tackle that could develop into a long term replacement for Joe Thomas in a few years, as well as Benardrick McKinney, the Mississippi State inside linebacker that could help bring some thump to the middle of the Browns defense.
With the additions of Shelton and Strong the Browns have added a ton of size to their team. The huge Shelton gives Mike Pettine’s defense an identity in the middle to go with their stellar defensive backfield. Strong gives Johnny Manziel another big receiver on the outside who can go over the middle and can go up and catch the ball. Those two additions alone could be game changers for this Browns team.
They still would have 8 more picks to bring in talent, upon talent. With a very young roster, do not be surprised if GM Ray Farmer trades up, trades out for future picks or trades for a veteran or two with some of their picks. The draft is all about asset management and while young players are exciting, the Browns want to make the playoffs and need some veteran depth as well.
McShay notes his top 5 still available after the 1st round:
"1. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon Ducks 2. Mike Bennett, DT, Ohio State Buckeyes 3. Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana Hoosiers 4. Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes 5. Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas Razorbacks"
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Ekpre-Olomu reportedly just tore his ACL so his stock will be dropping. It would not shock me if Farmer takes a chance on him in the 3rd or 4th round. He might have to redshirt a year but his talent is over the top. Bennett could be an interesting, steal of a second round pick for the Browns. He doesn’t fit at the nose but could give the Browns another big, strong defensive end who can help stop the run as well as disrupt in the pass game. The Buckeyes Smith is a surprise here. While many like his game he has been noted as a mid-round player by most analysts. McShay has him here as a fringe first rounder.
We have the makings of an interesting off-season for the Cleveland Browns. Ten draft picks. Tons of cap space. Possibly the QB of the future already on the roster. A good front office/coaching staff pairing. And as always the most passionate fans in the land.
What do you think of Todd McShay’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft?