NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper 1.0 Goes BIG for Browns


Mel Kiper’s NFL Mock Draft is out and he has gone big for the Cleveland Browns. Kiper is the big name in NFL Draft Gurus but has been joined by a ton of other great analysts. Fans love or hate what he says but either way he gets a reaction. Because of that we look forward to his Mock Drafts and getting a chance to share with you and give you our thoughts as well.

On to Mel Kiper’s NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Insider, $):

"12 Danny Shelton Cleveland Browns (7-9)COLLEGE: Washington Class: Sr HT: 6-1 WT: 332 POS: DTAnalysis: In Mike Pettine’s system, you really can use powerful bodies up front who can hold blocks but also create some movement and occasionally penetrate, and the massive Shelton is a nice fit for a team that struggled to consistently stop the run. The Browns really missed an injured Phil Taylor, and Shelton comes in ready to play and give them more depth at a position in which every team could use it. This guy didn’t just cause way more backfield havoc than his size would indicate is possible, but he has incredible awareness in the run game and actually led the Huskies in tackles for most of the season, which is pretty incredible for a guy at that position."

As you know we are a big fan of the Browns upgrading their defensive interior and a big fan of Danny Shelton in specific to make this upgrade. Shelton checks all the boxes, though some have concerns about him taking on double teams, and should help fill a big hole for the Browns. With Mike Pettine as the head coach, and a solid defensive coaching staff, the Browns can develop Shelton into a big time weapon, ala Haloti Ngata.

Kiper has two wide receivers going before the Browns pick, Amari Cooper and Devante Parker, as well as two offensive linemen and a number of other defensive linemen. The Browns have needs at any of those positions but the need at NT, and Shelton’s talent, has this pick making sense.

"19 Ereck Flowers Cleveland Browns (7-9)COLLEGE: Miami (FL) Class: Jr HT: 6-6 WT: 325 POS: OTAnalysis: I can obviously see the Browns looking at a pass-catcher here given the issues they faced in 2014, when Josh Gordon was off the field (and when he was on it, for that matter), but I also think they know that if they can build a dominant offensive line and make Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell arguably the league’s best two-headed running back attack, they’ll be able to help stabilize the passing game and allow any QB to succeed. Flowers offers insurance for Joe Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz, and also at guard in a year after the injury to Alex Mack (and subsequent shuffling up front) was quietly devastating if you look at Cleveland’s ability to run the ball. Anybody who assumes an O-line or D-line is in great shape without considering depth should watch what happen to the Browns when Mack went down."

Here is where many Browns fans may not be happy with Kiper. He notes it right away that he could go with a pass catcher here but chooses not to. The Browns line goes from 3 studs in Thomas, Mack and Joel Bitonio to possibly 4 with the addition of Flowers. Flowers is a huge tackle with good feet who could be a long term replacement for Thomas, if/when the LT retires. Surprisingly Kiper has Andrus Peat going a few picks later, which means the Browns would have a few options.

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Kiper has the Browns passing Devin Funchess, Jaelen Strong, Sammie Coates and Devin Smith at the receiver position as well as Benardrick McKinney, a stud inside linebacker. With Kiper’s picks the Browns have built a strong set of lines which fits with Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine’s profile.

Thankfully the Browns have a chance to add more talent with 8 more picks in the draft as well as in free agency where the team has cap space to spend. While fans want to draft an upgrade at receiver there are a number of free agent receivers, including Duron Carter right after the Super Bowl (when CFL free agents can sign much earlier than NFL free agents) that could upgrade the position.

What do you think about Mel Kiper and his NFL Mock Draft?

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