NFL Mock Draft: Tony Grossi Gives His Thoughts
The Cleveland Browns are in position to make a big impact in the NFL Draft. This draft is deep, specifically at wide receiver and both lines which will be good for the Browns. As much, we will spend time looking at both national NFL Mock Draft posts as well as local and those that we just find interesting.
Local Mocks are interesting as most of the main stream, local Browns coverage is drenched in a negative narrative that many either can’t, or won’t, give up. It stains their view of most of the decisions that the Browns make. No one is saying that Josh McCown was a great pickup, but the way many local media covered his signing it seemed as if the Browns passed up signing Peyton Manning in his prime so they could get McCown.
Grossi seems to be the founder of the idea of the #100YearWar of the Cleveland Browns. His perspective is one of the loudest voices, since he has ESPN’s backing, and therein impacts more people than almost any other local Browns reporter. Because of that his NFL Mock Draft likely intrigues many and could shape, impact how people think about the NFL Draft for the team.
Let us take a look at who he has the Browns selecting:
"12. Cleveland: DT Malcom Brown, TexasWould be the 21st Brown to play for the Browns."
Not much information on why Grossi would select Brown, but long time DPD readers know we support selecting a interior lineman in the 1st round. Brown is an interesting prospect as he has the talent to play both the 0 technique (nose tackle) and the 5 technique (defensive end) in the Browns 3-4 defense. Some believe he is more suited either as a 4-3 defensive tackle or defensive end in the 3-4. He is very talented and may not be able to use all of his talents as the defenses anchor.
A few players that you have grown accustomed to being available at the 12th pick were not there in Grossi’s mock. Danny Shelton, DeVante Parker, Amari Cooper and Kevin White were all off the board. That left the Browns with a lot of offensive linemen available but far less need. We agree with Grossi’s later statement about the Browns line needs when he picks for the Browns at #19:
"19. Cleveland: WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona StateProjections of an offensive lineman here don’t wash."
Between picks 12 and 19 a couple of players the Browns would have interest in go off the board. Pass rushers Shane Ray and Alvin Dupree (Bud) along with WR Breshad Perriman, a receiver we think will rise on draft boards, are all gone. Grossi might be more down on the offensive line class than others. He only has 3 in the Top 19 picks. Past drafts tell us linemen and QBs often get pushed up the board on Draft Day.
Strong is an interesting pick. Grossi doesn’t go into why that was his selection but we can guess that he was filling a need. Some believe Strong can be an Anquan Boldin type while others believe he will never be better than a middling #2 receiver in the league. If Grossi is in the first group than the pick makes sense. If not, this would be an example of drafting for need instead of talent, something we believe is not what good teams do. (Our thoughts on how good teams look at Free Agency and the Draft are here.)
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One has to wonder if Grossi, like us, can be impacted by the needs of the Browns in drafting for other teams. He has 5 receivers in the Top 19 picks even though this is a deep receiver draft. The Browns could get a similar, if not better, receiver in the 2nd round if the board falls this way. There would be a number of players whose grade out high, such as Shaq Thompson, Landon Collins and a number of offensive linemen.
At minimum we can agree that Grossi attacked the Browns two biggest weaknesses and that we love the Brown pick. Five receivers in the first 19 seems unlikely but it was good to see some out of the box, but not crazy, selections by him. DeVante Parker to the Rams at 10 is a good example of this.
What do you think of Tony Grossi’s NFL Mock Draft?