Cleveland Browns: Staff predictions for the first and fourth picks

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Writer: Joel Cade

Doing these mock drafts always walks the line between what we think the Browns will do as opposed to what we think the Browns should do. Here is my mock draft of what I think the Browns should do.

How do teams win in the NFL? By throwing the ball. But more than that, they win by throwing the ball from the pocket. It is the pocket passers in the league that lead their teams deep into the playoffs.

Josh Rosen is the ideal prospect as a pocket passer. His footwork is great both in shotgun and under center. He reads defenses well and delivers the ball on time with anticipation. Some say he is not as athletic as other prospects. But while others are running for their lives, Rosen is hitting his check down receiver. He doesn’t run because he doesn’t have to. If the Browns ca protect him, he can be special.

Health is an issue. Some claim personality is an issue. The Browns will need to be comfortable with these factors. But his play on the field make him the best quarterback in the draft. Pick him first overall, then plug and play.

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The quarterback frenzy causes three quarterbacks to come off the board before the Browns pick at 4. If the Giants say at 2, they will take a quarterback. The pick is too valuable to sit there and take a running back.

Most likely they trade out with the Broncos so they can leapfrog the Jets for Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield or USC’s Sam Darnold.

At No. 3, the New York Jets will probably take whomever the Denver Broncos pass on leaving Josh Allen available at the fourth overall spot. The Buffalo Bills reportedly love Josh Allen.

The Bills call the Browns for pick No. 4 offering picks No. 12 and No. 22. The Browns take the bait and move back.

Subsequently, the Giants still get their running back at pick No. 5.

The Browns address a serious need in their secondary by taking Derwin James. James does the same thing as Jabril Peppers except he can cover receivers. Like Peppers he can play in the box and blitz off the edge. In short, James does everything Peppers does but he can do more and do it better. James is an upgrade over Peppers even when Peppers is playing in position.

With this pick the Browns have seriously upgraded their secondary. As for Peppers, he can play back up strong safety, middle linebacker and become an offensive weapon for Todd Haley. Peppers is electric with the ball in his hands, this pick allows the Browns to focus on doing that. Just give him the damn ball.

Fixing the passing defense continues to be a priority for the Browns. Even though linebacker Joe Shobertmade the Pro-Bowl, his pass defensive skills were seriously lacking contributing to a lot of completions over the middle. The Browns addressed the middle coverage with pick 12 and do so again with pick 22.

In the process, they shore up a major weakness in the defense.

The Alabama middle linebacker is athletic, can cover and stop the run. He is a leader on the field and can elevate the Browns defense to another level.

With these picks, the Browns have seriously improved their team and solidified some depth on defense. In the second round the Browns can address a need by taking a cornerback and a running back. In many mock drafts, all running backs (minus Saquon Barkley) are still on the board. There would be a few good corners available at the top of the second round as well.