The 2016 NFL Draft is just over a month away and everyone is mocking the draft. To celebrate the draft, the Nick Wilson Experiment welcomes a draft expert every week to answer questions and forecast the first 3 rounds for the Browns on our Mid-Week Mock. Tonight, we welcome Rob Rang of CBS Sports to the show. In the meantime, here are some random thoughts on this year’s draft.
1) Mocking The Draft- This week I wanted to highlight a relatively new trend that is sweeping across the internet. Mock draft simulators are the bee’s knees. You get to act as GM for a NFL team and make picks as the board comes to you.
In some simulators you are offered trades to move down and can do the same if you have targeted a specific player. First-pick.com and http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/ are two options you can use to waste your day proving anyone is a better GM for the Browns than Ray Farmer. Below is a sample mock I ran for the Browns earlier today. Enjoy.
2) If It Has To Be A Quarterback- I am adamantly against the Browns taking a quarterback at 2. I’m not sold that any of these quarterbacks will reach their alleged upside and I am increasingly skeptical they could do so in Cleveland with a gutted roster.
That being said, if they force themselves to take a quarterback at 2 this year, my vote is for Jared Goff. He might not have the upside of Wentz but I feel more comfortable with his experience & skillset over Wentz’ 23 games started in college.
To hammer it home, here is CBS Sports’ Rob Rang’s take on Goff after the Cal Pro Day.
3) The Center Of Focus In Cleveland- Apologies to Stefen Wisniewski but I think the Browns should seriously consider devoting the starting center to Cam Erving in 2016. He played out of position in 2016, improved as the year went along and showed the right attitude in his struggles. If 2016 becomes a lost year, developing Erving might end up a real bright spot.
This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look to upgrade the position via the draft and find someone to push him. There is one name I am specifically interested in with this draft and CBS Sports Dane Brugler has a bead on young Isaac Seumalo.
Most importantly with Seumalo is his versatility. If Erving pans out at center, Seumalo can slide to LG which would allow Joel Bitonio outside. With this much uncertainty on the offensive line, versatility from multiple players could be the key to finding the best combination possible.
4) Franchise Players, Please- My biggest contention with drafting a quarterback is that with the second pick, a team should be able to find a franchise player. I don’t think any of these quarterbacks fit that bill. If the Browns are serious about winning, they should focus on building the best roster instead of forcing a fit at quarterback. Below are the players that I feel are the best options at 2.
- A) Jalen Ramsey CB/S Florida State- Above all else, Ramsey is an athletic freak. While the secondary is not the primary need with Cleveland, Ramsey is a franchise caliber player and the Browns would be foolish to pass up on that type of talent considering the lack of franchise players currently on the roster.
- B) Laremy Tunsil LT Ole Miss- Tunsil is the consensus first overall pick and a safe bet to play left tackle for the team that drafts him for 10 years. (Just like Joe Thomas was almost a decade ago.) If he falls, which is a big if, the Browns should draft him without question and make a move on Joe Thomas while he still has substantial trade value.
- C) Ezekiel Elliot TB Ohio State- Fans might think this is too high or a homer pick but Elliot is a player you can plug in at running back for the next 8-10 years and forget about the position. I would rather “reach” by 3-4 draft slots for a sure fire running back in Elliot than reach by 15-20 draft slots for an iffy quarterback like Wentz or Goff.
5) Franchise Players That Don’t Fit- The Browns sticking with the 3-4 means that two very good players just don’t fit in this years draft. Ohio State’s Joey Bosa is a helluva football player but his hand is best in the dirt. As his isn’t a typical 5T, drafting him would be as bad a fit as drafting a 230 OLB named Barkevious Mingo was in 2013.
Myles Jack is another stud athlete that is great in theory but doesn’t really fit. An athletic freak who played across multiple positions at UCLA, he isn’t a pass rusher and would need to move inside in the Browns defense. I remain skittish about taking an ILB at 2.
To hear a weekly Browns mock, don’t forget to listen to the Nick Wilson Experiment every Wednesday night for the Mid-Week Mock.