The Cleveland Browns have TWO first round draft picks, though the further the Colts go in the playoffs, the further down that second one will fall.
*Shakes fist at Andrew Luck*
With big names like Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel officially declaring for the draft, football experts (and those who believe themselves to be experts) are projecting how that first round will fall in May when Cleveland selects the #4 pick.
Yeah, we’re still almost a month from the Super Bowl and the Browns don’t have a head coach but hey, it’s fun to take a look at some of the possibilities.
NFL.com sized up every team’s biggest needs and determined the Browns should focus on getting a quarterback, running back and offensive guard.
That said, there’s little to no doubt the home team’s first pick will be a signal caller.
Citing reports that the front office loves them some Johnny Football, Eric Edholm on Yahoo! Sports lists the Browns as the #1 landing spot for Manziel.
Even before the Texas A&M QB submitted his paperwork, on Cleveland.com Chris Fedor had him warming up for game day at FirstEnergy.
In fact, Burge thinks the first two Browns picks should be Aggies, but to get Mike Evans he thinks the team will have to trade with Dallas to get up to #17.
CBS Sports analyst Dane Brugler backs Burge on Manziel at #4 but thinks the Browns stay pat at (projected) #26 to get a totally different Texas A&M player, offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, to shore up the right side.
But Brugler’s colleague at CBS Sports, Rob Rang, says why wait for your OT of the future? He says they’ll take Jake Matthews… …another Aggie. But the Muni Lot shouldn’t freak out yet, even in that scenario, they’ll still get a first-round QB: Derek Carr from Fresno State who struggled in his bowl game but has “as much arm talent as any quarterback in the 2014 draft class.”
Wayyy back on December 18, 2013—when the Browns would have picked #6—ESPN draft expert Todd McShay put Carr with the Browns too. Back then, the Colts would have surrendered the #23 pick, which is where McShay figured Vanderbilt wideout Jordan Matthews would go.
Even at #26, the Plain Dealer mock has the Browns picking up the Vandy product to compliment Josh Gordon.
But let’s get back to that first first-round pick at #4. Is there any other QB to take besides Manziel or Carr?
Glad you asked.
Blake Bortles. No doubt you know him… …if you’re an avid fan of small football teams from Florida. Both Chris Burke at Sports Illustrated and Eric Galko at the Sporting News see the alliteratively-named ballslinger becoming a Clevelander in the near.
Coming off his big-time Fiesta Bowl game—a shocking win for UCF over Baylor—and given his low-key demeanor, Bortles might not be a bad grab there.
Especially considering how many rank him as the #2 QB on the board behind Teddy Bridgewater.