Which guy will be chosen by Cleveland? Guessing the team’s second choice
Predicting the later first-round draft pick is even more difficult than the first one for a few reasons. Many franchises could make intriguing moves, including trading up or down and securing athletes not projected to be taken that early in the draft. However, I am still going to attempt to get it right – regarding what Ray Farmer will do later on during May eighth.
Under this assumption, the Browns have taken Sammy Watkins with their fourth overall selection (which is still debatable). Taking that into consideration, the Browns will clearly not opt to select a pair of wide outs in the first round. That eliminates Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, Marquise Lee, and Mike Evans from the conversation. Fortunately, there are ample tremendous athletes who would still be available with the twenty-sixth selection.
I feel the Browns can go one of three ways with the second first-round choice. The first is an athletic cornerback to pair alongside Joe Haden and become a starter possibly during the opener (versus the Steelers). Three options are Kyle Fuller of Virginia Tech, Jason Verrett of TCU, and Bradley Roby from Ohio State. Any of these three would be wise options for the franchise who need another guy to cover top NFL wideouts.
The next avenue would be to acquire the franchise quarterback. Picking later in the round likely excludes Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles as potential options. Should Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr still be on the board, I would anticipate the front office giving both careful consideration. The Browns could still wait on their signal caller and go for an impactful defender in the first round, though.
C.J. Mosley, out of Alabama, is an inside linebacker who would be paired with Karlos Dansby and start immediately. With the roster turnover from last season, it would be a smart decision to load up at this part of the roster. However, athletes like Christian Jones and Chris Borland might make it difficult to choose a linebacker that early.
Assuming my fourth pick is correct, and the above guys are all available, the Browns ought to sprint to turn in their card for Bridgewater. It’s no secret he is my favorite quarterback in the 2014 draft class and would be a tremendous value at this spot. There’s even a chance the Browns would trade up (by a few selections) to get him – provided he is there.
Conclusion: In a challenging task to guess at, securing the top quarterback (in my opinion) would be a home run for the Cleveland Browns. Should that not be the case, I anticipate the franchise choosing a cornerback at number twenty-six. They would likely get the third-ranked guy at his position (after Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert) – not a bad consolation prize.