EBBs (Eric’s Big Board) and Flows – Top Five at #12
It’s getting close to crunch time for the 2015 NFL Draft, so now would be a great time to come out with my own big board! Let’s first take a glance at the Browns’ first selection in the first round. I omitted players who I am confident will be taken before the twelfth pick. Therefore you will not see a Jameis Winston, Amari Cooper, or Leonard Williams, etc.
1 – DeVante Parker – The NFL is all about offense, and the Browns are in dire need of a top-line wide receiver. With Cooper and Kevin White likely off the board, they could do a lot worse than Parker. There’s no doubt that Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline would be exceptional at tutoring this highly talented rookie (and will benefit with Parker taking away coverage). The Browns need to score points and Parker will help with that.
2 – Vic Beasley – This could be a long shot, but if the fearful pass rusher is on the board – the Browns would be wise to snatch him up. They need another reliable member of the outside linebacker corps; right now only Paul Kruger is the one guy who falls in that category. If Mingo gets his act together and they secure Beasley, quarterbacks will have to fear the Browns’ pass rush.
3 – Shane Ray – Another unlikely candidate at the twelfth spot, but crazier things have occurred. While I would prefer Beasley, Ray would be a welcomed addition to this roster. He had a magnificent career in college, and I fully expect that to continue in the NFL. Ray’s got a bit more size than Mingo on the edge; hopefully he can help the team against the run better than the veteran linebacker for the Cleveland Browns.
4 – Danny Shelton – I like the upper echelon of pass rushers to the run stuffer in this draft (hence my big board rankings). However, if the top two are gone – Shelton can greatly improve this defensive line in 2015. This is a needed selection, as the unit underachieved tremendously in 2014. Having Shelton join veterans Randy Starks and Desmond Bryant is a good start. Coupling that with Phil Taylor, Billy Winn, John Hughes, and Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, and I love this defensive front.
5 – Randy Gregory – Who honestly knows where this pass rusher will land during the draft? Once a consistent top five selection, Gregory’s failed marijuana test at the combine will make general managers think twice about drafting him. On that note, I understand if the Browns are on that list to not take Gregory based on his past – they have experienced a similar headache in Josh Gordon. But if the Browns do take the rusher and he plays the way many feel he is capable, then he might be the steal of the draft.
Conclusion: Clearly the team can go a few ways with their first pick, including using it for a trade up or down. However, I’m sticking to status quo and want the team to take a playmaker. What are two positions that fill that role? The answer is a wide receiver on offense and a pass rusher on defense.