I have always been a mock drafter that has selected players based on team needs first, rather than best player available. Well, it took some guts – but I decided to switch it up and go BPA in this effort. The following draft was generated by Fanspeak's On The Clock, with Brooksie masquerading as the Browns' GM.
MONTEZ SWEAT, EDGE, MISSISSIPPI STATE
My first choice was a hard one. This draft is incredibly deep with defensive tackle talent. Based on that theory alone, I decided to forgo an immediate choice at DT and go for more speed off the edge. I had to leave Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence, and Jeffery Simmons on the board – but I was happy and confident I had done the right thing by selecting Montez of Mississippi State.
I think Montez is the kind of player that takes the Browns' defense from good to elite. Especially if our offense is efficient enough to score enough to put our opponents into obvious passing downs. His long arms keeps the offensive tackles at bay. Montez is incredibly quick into the offensive backfield. From that tactical point, he can make the quick decision – do I blow up the running game, or do I put the QB on his keister?
Wanna know the main reason these scenarios are possible? That dude that plays on the other side of the DL…..
DRE'MONT JONES, DT, OHIO STATE
Well, my oh my. It would seem that my patience has been rewarded. Instead of just attacking the DT prospect I always wanted at 17, I took the player with the more natural skills. Then lo and behold, the player I wanted at 17 was still on the board at 49. I get his name on the card in record time, and this Buckeye is coming home.
The level of enthusiasm I have for this pick is usually reserved for the game changing first round selections. Players that make everyone else around them better are generally ticketed for the first round. Dre'Mont was probably going to be a complimentary piece in the Buckeyes 2018 defense, but that all changed 2-1/2 games into the season. Nick Bosa went down for the season – and Dre'Mont stepped up. He flashed his full compliment of skills the rest of the season. Dre'Mont and Montez have this in common – they both like to play in the opponents offensive backfield so they can seek and destroy whatever they want to.
Gone are the days of the run stuffing, space eater defensive tackle. Dre'Mont is exactly what the NFL is trending to. DT's are now penetrating missles that blow up running lanes and add QB pressure up the middle.
Look at the Browns front four after this selection – RDE Myles Garrett; RDT Dre'Mont Jones, LDT Larry Ojunjobi, and LDE Montez Sweat. With the first two picks of the 2019 draft, our defense has gone from good to elite. As I am driving home, I don't stop at any post offices to see if my picture is up on the wall.
VOSEAN JOSEPH, LB, FLORIDA
With the front four upgraded, it is time to move further back on the defense to give some needed upgrades. To my complete surprise - this draft, as it has unfolded, gifts me with Florida ILB Vosean Joseph at pick 80. So I mock Vosean's speed and sprint the card to the commissioner's table with his name on it. Vosean is now a Cleveland Brown.
The first thing that jumps of Vosean's tape at you is his physicality. This will help with the tackling maladies that plagued the Browns last year. He may need to be careful about some of his hits – as they may be 15 yard penalties waiting to happen.
But there are two areas the Vosean absolutely excels at – speed and coverage. His God given talent shows through here. I think it would be a mistake to pigeon hole him as a middle linebacker. I see excelling inside, outside on the edge, a cover backer over a TE, or even as a strong safety/viper ala Jabrill Peppers.
AMANI ORUWARIYE, CB, PENN STATE
We all saw the difference that a true shutdown corner can make on our defense. Well…… Do I hear two? Amani Oruwariye fits that bill to a “T”. You now have all three deep thirds of the offensive fields shut off. Denzel on one side, Amani on the other, and Damarious/Jabrill will control the middle.
Amani comes into the league with better size than Denzel. He is an excellent sized corner at 6'1” and 204. And he has two more years of experience at the collegiate level than Denzel – Amani was a redshirt senior. For those reason I expect than with Denzel's natural second year growth. I expect these two to work very well together.
Day two of the draft comes to a close – but the Browns have been extremely productive in these 48 hours. To say they have upgraded a porous defense, would be a massive understatement.
PRESTON WILLIAMS, WR, COLORADO ST
Everyone can take a second to breathe, we go back to the offensive side of the ball. Finally – a quarterb……. Wait, we took care of that last year.
We go back to Rashard Higgins' alma mater for our next choice. Meet Preston Williams. Preston has, I think, early Day Two talent – but he has some red flags in his jacket. Specifically, he has a domestic violence arrest he was suspended for – but that suspension was satisfied prior to the 2018 season. Still, many teams will remove him from their draft boards because of that.
The negatives that are identified in the linked video, I think can be fixed with proper coaching. And we have a good one here in Cleveland in Adam Henry. I think the upside of this pick far outweigh the risk.
RYAN FINLEY, QB, NC STATE
One fact about the 2019 Cleveland Browns will come to light – Tyrod Taylor will not be a member of this team prior to April's draft. The interest will be mutual between him and a QB needy team choosing to go the veteran route.
So, that creates a roster hole at backup QB. My plan A would be to fill that with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Failing that would be Plan B – drafting a QB. I cannot think of a better fit than Ryan Finley of NC State.
He was Jacoby Brissett's successor at NC State. He performed admirably. Of course, having Kelvin Harmon and Jackobi Meyers as your primary wideouts doesn't suck. Finley took full advantage of that setup.
He is a prototypical pocket passer with mobility. Very accurate passer. A Mayfield – Finley – Stanton trio would work well in Cleveland.
TJ EDWARDS, LB, WISCONSIN
The recent draft history between has been very favorable. The two most memorable picks have been LT Joe Thomas – a certain first ballot Hall of Famer; and ILB Joe Schobert – a Pro Bowl selection in 2018. I expect that track record to continue with this pick.
TJ Edwards patrols the middle at Camp Randall very well. And that is why I would seriously advocate not to even consider moving TJ to the outside. He is a thick, mobile player who is not afraid to throw his body around to make a needed tackle. He is also surprisingly mobile in coverage. I see him as a TE equalizer. Take a peek.
BENNY SNELL, RB, KENTUCKY
Remember in my opening I stated that I am not the one making all 256 picks? I am using Fanspeaks On the Clock draft simulator. Which means there are 31 other guys (or computers) making picks for other teams.
Which means I am COMPLETELY blown away that a talent like Benny Snell is still on the board. He is a big power back with speed. And the success he has had did not come against chumps – it came against the SEC West. The SEC West and the Big Ten East are probably the two toughest divisions in college football. A three headed monster in Cleveland of Chubb, Snell and Hunt would be the best in the league. Bar NONE.
MITCH HYATT, OT, CLEMSON
Let's be honest here. By this point in the draft, there are probably no plug and play Pro Bowl players left. So, it is all about depth and development players at this point.
In 2016, when Hyatt got to Clemson – he was First Team All Conference selection. What happened in the next three years? Not sure. But the talent certainly was there at one time. If we bring him on board, we pair him with the best OL coach in the business – and let's see what develops.
AUSTIN SEIBERT, K, OKLAHOMA
Here is where I veer off the BPA track, and select for team need. Kicking simply cost the Browns the playoffs in 2018. Let's go get one of the best in the business – Baker's Sooner teammate, Austin Siebert.
WILL HARRIS, S, BOSTON COLLEGE
Projected early as a special teams ace – jarring hitter. We'll see how he develops as a strong safety.