By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
While the pro day of Jadeveon Clowney was the national news event of the week, two minor developments changed my thinking on the Browns’ No. 4 overall pick.
And they had nothing to do with their private workouts of quarterbacks.
First came the revelation from free agent receiver Jacoby Ford that he chose to sign with the New York Jets rather than the Browns, who expressed interest.
Then came the news of the Browns hosting a visit of free agent receiver Nate Burleson on Saturday.
I concluded from these two events that the Browns are trying to lessen the urgency of using their first draft pick on a receiver. Possibly because they are leaning to – if not have reached consensus on – spending that pick to further bolster Mike Pettine’s defense.
In any case, we have reached the backstretch in this race to May 8 – mock draft 7.0.
1. Houston: QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
Bill O’Brien’s decision is becoming more difficult by the week.
2. St. Louis: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Odds are better than 50-50 Rams will trade down.
3. Jacksonville: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Most mocks have Jags leaning to defense. I stick with this pick.
4. Cleveland: LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
The only pro day known to be attended by Mike Pettine and Jim O’Neil.
5. Oakland: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Schaub to Watkins? Not exactly the same ring as Stabler to Biletnikoff.
6. Atlanta: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
Trade up with Rams seems a strong possibility.
7. Tampa Bay: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
QB Josh McCown was accustomed to a high-wire passing act in Chicago.
8. Minnesota: QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
He fits Norv Turner’s prototype quarterback.
9. Buffalo: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
He’s gone as high as No. 2 in previous mocks.
10. Detroit: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
My only pick in top 10 that hasn’t changed.
11. Tennessee: LB Anthony Barr, UCLA
Second year in a row, with second team, Ray Horton’s voice is heard.
12. N.Y. Giants: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Typical pick for G-men fills a vital need.
13. St. Louis: S Calvin Pryor, Louisville.
Kenny Britt signing portends another defensive pick here.
14. Chicago: DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
Continues massive makeover of defensive front.
15. Pittsburgh: WR Odell Beckham, Louisiana State
Pretty sure the Steelers take best available receiver.
16. Dallas: DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
Best available defensive tackle is the marching order from owner/president/GM.
17. Baltimore: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
Tide rolls into Ozzie Newsome’s lap.
18. NY Jets: TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
You didn’t think they’d re-sign Kellen Winslow Jr., did you?
19. Miami: OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame
He could break in at guard on instantly rebuilt offensive line.
20. Arizona: DE Kony Ealy, Missouri
A new pass rusher to chase division QBs Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.
21. Green Bay: DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame
Speed upgrade on defense is a priority.
22. Philadelphia: WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
Replaces DeSean Jackson in Chip Kelly’s offense.
23. Kansas City: WR Marqise Lee, Southern California
Andy Reid needs a complement for Dwayne Bowe.
24. Cincinnati: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Bengals can’t resist high-rated cornerback.
25. San Diego: CB Jason Varrett, Texas Christian
A need pick down here.
26. Cleveland: CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
This pick enables Buster Skrine to move exclusively inside.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Use the hashtag #HeyTony on Twitter or email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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