The Cleveland Browns have a handful of key needs heading into the 2015 NFL draft: Nose tackle, linebacker, O-line, and wide receiver chief among them. Two first round picks will certainly help them accomplish those goals. Let’s do a mini-mock draft for the Browns first three rounds of the upcoming draft:
Round 1, Pick No. 12: Devante Parker, WR, Louisville
The Browns need to upgrade their wide receiving corps and Parker will most likely be the last of the big three receivers left on the board (after West Virginia’s Kevin White and Alabama’s Amari Cooper). With the departure of TE Jordan Cameron (signed with the Dolphins), and WR Josh Gordon (loves his grass too much), Cleveland needs serious playmaking help for their quarterbacks. Parker has the size, speed, hands and playmaking ability to be the No. 1 outside wide receiver that teams covet. He’s a fluid route runner who separates with ease and would help the team in the redzone tremendously. Reports say the Browns have met with Parker at least twice already.
Round 1, Pick No. 19: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas
Cleveland hasn’t been able to stop the run in forever, so drafting the Texas product who already sports the team name would go a long way towards changing that. The 320-pound behemoth brings serious size and strength, as well as underrated speed and agility, to the table. Teaming him up with new acquisition Randy Starks can only help the worst run defense in the league last year. Brown can eat up space, clog the lanes for opposing running backs, as well as be a disruptive force behind the line.
Round 2, Pick No. 11: Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
Whether the Browns take Ogbuehi with their second round pick or not depends on how pressing they feel their need at tackle is. Incumbent right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is good at times, but has been consistently inconsistent. No one doubts Ogbuehi’s talent, just is availability. He tore his ACL in Texas A&M’s win over West Virginia in the 2014 Liberty Bowl just 3 months ago, essentially ruling him out for his entire rookie season. Before tearing his ACL, Ogbuehi was projected as a consensus first-round pick. Had he been healthy entering the draft, no way he’s available at 43, but given the circumstances, the Browns could capitalize. They have to assume they won’t be competing for a playoff spot in 2015 anyways.
Round 3, Pick No. 13: Danielle Hunter, DE/OLB, LSU
Along that same line of long-term thinking, Hunter is a freak athlete who will take time to develop. His measurables are off the charts and have him drawing comparisons to DeMarcus Ware. Just check out this tweet by Draft Ace and Bleacher Report columnist, Ryan McCrystal. Hunter has a long and powerful frame that combine with his raw ability beautifully… or horribly for opposing quarterbacks. It’ll take time to refine his skills, but the Browns might find it too hard to pass up on his talent.