This NFL mock draft cares not for the “silly season” predictions that have the Cleveland Browns making a noteworthy trade.
The silliest part of the so-called silly season that occurs before every National Football League Draft is upon us, and thus analysts/fans/random people are linking the Cleveland Browns with just about every move possible. Some have the Browns trading up to acquire either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. There are notions floating about that the Browns could trade up to get a wide receiver to right a wrong from the 2014 NFL Draft. Others have the Browns staying put at picks No. 12 and No. 19.
The Washington Redskins gave every other NFL franchise a blueprint for what not to do when trading up to select a rookie quarterback. This NFL mock draft once again believes that the Browns will not make a similar move; at least they won’t yet. If, for an example, quarterback Johnny Manziel seems to be completely unprepared for the task ahead when he returns to the Browns on April 20, it is entirely possible that my NFL mock draft could go through one final significant change before the night of April 30 arrives.
2015 NFL Mock Draft 6.0: Cleveland Browns
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
Stop over-thinking the matter to get some additional hits to your NFL mock draft. It is Winston here unless something changes over the next six day.
2. Tennessee Titans: DT Leonard Williams, Southern California
Been looking for a smokescreen in the last NFL mock draft that you have read? Here it is: The Titans are talking Mariota up to try to drive a trade, just as the Houston Texans attempted to do one year ago. It didn’t work for Houston, and thus Tennessee goes defense.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Dante Fowler, Florida
Maybe the Jaguars can find a team looking to trade up for Mariota. Jacksonville needs the extra picks, still.
4. Oakland Raiders: WR Amari Cooper, Alabama
Here is where I can see a trade occurring in my final NFL mock draft. Look for the New York Jets or the Philadelphia Eagles to try to slide into pick No. 4.
5. Washington Redskins: OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa
I love the idea of the Redskins getting Mariota just to ruin things for the Philadelphia Eagles, but I can’t get there yet in my NFL mock draft. Maybe next week.
6. New York Jets: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
The Titans, Jaguars, Raiders and Redskins may all scare the Jets into trading up by the time the actual NFL Draft arrives.
7. Chicago Bears: WR Kevin White, West Virginia
Jay Cutler is Chicago’s quarterback for the now because, well, because he is. Cutler needs a weapon, and White will be looking to prove that he is the top wide receiver in this draft class.
8. Atlanta Falcons: DE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky
Dupree’s stock has skyrocketed throughout the NFL mock draft process. It is hard to believe he was once believed to be a prospect that could fall into the 20s.
9. New York Giants: OT Andrus Peat, Stanford
I have been all over the place with the Giants in my NFL mock draft. Quarterback Eli Manning has to be kept on his feet if Big Blue is to do anything of merit in 2015.
10. St. Louis Rams: OT Ereck Flowers, Miami
The Giants take the top player on the big board of the Rams, and thus they “settle” on Flowers.
11. Minnesota Vikings: WR DeVante Parker, Louisville
“Teddy Bridgewater, I believe you have met Mr. Parker…”
12. Cleveland Browns: DT Danny Shelton, Washington
If the Bears do, in fact, go offense in the first round, then Shelton would be an absolute steal for a Browns team that was horrendous versus the run in 2014. I hate even the idea of the Browns trading up and spending picks on any one player. Shelton dropping so low in my NFL mock draft is one reason I feel that way.
13. New Orleans Saints: OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson
The Saints miss out on Dupree, but getting Beasley with this pick is great value for New Orleans.
14. Miami Dolphins: WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
I remain high on Strong, which is bad news for the Browns. Cleveland has not been linked with Strong in my NFL mock draft for weeks.
15. San Francisco 49ers: DE Shane Ray, Missouri
The Niners will be jumping for joy if the Giants pass on Ray earlier in the first round.
16. Houston Texans: DE Randy Gregory, Nebraska
There is a hot rumor out there that Gregory could fall all the way into the 20s and maybe out of the first round. It is a rough time to be a NFL prospect who has multiple character concerns.
17. San Diego Chargers: RB Todd Gurley, Georgia
Gurley or Melvin Gordon? Gordon or Gurley? I could flip a coin at this point.
18. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State
KC going offensive line here would not surprise me, and that move would burn the Browns.
19. Cleveland Browns: OT La’el Collins, LSU
I have seen a NFL mock draft or two out there that think Cleveland could take Collins with pick No. 12. That is how high the club is on him with one week left to go. With other playmakers on the board, though, Cleveland should be safe to wait it out and get either Collins or Flowers here.
Zac has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and National Football League for a variety of websites since 2006. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.