2017 NFL Mock Draft: Browns walk away with best player and QB in draft after trade
Cleveland goes bold and hits a home run in order to rejuvenate its franchise
There have been reported rumblings about the Browns debating Myles Garrett or Mitchell Trubisky at No. 1 overall. Come on. That's not a debate, not in a league where executives are consistently fired for being aggressive. Bill Belichick can do what he wants because he has tons of job security. The Browns -- well, it's not a secure job.
But Cleveland has put itself in a position to be aggressive in this draft, and in the latest version of my mock (No. 9, one more to go!), it's going to really shovel the chips in the center and go for the gusto.
For starters, the Browns are taking Garrett. There's no debate about that. Passing on him and watching him turn into the next Von Miller is not an acceptable move, and it will absolutely get you fired.
But taking some of the capital you have available and packaging it to move up? That's totally acceptable, and the 49ers should be a great target for the Browns at No. 2.
For starters, there's only one position that will guarantee the Browns a chance to get Trubisky and Garrett. Second, the 49ers should want to get out of that position and acquire more picks. The problem is there's no incentive for other teams to come flying up. They'll need to take less than "market value" (a.k.a. the Jimmy Johnson Trade Value Chart) to work a deal. But there's a package out there that can make this work, especially considering the 49ers have so many needs.
Here's the deal we're proposing with the values of Chase Stuart's Trade Value Chart (a modern twist) and Johnson's chart next to each one:
- No. 2 overall pick (30.2 C.S., 2,600 J.J.)
- No. 12 overall pick (18.8, 1,200)
- No. 33 overall pick (12.3, 580)
- No. 108 overall pick (4.8, 78)
- 2018 second-round pick (TBD, TBD)
Now some people will say that's not enough. That's fine. But you're talking about a pair of young (and probably progressive) front offices. There isn't a huge drop-off from the second pick to the 12th pick in this draft. That No. 33 pick is basically a first-rounder, and it's a great pick in a deep draft.
If you hate the trade, just close your eyes, pretend you're Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch and demand No. 65 overall (third round) from Cleveland instead of No. 108. Chances are they would be willing to do that to walk away with Garrett and Trubiksy. The value at No. 2 just isn't what the 49ers would want it to be this year, and their roster needs bodies. It makes sense to trade down and the Browns are one of the few franchises who can pull it off.
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M: The news that the Browns have turned down offers to trade up for No. 1 overall all but solidifies that the Browns are poised to take Garrett with the top pick. Not that there was ever really any question about it.
TRADE: 2. Cleveland Browns (from San Francisco)
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: The No. 2 spot is just not that great for the 49ers. There are plenty of players but this is a roster that badly needs more players. Cleveland would probably love to avoid the risk of Trubisky going to the Bears or Jets below.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: Grabbing Fournette doesn't feel like a Tom Coughlin move, but the Jags would immediately improve by taking the pressure off of Blake Bortles with Fournette on board. And that would immediately make Coughlin look like he knows what he's doing.
5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams)
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: The Jets would probably love to go in a different direction here, but the reality is this franchise needs a young quarterback and needs to rebuild around a guy who can be the face of the franchise in the worst market for being the face of the franchise. No one can handle the big stage like Watson.
Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford: There might be some concern about Thomas playing as a pure 4-3 end because of his size, but people were worried about Aaron Donald's size too. The Panthers can add a blue-chip pass rusher to what might already be the best defensive line in football.
10. Buffalo Bills
Jamal Adams, S, LSU: The Bills could use some help on the backside of the defense and this addition feels like a borderline steal considering where Adams has been targeted to go for much of mock draft season.
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee: There are so many fun fits here for the Saints on offense, but it's just too difficult to imagine them giving up Brandin Cooks and then using a higher first-round pick to grab an offensive player. Barnett would give them high energy on the defensive line.
TRADE: 12. San Francisco 49ers (from Philadelphia via Cleveland)
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: This works out well for the 49ers, in my opinion. They're not getting the same value they might want from the No. 2 pick, but they basically have three first-round picks at this stage and they need them badly.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech: There's a lot of defensive value here, but the Cardinals know that Carson Palmer is leaving and definitely need to consider taking his replacement if the right guy is here.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
15. Indianapolis Colts
16. Baltimore Ravens
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson: The playmakers on this roster are scary non-existent at this point. Steve Smith is gone, Mike Wallace is older, Breshad Perriman is very much unproven and there's ... Michael Campanaro? They need help at wide receiver.
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama: Tons of value here if Foster slips because of off-field concerns, and the Redskins feel like a perfect landing spot for scooping him up and adding him to the middle of this defense.
18. Tennessee Titans
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: The Bucs just signed on for "Hard Knocks" which means they consider themselves a contender for 2017 (as they should). But the Doug Martin situation lingers and they need another answer at running back if he's not ready. Cook would challenge for Rookie of the Year if he was the starter in this system.
20. Denver Broncos
Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky: Pretty good value here, and the Broncos clearly need to get better on the offensive line, the one big problem for John Elway during his tenure as general manager in Denver. Lamp would give them a lot of depth and versatility on the line.
21. Detroit Lions
22. Miami Dolphins
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State: Wouldn't be surprising to see the Dolphins go offensive line, but there is a ton of talent sitting here at cornerback and it would make sense for them to nab a talent like Conley later in the first round here.
23. New York Giants
Ryan Ramcyzk, OL, Wisconsin: Protecting Eli Manning should be a concern heading into the draft, and drafting Ramcyzk would allow the Giants to consider kicking him to right tackle or even moving Ereck Flowers over to that side (where he would probably be better).
24. Oakland Raiders
25. Houston Texans
26. Seattle Seahawks
Garrett Bolles, OL, Utah: There's no way to imagine a scenario where the Seahawks don't take an offensive lineman either. There is tons of good corner talent, but they haven't been big on taking corners early during the Pete Carroll era.
Kevin King, CB, Washington: The Chiefs could go after a pass-rushing linebacker here, but it wouldn't be a stunner to see them add more talent to an already loaded secondary. They've been tremendous in assessing the cornerback talent lately.
28. Dallas Cowboys
Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan: This fit with a Dom Capers defense just feels like something that makes sense. Green Bay has to get better in the secondary and Peppers gives them a chess piece-type player.
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: Adding a cornerback should be a priority here, and all the better if it's someone who has played in a Nick Saban scheme and can step in from Day 1.
31. Atlanta Falcons
32. New Orleans Saints (from New England)
Adoree' Jackson, CB, Southern California: The Saints coming away with a pair of blue-chip defensive players would be a massive win and would help justify moving a receiver with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons.
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