Whether by fans looking to see who shows up despite union wishes or others hoping their team lands a top prize, this year’s three-day event should be full of unknowns.
Case in point, the mock draft released today by ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr who has the Browns selecting a wide receiver – a position widely considered to be “of need.” The only issue, said wide receiver (typically a high-risk position at the top end of drafts) is the second of his kind to be taken in the top six as Kiper has Tom Heckert and Mike Holmgren going with the sure-handed Julio Jones out of Alabama.
There are a lot of Browns fans probably hoping that Green falls to this spot, but if Jones is the one available, he’s an outstanding consolation prize. His size and speed combination is the best in the draft at the position, and his development as a wideout over the past year shows a determination and work ethic that will be loved by the coaching staff. The Browns need a true No. 1 at wide receiver, and if healthy, Jones can be that guy. A gifted athlete, he blocks as hard as he runs routes. Great when healthy, still really good when battling through pain.
The aforementioned Green is slated to go two selections earlier to the Cincinnati Bengals. Many fans have claimed their appreciation for the 6-foot-2-inch Jones’ skill set, but the consensus was – at least prior to this mock – that he would be better suited being selected toward the middle of the first round. One month prior, Kiper had Jones going 10th overall to the Washington Redskins. His partner in crime, Todd McShay, agreed.
This time around, McShay keeps Jones at 10 but has the Browns selecting North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn. The next WR taken after Jones in both drafts? Leonard Hankerson at 47th overall to St. Louis.
For those that are curious, both Kiper and McShay have the Browns passing on LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson who is selected one pick later by San Francisco. McShay labeled said pick as “hitting the jackpot.”