Can you believe that we are only three weeks away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft?
This has been a relatively quiet lead up to the draft (so far), with no quarterback deemed worthy of making a massive move up like what we saw from the Rams last year.
From everything we've heard from Sashi Brown, Hue Jackson, and crew, the Browns have no intention of trading out of the first overall pick, either to move down, or in a package to entice New England to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It's almost a sure thing that the Browns will take Texas A& M pass rusher Myles Garrett with the first overall pick. EVERYONE is forecasting that at this point.
But what about the Browns' other first round pick at #12? Let's take a closer look at what national experts are forecasting:
Kiper: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
One of Trubisky and Watson will probably be available here at No. 12; can the Browns really pass on another potential franchise quarterback? They're getting this pick from last year's trade that netted the Eagles Carson Wentz, who flashed Pro Bowl potential as a rookie. Watson is certainly more experienced than Trubisky, and he's used to the bright lights that will shine on him on Day 1 in Cleveland.
McShay: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
The Browns got an up-close look at Howard in January, coaching the star TE at the Senior Bowl. Trubisky would obviously be an option if the board fell this way, but at the moment I'm just not getting a strong QB vibe from the Browns, though it's still early. Selecting Howard would allow Cleveland to continue to develop its roster until it can find the QB it wants.
***The Howard scenario remains an intriguing one. The Browns have SO many needs that on the surface, you wonder why they would take a tight end when they already have a Pro Bowl caliber one in Gary Barnidge. However, if they intend to go into 2017 with Cody Kessler as their starting quarterback, they'll need some weapons who can both block and catch!
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: Do the Browns need an upgrade at quarterback? In the worst way. But is the "right" quarterback in this class? Time will tell. If Cleveland opts with another position player here, Howard, who was coached by Hue Jackson and the Browns' staff at the Senior Bowl, makes a lot of sense.
***You get the feeling that if Deshaun Watson had opted to play in the Senior Bowl that he might be a heavier favorite to go to Cleveland with the way that many experts are tying Howard to Cleveland.
Get ready for a new name!
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan: Davis and Corey Coleman would be a terrific pair of pass-catchers for the Browns.
***Davis is 6'3", 209 lbs, and would really help ease the loss of Terrelle Pryor. You'd have Davis, Coleman, and Kenny Britt as your three main targets. Not bad at all.
Also, note on Jeremiah's board that North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky falls all the way to #25 and Watson slips to the second round. I have to believe that if one of those guys would be there at #33 when the second round starts, the Browns would gladly turn in the card.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: His accuracy, 70% over the last two seasons, could be the attribute that brings him home to Ohio. Trubisky's TD-to-INT ratio (36:6) over the same span also impresses. But his overall inexperience (just 13 career starts) combined with a lack of snaps taken under center means he's unlikely to make the Dawg Pound forget about Bernie Kosar in 2017.
I am a day early getting to Matt's most recent mock draft. His last one projected the Browns to take Watson at 12. However, this little nugget caught my eye.
***That would surprise me, but the Browns certainly do have the assets to move up.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina: The deeper into the top 10 this draft goes without a QB off the board, the more likely it is that some team swoops in ahead of Cleveland via trade. In this mock sans trades, though, the Browns can take whichever quarterback they want. They go with the local product.
Plan B: Cornerback. Passing on QB at both 1 and 12 would be a gamble—the Browns could wind up reaching in Round 2 or having to trade back into Round 1 to find help at that position. But they also aren’t going from 1–15 to the playoffs with their secondary as is.
***The Browns did recently workout Florida CB Teez Tabor so taking a defensive back in the first round is certainly a possibility.
So if you are scoring at home, here's the tally from the experts:
We'll keep updating this list as we get closer to the draft on April 27.