With their first pick in the draft, number six overall, the Cleveland Browns selected OLB/DE Barkevious Mingo. The Browns do not own a second round selection, but do have six draft picks left.
Third round, sixth pick- (68 overall)
Fourth round, seventh pick- (104 overall)
Fifth round, sixth pick- (139 overall)
Fifth round, thirty-first pick- (164 overall)
Sixth round, pick seven- (175 overall)
Seventh round, twenty-first pick- (227 overall)
The second and third rounds will take place tonight, starting at 6:30 pm. Saturday will be the remaining 4 rounds, beginning at noon.
Team needs: CB, S, TE, G, WR, ILB
Following the selection of Mingo, Browns CEO Joe Banner was asked about whether he was confident the team could find a corner back in the later rounds. His response indicated that the team had no intention of taking a player that they didn’t think would be a long term solution. That they would not just draft a player because they have a need at a certain position-
“As we’ve said all along, we’re really not going to force filling a need on a short-term basis as opposed to building the team we want to have to get really good and sustain it. We’ll certainly, at corner as well as at other positions, be looking for somebody we feel can fill the spot and do so for a while and do it at championship level. If that situation presents itself that would be great but if not we’re not going to force it. We’re not going to fill all the needs of the team this year, it’s just not going to happen, I’ll tell you right now. If there’s a guy there we think can be a long-term solution and quality player, we’ll pick him. If it’s just somebody that upgrades us for this year and then we’ll need to replace again, we won’t.”
If what Banner said is true, then the Browns will not necessarily go after the best CB available when they pick in the third round tonight. It would not surprise me if they did find a corner they liked with that pick however.
Four cornerbacks were taken in the first round, but there is depth at the position. A couple of names to watch for- Darius Slay from Mississippi State and Logan Ryan from Rutgers. Word is the Browns are high on those two, and could have their choice between them at 68 overall.
Mel Kiper said that safety may be the deepest position left on the board, which is good news for the Browns. The top three came off the board last night, but one player that may be there when they pick in the third or possibly the fourth round is D.J. Swearinger from South Carolina. The Browns had Swearinger in for a visit and a workout recently. He does seem to be more of a typical strong safety, but with Ward’s injury history it doesn’t hurt to have another safety that can make hits and help with run support. From his NFL.com draft profile-
“He’s played in every game since he arrived on campus, except for the 2012 matchup against Missouri, for which he was suspended after a hit on a defenseless receiver. He has played both free and strong safety, and his good performances as a spot duty at corner against big receivers suggests he has the potential to cover NFL tight ends in coverage well. He projects to be a day two pick.”
Only one ILB was chosen on the first day, but this is not a very good draft for the position. LSU’s Kevin Minter might be a name to watch for.
The Browns took a look at TE Travis Kelce from Cincinnati pre-draft. He seems to be a bit more of a project. He could be there a few rounds later however. Gavin Escobar from San Diego State is perhaps the top TE left on the board, but could get swallowed up in round two. Good pass cather.
Three guards were picked in the first round, but Kentucky’s Larry Warford remains. He could be the upgrade Browns fans are looking for at the right guard spot.
So what are the chances the Browns trade back into the second round?
I would say not very good. It has less to do with what is available and more to do with what assets the Browns have to trade. They have the sixth pick in the third round, which they could give plus say a fifth rounder to get into the back half of the second round. If there was someone that they really liked falling a bit it is conceivable that they could pull the trigger. I would venture a guess that they would be hesitant to come away with less picks however.