Pro Football Focus released it’s third mock draft, and had the Cleveland Browns go in a direction unseen by many in-season mocksters.
The analytically oriented website forecasted the Browns will pick Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons 15th overall.
Author Michael Renner noted how the Browns need help at linebacker, defensive line and safety. With this in mind, he suggested the Browns draft someone who can play all three spots.
“Why not draft a guy who can play all three? That’s what Simmons has done for Clemons’s defense this year and has graded out above average in coverage every year of his career.”
OK, if you’re a Browns fan, you’re really weary of this line of thinking for two reasons: Cam Erving and Austin Corbett. Granted, they’re lineman, but the lesson learned here is the Browns tried to make them play various positions on the line.
Essentially, Cleveland Cleveland caught to make each guy a Jack of All Trades and ended up getting a Master of Nothing.
Plus, Simmons plays for the Tigers, a program that notoriously plays one of the weakest schedules in the country. This isn’t to say Simmons will fail in the NFL. Perhaps he will be a very good player. The point is that the Browns probably can’t afford to gamble with glaring needs at both tackle spots.
Fans have been screaming offensive line all season, but here’s the problem: Renner had four offensive lineman taken before the Browns made their first pick. Players taken include Andrew Thomas (3rd), Tristan Wirfs (7th), Alex Leatherwood (9th) and Jedrick Wills (10th).
Only one offensive tackle was picked after the Browns’ selection, and that was Josh Jones of Houston going 22nd.
It’s remarkable and telling to see four tackles go in the top 10 and five in the first round. The need for the position is great and there’s just not a lot out there via the trade market, which is why the Texans look smart for giving up two first-round picks for Laremy Tunsil.