Early last week, when the prospect of billionaires and millionaires agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement still seemed like a possibility, The Orange and Brown Report's draft analyst, Brent Sobleski, presented a mock draft. We were talking football and optimistic we'd be watching football.
Then, Friday happened. So, as the aforementioned players and coaches figure out their issues and leave us to twiddle our thumbs, we'll focus football.
Here is Sobo's original four-plus rounds of mock draft enjoyment. To better understand the players he selected for the Cleveland Browns, he followed up his mock draft with scouting reports on Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, Arizona defensive end Brooks Reed, Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb, Washington linebacker Mason Foster and Stanford cornerback Richard Serman.
ROUND ONE, OVERALL PICK NO. 6:
Marcell Dareus (6-foot-4, 319 pounds), DE/DT, Alabama
Sobo's Scouting Report: Dareus is my top overall rated player. The value he presents, potentially, at No. 6 overall is fantastic despite not playing as a 4-3 defensive end or wide receiver -- the Browns' two biggest need areas.
The traits that set him apart are multi-faceted. First and foremost, when he has been fully healthy, Dareus is a bull along the defensive line and a handful for any two offensive linemen. He fires off the ball low and hard with an explosive six-inch power step, shoots his hands and he can easily control the man across from him. His first step was readily evident upon his impressive 1.66 10-yard split timing while weighing 319 pounds during the NFL Combine.
Although he has spent his entire collegiate career as a five technique in a 3-4 defense, those traits transcend position and make him a versatile option for multiple fronts.
ROUND TWO, OVERALL PICK NO. 37:
Brooks Reed (6-2, 263), DE, Arizona
Sobo's Scouting Report: Reed is often compared to Green Bay's Clay Matthews III because of the long blond flowing locks, and many project Reed as an 3-4 outside linebacker, but as you study his game, the better comparison may be Philadelphia's Brandon Graham.
Graham was thoroughly scouted by current Browns general manager Tom Heckert. Only five pounds separate Graham and Reed when comparing 6-2, 265-pound body types. Both play with leverage, they have a tremendous burst off the snap, and they are absolutely relentless.
Reed does compare to Matthews in that neither were highly productive in college, but both did exactly what was asked of them while in college. They were always in the correct position, performed their tasks and continually made the hustle plays. The icing on the cake? Seeing Reed explode through the blocks at the combine with the best 10-yard split of any defensive linemen, a timing that was as good as many running backs.
ROUND THREE, OVERALL PICK NO. 70:
Randall Cobb (5-10, 191), WR, Kentucky
Sobo's Scouting Report: Cobb has been a favorite among scouts. He continues to move up the boards because he has shown the polish and athleticism many talent evaluators didn't expect. Why? Cobb was Mr. Everything at Kentucky.
A quarterback entering the program, Cobb eventually transitioned to wide receiver after a stop at running back. He was often seen on the outside, but also was used as the team's Wildcat quarterback. He can even participate in the return game. He, and teammate Derrick Locke, were the team's two explosive entities and continued to make play after play for the Wildcats.
ROUND FOUR, OVERALL PICK NO. 101:
Mason Foster (6-1, 241), LB, Washington
Sobo's Scouting Report: Foster was one of the most productive and intense linebackers in the nation last season. He finished second in the nation with 163 total tackles. He played all three linebacker spots this season alone. He moves well sideline-to-sideline and rushed the passer on some obvious passing downs.
At 6-1, 241 pounds, he showed better speed than expected with a 4.6 40-yard dash at the combine
Foster may not be the athlete some envision as a weakside linebacker, but he clearly has the tools and strength to play the Mike or Sam.
ROUND FIVE, OVERALL PICK NO. 134:
Richard Sherman (6-3, 195), CB, Stanford
Sobo's Scouting Report: Sherman is a project, but it is a project well worth taking in the mid to late rounds. Sherman only played on the island for one season after being one of the team's top receivers as a junior. He played wide receiver his entire career at Stanford until last season.
He led the team with 13 passes defended. He stands 6-3 and was still able to crack 4.49 in his 40-yard dash. He is a top athlete -- a letterwinner for Stanford's track team -- who is still getting comfortable and learning the cornerback position. He has tremendous upside if given the time to develop.