NFL Draft: 1st Day Nuggets & Looking Forward

The Cleveland Browns added two big, big players in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft. A few draft thoughts, nuggets and looking forward a bit to tonight.

The 1st Round of the NFL Draft is in the books. Not a lot of big surprises, not a lot of trades, no big moves. Just a night of players being drafted to teams and fans getting to enjoy the evening. Here are some of my thoughts as the night went on and thoughts for today:

  • I am shocked that the Tennessee Titans drafted Marcus Mariota. The smokescreen that seemed to be put up over the last few weeks lead me to believe the Titans were trying to build value for their pick. I was wrong. I think that Mariota needs some time to develop but that if he gets that time he will be great. I hope he gets that with the Titans.

  • Dante Fowler was my favorite defender and love his ability to play the run and rush the passer. Not a shock that the Jacksonville Jaguars picked him and I think he will be great.

  • Don't love Vic Beasley. His get off on the snap is amazing but teams will just run right at him and use snap counts to slow him down. Even a tight end chipping will help neutralize him.

  • Todd Gurley to the St. Louis Rams surprised me with DeVante Parker still on the board. The Rams have a number of backs that are quality but Gurley could be special. Interesting that RB Tre Mason helped recruit Nick Fairley to STL but gets pushed down the depth chart a bit.

  • I love Danny Shelton and I love the pick for the Cleveland Browns. While Phil Taylor is big, Shelton actually anchors against the run while Taylor likes to penetrate which opens up cutback lanes. Shelton can take on 2 or 3 blockers and free up the rest of the defense to make plays. With a stud nose, the Browns won't be worst against the run and could get into some creative pass rush schemes on 3rd down, instead of constant 3rd and shorts.

  • Even if no one else is added, the Browns defensive line is setup well. Taylor and Shelton are at the nose while Desmond Bryant, Billy Winn, John Hughes and Randy Starks play outside of them at either the 3 or 5 techniques. That is 6 quality players in a 3 man front. The Browns have a few other players and could add even more with their remaining 8 picks that could give them amazing depth on the DLine.

  • At 19 I was surprised that Bud Dupree wasn't the pick. While in my final Mock I had the Browns taking Shelton and Cameron Erving, yep got them both right, I thought Dupree would be the pick if he was there. That doesn't mean I don't like the Erving pick. Good teams build from the inside out and plan for the future via the Draft. Erving can play all 5 positions on the offensive line, as can Joel Bitonio. If he doesn't start in the upcoming season it means the other linemen in competition are dominate and really stepped their game up.

  • The two players we thought the Browns would select at 19, along with Erving, were Dupree and Breshad Perriman. The tough thing about both of those players is they went to rivals of the Browns: Dupree to the Steelers and Perriman to the Ravens. The good thing is that means the Browns are looking at the right players. The Steelers and Ravens are historically good drafters, that the Browns were targeting the same players as them says something positive.

Few thoughts going into Friday's rounds:

  • The Browns are set to have some great options for positions we think they are going to want to address. There are a couple of outside linebackers (Randy Gregory, Eli Harold, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, etc), wide receivers (Dorial Green-Beckham, Devin Smith, Jaelen Strong, Devin Funchess, etc), tight ends (Maxx Williams, Clive Walford, Jeff Heuerman, etc) and even Benardrick McKinney and Landon Collins who could fill in behind Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner who are approaching the end of their careers.

  • Interesting to see if Green-Beckham or Gregory are even on the Browns board based on their off the field issues. While DGB is a fast, big receiver that has fans excited, his route running and use of his hands is a big, big concern. His off the field is another issue as well. Gregory could be the best pure pass rusher in the draft but can't keep weight on, has some football IQ questions and struggles against the run. His off the field issues, specifically with marijuana, create more concerns.

  • La'El Collins situation is the strangest I've seen in awhile. He isn't considered a suspect but the police want to talk to him about the murder of a former girlfriend. Very strange situation that has a Top 10, 15 player still on the board. Some reports are that no one will take him because of it. If I'm the Browns, I take a flyer on Collins in the 4th round. He can play all 5 spots and with extra picks the Browns can take the risk. Collins, Erving and Bitonio would give the Browns a ton of options. Obviously if the Browns have any information that Collins is involved, I change my mind.

  • I expect to see some trading from GM Ray Farmer today. I don't think they add 10 rookies to a young roster with not a lot of roster spots open. I expect either a trade up from the 3rd to the 2nd or the addition of another Day 2 pick, to 3 total.

  • A QB could be an option starting in the 3rd round and I wouldn't be shocked to see Brett Hundley as a Brown by the end of the night. He needs to develop over 2 or 3 years but with our offensive staff, I have some hope for him.

  • I, like the rest of you, are excited for tonight almost as much as we were for the 1st round. Crazy to think the Browns could add 8 more draft picks in the next two days. I love the foundation of this team, even though we missed out on Mariota.

Looking forward to your thoughts in the Forums.

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