NFL Draft season has been a unique one already and we are only a little over a week until it actually kicks off.
For the Cleveland Browns, and especially their fans, it is the Big Event.
This Draft is full of a ton of talent and the Browns have a ton of draft picks. Not only is there a fit there but many of the Browns needs meet the areas of talent and depth in this Draft.
After that, the defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) will get you first-day starters all the way into the 4th Round. The tight end spot looks to have starters into the 3rd, and maybe even later.
Even two positions that the Browns are in good shape, wide receiver and running back, are so deep the team could add one from each position.
That doesn't mean all of the players that NFL Draft analysts, including myself, might like are also high on the Browns list.
Here are 5 that the Browns are likely to be lower on than most:
5. Joe Mixon, Dede Westbrook, Devonte Fields
As the Browns look to build a foundation, they have gone away from players with off the field issues. This could change in the future, after creating a cultural foundation, but in Year 2 of this regime it doesn't seem likely this year.
Mixon's video speaks for itself. The combination of that and the Browns talent at the running back position pushes him down farther than he is likely to get drafted by another team.
Westbrook, Mixon's teammate, had a great year at Oklahoma. He had 80 receptions, 1,524 yards and 17 TDs. The small WR, at 5'10" and 171 pounds, has some believing he won't even be drafted at this point. His size, measurables and off the field issues (2 violence related arrests) all have pushed him down. For the Browns, after drafting 4 at the position last year, Westbrook doesn't make sense.
Fields is a lesser known player but one that has edge potential. He isn't great against the run and is inconsistent in his play. He also has a history of domestic violence allegations. Fields could be a fun edge rusher in sub-packages but the Browns aren't likely to use a pick, even with all their extras, on him.
4. Offensive Line
While a little bit of a cheat, the Browns are likely to be lower on the offensive linemen in this draft. Most believe the line prospects in this Draft is not great, there are some very good interior players.
The Browns are not likely to be drafting any of them, unless a center falls lower than expected. With Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler, the Browns have put a lot of assets into the line. Add to that drafting Shon Coleman in the 3rd Round and still having Cameron Erving on the roster means the Browns aren't likely to spend a high asset on the line.
Those 6 are joined by, along with others, Spencer Drango, John Greco, Austin Reiter and Anthony Fabiano on a very full depth chart. No room for drafting one.
3. QB Davis Webb
While we've heard that the Browns might be interested in Webb, the big Cal QB has huge accuracy issues that doesn't fit with what HC Hue Jackson or the Front Office is unlikely to love. As someone said to me on Twitter today, Webb looks good until he throws the football.
Webb was beat out by fellow QB Draft prospect Patrick Mahomes and transferred to Cal. Being big and being able to throw the ball hard/far is of very little benefit if you end up looking like Brandon Weeden.
2. Obi Melifonwu
One of my favorite safeites, Obi can do a ton of things. He is big enough to be a Kam Chancellor like strong safety, enough range and height to be a free safety and some teams think he could be a cornerback. He also just looks like a stud player.
His film isn't as good as his measurables and body are, however. With Obi it is all about upside, which is fine for the Browns normally.
Obi, however, is already 23 years old. Data says that older prospects have a lower ceiling. That, combined with his lesser tape, probably means the Browns are unlikely to draft him before another team snatches him.
1. Budda Baker
This one hurts this writer.
I love Budda Baker. Baker is a great free safety that plays a lot like the Honey Badger. Baker is an Earl Thomas-like safety in his ability to control the game.
I'd love to have Baker roaming centerfield for the Browns. I think his abilities would help lift the secondary, making the corners look much better. I believe the combination of Garrett and Baker would instantly upgrade the defense and would be the foundation for the future of a very good defense.
Sadly, Baker's size issues makes him unlikely to be a big Browns pick. At 5'10" and under 200 pounds, Baker doesn't present the kind of upside physically that the Browns seem to love.
While I am open to being wrong, especially would like to be about the last two, based on what we have seen from the Browns they seem likely to be lower on these 5 than other teams.
What do you think? Who do you think they might be lower on than many other teams?