COMMENTARY | It's somewhat depressing thinking about the 2014 NFL Draft today. After all, the Cleveland Browns are very much so in the playoff hunt as they prepare to face off with the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 24. It is, nevertheless, that time of year when draft experts peek inside their crystal balls. Here are some early ideas of what the Browns might be thinking for next spring.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (November 22 edition): Shutdown Corner
What immediately jumped out regarding the latest mock draft put out by Eric Edholm was where he has the Browns picking. He sees Cleveland finishing 2013 with such a record that would have them select at 14, lower than anybody else mentioned in this piece placed the team. Edholm put the Baltimore Ravens at 11 and the Pittsburgh Steelers at 13.
First pick: WR Marqise Lee, USC: Lee, after 11 games in 2013, has reeled in 44 passes for 604 yards and two touchdowns. He is listed at 6-0 and 195 pounds. The reasoning behind this selection? From Edholm: "The Browns would love to find their future quarterback here, but with no clear-cut option after the top guys have gone, they can afford to wait until their second first-round pick to consider that player."
Second pick, 26 overall: QB Zach Mettenberger, LSU: The 6-5 and 230-pound senior is a big thrower ideal for an offense run by Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner. Odds are that he will be the best available quarterback if the Browns are forced to wait this long to use that Indianapolis pick. With that said, I cannot envision a scenario in which Cleveland doesn't pick up a QB in the first round.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (November 22 edition): Walter Football
First pick: QB Derek Carr, Fresno State: No messing around here, as this mock draft has the Browns going for a QB right away. Carr's stock seems to rise with every weekend. The 6-3 and 218-pound senior has thus far completed 69.5 percent of his pass attempts. He has 32 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. Carr has also only taken eight sacks.
Interesting note: According to this mock draft, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M won't be taken until 11, so he would, in this hypothetical world, be there for Cleveland. Hmm.
Second pick: ILB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee: The Browns could certainly use the help in the middle of the field. This draft is also assuming that Cleveland will utilize the second first-rounder a la the New York Giants and merely go with the best available player.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (November 22 edition): Bleacher Report
First pick: Carr: NFL Draft guru Matt Miller also sees the Browns taking the quarterback out of Fresno State, this time with the ninth overall pick. Carr is advertised to have a strong arm similar to that of Brandon Weeden, but with far more accuracy and more composure. Sign me up.
For what it's worth, Miller sees Johnny Football going off of the board at 12, and he has Marqise Lee falling all the day down to 17.
Second pick: WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU: Miller envisions the Browns having to wait around until 27 to use the pick that the team acquired from the Colts. Beckham is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player) and a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award (best receiver). He has 51 catches and eight touchdowns heading into November 23.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (November 22 edition): Rob Rang
First pick: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson: I somewhat find this hard to accept, as Rang only has two quarterbacks, Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota, being off the board when Cleveland drafts. Watkins, who currently has 71 receptions for 1,086 yards and nine touchdowns, is undeniably a talent. It appears Rang simply isn't sold on the top-rated QBs. That leads me to...
Second pick: Mettenberger: There it is. Mettenberger could be a steal at 27. He could also prove to be Weeden 2.0.
2014 Cleveland Browns NFL Mock Drafts (November 22 edition): Dane Brugler
First pick: Carr: Carr will be the future quarterback of the Browns if these mock drafts have anything to say about it. Only three of five people see Cleveland selecting a quarterback with the team's first overall pick. Every one of them is a fan of the Fresno State QB.
Second pick: WR Allen Robinson, Penn State: Talk about a rising stock. Robinson entered 2013 as a WR who could go on Sundays. Now, some are suggesting that he could be the greatest WR in PSU history. Robinson falling all the way down to 27 would be a blessing for the Browns.
A duo of Carr and Robinson wearing Brown and Orange for a decade at least? I'm sure Cleveland fans would take that.
Zac has been following Cleveland sports since a little before his birth, and thus his heart breaks a little more with every year. He has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the NFL for Yahoo Sports since 2010.
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