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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Cleveland Browns 7-Round Projections & Roster Outlook

sam-darnold-denzel-ward-ftr-gettyimages_1tsznuxm7iks015ugffkxsde5z
(sportingnews.com)

The Cleveland Browns have a total of nine picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, with five selections in the first two rounds. For the first time in years, after a very busy off-season, there is excitement and genuine hope for the Browns. New GM John Dorsey has done an outstanding job thus far, and needs to continue this trend in the NFL Draft. If the Browns can make the right moves on draft day, they could be in a position for a playoff push.

2018 projected Cleveland Browns starters (before NFL Draft):
SEE THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE FOR THE POST NFL DRAFT STARTERS
* – denotes new addition

OFFENSE: QB- Tyrod Taylor*,  RB- Carlos Hyde*/ Duke Johnson,  WR- Jarvis Landry*/Josh Gordon/Corey Coleman,  TE- David Njoku,  OL- Chris Hubbard*/Joel Bitonio/JC Tretter/Kevin Zeitler/Shon Coleman

DEFENSE: DL- Myles Garrett/Larry Ogunjobi/Carl Nassib/Emmanuel Ogbah,  LB- Jamie Collins/Joe Schobert/Christian Kirksey,  CB- EJ Gaines*/Jamar Taylor/Briean Boddy-Calhoun,  S- Damarious Randall*/ Jabrill Peppers

That right there is not a bad team on paper. Right now, there would be four new additions starting on Offense (QB, RB, WR, LT) and two on defense (CB, S). The Browns have assembled a solid roster, and adding some more pieces through the draft could really be huge. From our view, adding these prospects would be the best move:

Round 1, Pick #1: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

samdarnold
(Kelvin Kuo/AP)

I thought two months ago that Darnold should go #1 to the Brownsand still I think the same:

Sam Darnold is the pick here for the Browns. Taking all factors into account, Darnold seems to be the safest choice. At 6-4, 220, Darnold has the great size and all the intangibles to help him become the Franchise QB the Browns so desperately need. Darnold possesses an excellent combination of mobility and arm talent, which allows him to extend plays and create something out of nothing if needed. Darnold has had some trouble with turnovers in his time at USC, but this shouldn’t be too worrisome. A lot of his mistakes are made from bad decisions, not bad throws. Darnold needs to improve his decision making at times, but he will  be able to with the right coaching around him.

Darnold is the safest QB for the Browns due to one major reason: his character. All of the top QBs in this draft are extremely talented, and some could be viewed as more pro-ready then Darnold. But what sets Darnold apart is his ability to be a leader, as well as his humility and willingness to learn. Darnold is the best choice for the Browns situation. Times have been tough in Cleveland, and in order for them to turn it around, they need to find the right QB for them. While he may not be viewed as the best QB in the Draft by some, Sam Darnold is the guy Cleveland needs.

-Front Row Football (Feb 2018)

Round 1, Pick #4 (via HOU): Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State

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(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Barkley? Fitzpatrick? Nah. Bradley Chubb. This pick so much sense, and it should happen. Barkley is special, but with newly signed RB1 Carlos Hyde, it wouldn’t be smart to add another RB this early. Fitzpatrick is very good, but there are some question marks on where he will be best at the next level. Where to play Fitzpatrick is a bit of a question, and the Browns may not be the best candidate to figure that out. Bradley Chubb has no questions; he is the best EDGE defender in this class, and it is not even close. Chubb is as talented as they come, and he would fill a major need on the Browns defense. To make it even better, Chubb gets to rush the passer opposite Myles Garrett. Enough said.

MORE NFL DRAFT: 2018 NFL Mock Draft: Updated projections with Trades 

Round 2, Pick #33: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

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(Chris Williams/Getty Images)

Kolton Miller absolutely nailed his NFL Combine performance, and it had him moving up draft boards. Miller went from likely a Round 2-4 selection, up to a likely Round 1-2 pick. The athleticism Miller displayed at the Combine was special for someone his size (6-8, 310), and he is worthy to be drafted as one of the top OTs. Miller would be able to contribute right away if needed, at LT or RT, for the Browns blooming Offense. With Joe Thomas gone, the Browns need to address the OT position further. Miller would be a step in the right direction.

Round 2, Pick #35 (via HOU): Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

ucfs-hughes-would-be-a-great-example-of-best-player-available-hero
(Dallas Cowboys)

Mike Hughes can really play. Hughes was a lock-down corner for the undefeated UCF Knights, and his play in 2017 had him rocketing up draft boards. Hughes is tremendous in man coverage, and also excels when in press coverage. Hughes plays the run well, and has great physicality. He plays bigger than his 5-11, 190, frame, and has the skill set to cover inside and out. Hughes is a top cover corner in this class, and with four interceptions in 2017, he can provide turnovers as well. Hughes also offers great value as a return man. Hughes was dangerous whenever he had the ball in his hands; he had three return touchdowns in 2017. Hughes would be another great addition to the Browns secondary, and would provide some more exciting and young talent for the Browns Defense.

Round 2, Pick #64 (via PHI): Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 26 Georgia Tech at Georgia
(Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)

This is one of the deepest RB classes in recent memory, and the Browns would be wise to pass on Saquon Barkley and take another top back later. Nick Chubb will be a workhorse at the next level, and runs with a violent style similar to Marshawn Lynch. Adding Chubb to the Browns RB room would give the team a three-headed monster in the backfield. Taking this “RB by committee” approach can be extremely successful with the right gameplans, and adding another dynamic runner would make the Browns offense scary on paper. For proof of the RB by committee approach working, look at this year’s Super Bowl match up. Oh, and in this case, the Chubb cousins can unite to help turn this historic franchise around.

MORE NFL DRAFT: 2018 NFL Mock Draft: Updated projections with Trades 

Round 4, Pick #114 (via GB): DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State

daesean-hamilton-penn-state-burdick-1.jpg
(Paul Burdick Photo)

DaeSean Hamilton is a huge sleeper in this class. Hamilton (6-1, 205) has been very productive during his career for Penn State, with 214 receptions for 2,842 yards and 18 TDs. Hamilton is a smooth route runner and is able to gain consistent separation. Hamilton would be a great addition to the Browns receiving offense, and could challenge Corey Coleman for a starting spot right away.

Round 5, Pick #150 (via GB): Taylor Stallworth, DT, South Carolina

Taylor Stallworth
(Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina)

The Browns could use some addition depth within their defensive line. Per Lance Zierlein of nfl.com, Taylor Stallworth is an under-valued prospect who could make an impact.

“NFL teams may very well take a look at Stallworth’s relative lack of length and mass and immediately push him down the draft pile. That could be a mistake. Stallworth has some limitations and he may not be a factor on rush downs, but he carries a compact, powerful frame and outstanding body control to fight through contact and come out on the right side. His talented handwork could give him the early upper hand in NFL camps and he has the talent to become a solid rotational 4-3 tackle with a long career.” — Zierlein

Round 6, Pick #175: Kameron Kelly, DB, San Diego State

kameron kelly sdsu
(Jake Roth/USA Today Sports)

Kameron Kelly is a very under the radar talent from San Diego State. Kelly tallied 67 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks, three interceptions and seven pass breakups in the 2017 season. Kelly has great size, athleticism, and physicality to develop into a starter in the NFL. Kelly (6-2, 200) plays physical and is at his best when playing press coverage. Kelly would add some important depth to the Browns secondary.

Round 6, Pick #188 (via WAS): Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia

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(Mark Gormus/Times Dispatch)

Why take another QB? Well, with the Browns, you can never add to many QBs. If Darnold somehow doesn’t pan out, and ironically Benkert does, this could be Kirk Cousins & RG3 all over again. That scenario is a long shot, but considering the Browns have been needing a franchise QB for nearly two decades, why not take two QBs. Kurt Benkert has shown some flashes during his time at Virginia, and is worth the selection here for the Browns in Round 6.

2018 projected Cleveland Browns starters (after NFL Draft):
* – denotes new addition
** – denotes draft pick

OFFENSE: QB- Tyrod Taylor*,  RB- Carlos Hyde*/Nick Chubb**,  WR- Jarvis Landry*/Josh Gordon/Corey Coleman,  TE- David Njoku,  OL- Chris Hubbard*/Joel Bitonio/JC Tretter/Kevin Zeitler/Kolton Miller**

DEFENSE: DL- Myles Garrett/Larry Ogunjobi/Carl Nassib/Bradley Chubb**,  LB- Jamie Collins/Joe Schobert/Christian Kirksey,  CB- EJ Gaines*/Jamar Taylor/Mike Hughes**,  S- Damarious Randall*/ Jabrill Peppers

MORE NFL DRAFT: 2018 NFL Mock Draft: Updated projections with Trades 
2018 NFL Draft Team Previews: Picks 1-10
The Incredible Rise of Baker Mayfield: From Walk-On to Top QB
2018 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 50 Prospects Post-Combine (w/ Gifs)

Thanks for checking this mock out! Send some feedback to us on Twitter @FrontRowNFL.

To check out our most recent posts, click here!

Sources used for data/player info include browns.com, landof10.com, and sports-reference.com. The photos used are not mine, and all rights are reserved to their owners.
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Torre Avitabile View All

Founder and writer for Front Row Football (2018-present).
Writer for Armed Rodgery (2016-2017).

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