The Cleveland Browns are back in a familiar spot, holding the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. They own a ton of picks, here is how they should best utilize them.
In the past two seasons the Cleveland Browns have had more first round picks than wins. This team is in desperate need of talent infusion. Luckily for them they have two top five picks and four in the top 35. This mock draft will go through all seven rounds and how Cleveland can start to fix the franchise.
This mock draft was done using Fanspeak’s On The Clock, a fun and informative tool for all NFL draft fans.
Round 1 – Pick 1
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
This pick needs to be a quarterback. DeShone Kizer, last year’s starter and second round pick showed that he is not this franchise’s future. It is time for the Browns to find that player. In my eyes that player is UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen.
Despite Rosen openly saying he does not want to play for a team like the Browns, he is the number one quarterback in my eyes. The team may debate Rosen against the other three quarterbacks, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield. In the end, Rosen’s talent should win out.
Rosen suffered from horrible drops around him and still looked dominant in his time at UCLA. The injuries will be a concern, he has suffered one every season. In the end his arm strength, pocket presence and accuracy will outweigh those negatives. Cleveland controls this draft with this first pick and Rosen should be the guy.
Round 1 – Pick 4
Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB/S, Alabama
While running this mock draft the dream scenario for Cleveland would have been Penn State running back Saquon Barkley falling to number four. That did not happen. Instead the Browns jumped on the best defensive back, and some people’s number one overall player, Minkah Fitzpatrick.
The issues with Fitzpatrick have little to do with his ability but about his position at the next level. During his time at Alabama he played all over the defensive backfield. His best traits flashed while he was playing nickel corner or safety. Regardless of his position, the talent is evident.
The same questions plagued Jalen Ramsey entering the draft process. He quelled those concerns by being one of the NFL’s best corners. Fitzpatrick can follow a similar route if a team follows a set plan. All indications point to him destroying the combine, cementing his athletic traits and keeping him in the top ten conversation.
His size may limit his impact playing outside corner, and some believe he will be best at safety. In today’s NFL, the position does not matter as much as the player. Let Fitzpatrick play safety in base defenses, a decreasingly rare occurrence in the league. When teams go to a more spread look kick him down near the line of scrimmage in the slot and let him make plays. As a safety he would make a good partner for last year’s first round pick Jabril Peppers who is more linebacker than safety.