The rumors right now are swirling about the Buffalo Bills desire for Sammy Watkins, wide receiver from Clemson, in this year’s NFL Draft. Watkins, who is by far the top rated receiver in this year’s draft, is considered to be a rare talent and has been compared to Calvin Johnson. I believe those comparisons to be extremely premature, but they are being made by most of the “experts”.
Let’s assume that until the No. 4 pick, things play out like we expect them to: the Houston Texans will take Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end from South Carolina at No. 1. The St. Louis Rams will then take Greg Robinson, offensive tackle from Auburn at No. 2, and at No. 3 the Jacksonville Jaguars will take Jake Matthews, offensive tackle from Texas A&M. The rumors are currently that the Jags want to take Matthews no matter what unless Clowney is still on the board.
That brings us to the Cleveland Browns‘ turn to pick at No. 4. They trade that pick to Buffalo for the No. 9 overall selection, the No. 73 overall selection (third round) and Buffalo’s 2015 first-round draft choice. Buffalo uses the No. 4 pick to take Watkins. Now here’s where it gets interesting (notice, we have yet to see a quarterback leave the board).
At No. 5, the Oakland Raiders will take Khalil Mack, linebacker from the University of Buffalo. The Raiders could use a big presence in the middle of their defense, and Mack seems to be the perfect candidate. Although, the Raiders could also take a quarterback at this spot. Next up at No. 6 are the Atlanta Falcons. Now Atlanta needs an offensive tackle badly and ideally would want either Robinson or Matthews, but since they’re already gone they go ahead and take Taylor Lewan from Michigan. Lewan has dropped down many people’s boards and out of the top 10, but he is certainly the best tackle outside of Robinson and Matthews. Since Atlanta needs that position more than any other, it makes the most sense to reach for someone who at one point was certainly considered a Top 10, perhaps even Top 5, talent.
At No. 7, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to get themselves some weapons. New head coach Lovie Smith spent this offseason acquiring one of his guys in quarterback Josh McCown, who signed a two-year, $10 million deal. You don’t sign somebody for $5 million a season with the intention of them sitting. I believe Tampa Bay intends to take a quarterback project in a later round (perhaps Zach Mettenberger) rather than take someone here. That means that Tampa Bay is taking a weapon, and that is wide receiver Mike Evans from Texas A&M. Evans is certainly the best receiver in the draft outside of Watkins.
The Minnesota Vikings are in desperate need for a quarterback. Over the past two seasons they have started the likes of Joe Webb, Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman. They get an early Christmas gift with a bow on top at No. 8 in quarterback Blake Bortles from UCF. Bortles, if he drops this far, is an obvious choice for Minnesota.
This brings us to the Browns at No. 9 (which they acquired from Buffalo for the No. 4 pick). The Browns have a few players who would seem to make a lot of sense at No. 9, but what they do is they make another trade — this time with the Dallas Cowboys. Look who’s still on the board: quarterback Johnny Manziel! It’s already well documented that Dallas is very high on Manziel, and they might even want to acquire him at the Browns’ pick at No. 4. But if he drops to No. 9 Cleveland makes the same deal they made with Buffalo only this time with Dallas. Cleveland trades the No. 9 for the No. 16, No. 78 (third-round pick) and Dallas’ 2015 first-round pick.
The Browns, at this point, now still have two selections in the first round at No. 16 and No. 26 and four selections in the third round at No. 71, No. 73, No. 78 and No. 83. And all of that goes along with three selections in the 2015 first round! Plus, look who picks after Dallas at No. 9; none of them need a quarterback which means the Browns still will probably get Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback from Louisville, at No. 16!
Obviously the movie Draft Day was an improbable scenario, but this would be the Draft Day scenario and then some. That’s why it’s the Cleveland Browns’ 2014 dream scenario.