Mary Kay Cabot has six potential scenarios for the first three Cleveland picks in the draft, which begins tonight. None of them involve trades:
Scenario #1: Watkins/Carr/Bradley Roby (CB, Ohio State). I like Watkins and Carr. I don’ t know much about Roby — he’s got character issues, I think, but the talent is there. I would be totally cool with this scenario; Roby is a bust candidate, which I don’t like, but he’d be a #2 CB in Cleveland. Maybe less pressure will keep him on the right path.
Scenario #2: Manziel/Kyle Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech)/Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State). Fuller is a really good tackler who also happens to be pretty good in coverage. Some injury problems, according to the article. Cooks is tiny (under 5’10”). Comparison here is to DeSean Jackson, who is probably the best case scenario for small receivers. Overall, I like this scenario much less — it’s too risky. In my opinion, at the very least, #4 has to be a slam dunk. Manziel is not a slam dunk.
Scenario #3: Carr/Odell Beckham (WR, LSU)/Jason Verrett (CB, TCU). Fuller and Verrett seem pretty interchangeable. Beckham is a slightly larger Cooks. Carr at #4… I’m just not sure I’m sold on him or any QB. Not at #4. All, -5000 points for Verrett for beginning his statement with “I feel that”. The only time you should ever begin a sentence with “I feel” is when you’re describing a damn feeling. “I feel pretty pissed off at people who use ‘I feel’ to mean ‘I’m an intellectual coward, so cowardly I won’t even say ‘I think’ to back up my wishy-washy bullshit.”
Scenario #4: Mack/Bridgewater/Marcus Roberson (DB, Florida). I’ve written a bunch about the first two. Roberson is 6″+, which immediately puts him above the other DBs I’ve seen on this list. He has injury issues and character concerns.
Scenario #5: Robinson/Carr/Verrett. I don’t want a tackle at #4 unless Joe Thomas spontaneously combusts between the time of this post and the draft. In fact, I don’t want a tackle in the first round.
Scenario #6: Bortles/Fuller/Jordan Matthews (WR, Vanderbilt). If I hear Bortles is the new Roethlisberger one more time, I’ll puke. Yes, big dude who gets out of trouble = Roethlisberger. We get it. Roethlisberger is the best QB in the AFC North, but that’s pretty much by default. Flacco is meh, Dalton would look like a Browns QB if he didn’t have AJ Green. Fuller I’ve already mentioned. Matthews is Jerry Rice’s cousin. He’s a big dude, too: I like him as a receiver.
Ranking the scenarios in my order of preference from best to worst, I’d go — #4, #1, #6, #2, #3, #5. The common theme here is that we take a QB, a WR, and a DB in the first three picks (except for scenario #5) in some order. I really, really want a new guard, whether that means taking a quality tackle in the second round and moving Schwartz in, or taking a guard. If Pettine is a big scheme guy, the more defensive players the better. I’m surprised Carlos Hyde (RB, Ohio State) wasn’t mentioned; a lot of mocks have had him going to Cleveland in the second round. I like Ben Tate, and if we get a late round running back, that should be good enough.