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Mock Draft Roundup: How free agency could impact what Browns do at No. 12

Posted Mar 14, 2017

Looking at how strategies could be altered

The Browns have complete control of who they’re able to take with the No. 1 pick.

At No. 12, though, the Browns are somewhat at the mercy of the teams in front of them. As much as you love a player, the team in front of you can love him the same and then he’s no longer an option when it’s your turn to pick.

In this week’s mock draft roundup, we’re looking at the teams between Cleveland’s first pick and the No. 12 overall selection and seeing how their draft plans may have changed in the wake of the first wave of free agency.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Major signings: WR Pierre Garcon, WR Marquise Goodwin, QB Brian Hoyer, FB Kyle Juszczyk, LB Malcolm Smith

Major losses: WR Torrey Smith, S Antoine Bethea, K Phil Dawson

Popular mock projections: DL Solomon Thomas, QB Mitch Trubisky, DL Jonathan Allen, DB Marshon Lattimore, S Malik Hooker

Analysis: The 49ers were among the busiest teams in the league, signing 10 players at a variety of positions, including two quarterbacks, to restock a depleted roster. None of the moves were significant enough to count out anything on draft day, though.

3. Chicago Bears

Major signings: QB Mike Glennon, DB Prince Amukamara, WR Kendall Wright, WR Markus Wheaton

Major losses: WR Alshon Jeffery, QB Jay Cutler, QB Brian Hoyer

Popular mock projections: S Jamal Adams, Lattimore, Allen, Thomas, Trubisky

Analysis: Bears general manager Ryan Pace didn’t beat around the bush last week, as he not only signed Glennon to a big deal, but also named him the starter six months before the season opener. That should theoretically take the Bears out of the quarterback market, but they’ll need some bodies at the position after saying goodbye to all three of theirs from last season.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Major signings: DL Calais Campbell, DB A.J. Bouye, S Barry Church

Major losses: DB Prince Amukamara, OL Kelvin Beachum, S Jonathan Cyprien

Popular mock projections: RB Leonard Fournette, Allen, Thomas, Adams, Lattimore

Analysis: For the second straight year, Jacksonville bolstered its defense with big names in free agency and landed one of the best available defensive linemen. There’s still some room to improve in the secondary, but this wave of activity seemingly makes an offensive player more feasible.

5. Tennessee Titans (From Rams)

Major signings: DB Logan Ryan, S Jonathan Cyprien

Major losses: OL Chance Warmack, WR Kendall Wright

Popular mock projections: WR Corey Davis, Hooker, Adams, Lattimore

Analysis: The Titans bolstered one of the weakest areas of the team with the additions of Ryan and Cyprien, but it probably wasn’t enough to rule out adding another defensive back in a draft that is loaded with top-end talent.

6. New York Jets

Major signings: OL Kelvin Beachum

Major losses: WR Brandon Marshall, DB Darrelle Revis

Popular mock projections: QB Deshaun Watson, RB Dalvin Cook, Lattimore, Allen, Fournette,

Analysis: The Jets have been linked to a number of free agents but have only signed one thus far. The team is in rebuilding mode and should be considered wide open at this spot in the draft.

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Major signings: OL Russell Okung

Major losses: RB Danny Woodhead, OL D.J. Fluker, OL King Dunlap

Popular mock projections: OT Ryan Ramczyk, DB Jabrill Peppers, DL Taco Charlton, Hooker, Adams

Analysis: When they’re healthy, the Chargers are pretty sound at the offensive playmaking positions even after the departure of Woodhead. The team needs help on the back end of its defense but certainly wouldn’t pass up an elite pass rusher if one stands atop their board when it’s time to pick.

8. Carolina Panthers

Major signings: DL Julius Peppers, OL Matt Kalil, DB Captain Munnerlyn, DB Mike Adams

Major losses: OL Mike Remmers, WR Ted Ginn Jr., FB Mike Tolbert

Popular mock projections: DL Derek Barnett, Fournette, Allen, Thomas

Analysis: The Panthers have been linked to running backs and pass rushers in most mock drafts, and even after the addition of Peppers, a future Hall of Famer near the end of his career, that hasn’t changed.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Major signings: DB Dre Kirkpatrick, WR Brandon LaFell

Major losses: OL Kevin Zeitler, OL Andrew Whitworth, DL Domata Peko, LB Karlos Dansby

Popular mock projections: LB Reuben Foster, LB Haason Reddick, Davis, Barnett

Analysis: Cincinnati could certainly use some help on the offensive line after losing Zeitler and Whitworth, but there doesn’t seem to be one worthy of the ninth overall selection. Foster continues to be the most often linked player to Cincinnati and that likely won’t change in upcoming mocks.

10. Buffalo Bills

Major signings: S Micah Hyde, FB Patrick DiMarco, LB Lorenzo Alexander

Major losses: DB Stephon Gilmore, WR Marquise Goodwin, WR Robert Woods

Popular mock projections: DB Gareon Conley, WR Mike Williams, TE O.J. Howard, Watson, Davis, Barnett

Analysis: Not listed above, but by far the most important development of the offseason was Buffalo’s ability to bring back QB Tyrod Taylor on a restructured deal. That should, in theory, take them out of the market for a quarterback. The focus now could be on cornerback and wide receiver after losing significant players at both spots.

11. New Orleans Saints

Major signings: DL Nick Fairley, WR Ted Ginn, OL Larry Warford

Major losses: WR Brandin Cooks (trade)

Popular mock projections: RB Christian McCaffrey, LB Takkarist McKinley, Barnett, Thomas, Lattimore

Analysis: The Saints beefed up their offensive line with the addition of Warford and maintained a burner on offense by signing Ginn shortly before the Cooks trade. They now carry multiple first-round picks with the second coming at No. 32 and could go in a variety of ways with either one.

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