Dawg Pound Journal: Mike Mayock lays out positions Browns should target in 1st round


When it comes to analyzing college talent coming into the NFL, perhaps nobody's voice in the media booms louder than Mike Mayock, of the NFL Network.

On the eve of the NFL combine, Mayock fielded nearly 50 questions with the media over a conference call, and the Browns were one of the teams heavily discussed.

Currently, Cleveland in the only team in the NFL possessing two picks in the first round – No. 12 and No. 19. Mayock has narrowed it down to the positions general manager Ray Farmer and the organization should select.

"If I'm Cleveland, I'm looking at 12 and 19 and saying, Man, I need to get one of the best wide receivers in this draft," Mayock said. "I could probably use a right tackle at some point."

More than any other skill player, West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White has been linked to the Browns in media mock drafts. In 2014, White put up gaudy numbers – 109 catches, 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns. The New Jersey native has drawn comparisons to Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald.

Always known for his candid reasoning, Mayock later explained how, unlike most experts, his No. 1 receiver in the draft is actually White, and not Alabama's Amari Cooper – a Heisman finalist.

"I think [White's] got a higher ceiling," Mayock said. "I think his potential is greater. He's 6-foot-3, 219 pounds."

Mayock ranks T.J. Clemmings (Pitt), Andrus Peat (Stanford) and La'El Collins (LSU) as his top-ranked offensive tackles in the 2015 class. He considers Iowa's Brandon Scherff to be the top offensive lineman in the draft and projects him at guard.

Other related notes

  • Mayock said the Browns trading both first round picks to the top of the draft for a quarterback like Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota would be "very risky."
  • Mayock expects the Browns to target another tight end in either the draft or free agency.
  • Mayock said Oklahoma's Jordan Phillips and Oregon's Arik Armstead as defensive linemen Cleveland could target later in the first round, or even early second.
  • With Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West's emergence, Mayock doesn't think the Browns will look heavily at the running back position.

Three interesting NFL headlines

What we posted yesterday

The Browns reflect on their combine experience. Watch.

10 things to know before the start of the NFL Combine. Read More.

5 Browns who thrived after their combine snub. Read More

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