Mel Kiper’s mock draft of the first round came out yesterday with some surprises. Kiper chose quarterback Johnny Manziel as the first pick in the draft to the Houston Texans. He also let Teddy Bridgewater fall all the way to the Vikings at the 8th pick. The board did look good for the Browns in the first round though. The Browns have the number 4 and 26 pick in the first round and are projected to get Blake Bortles and Carlos Hyde.
With the number 4 pick, Kiper projects the Browns will take Blake Bortles from UCF. Bortles, a quarterback out of the University of Central Florida, has been turning heads with his play this past season. He highlighted that with a huge win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl with 301 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Some thought that he would stay for his senior year, but has been projected as the second best quarterback in earlier draft boards (behind Bridgewater). Bortles will benefit the Browns if he is able to learn as a backup to someone like Hoyer for awhile instead of playing him too early like Cleveland usually does. Bortles has the size, arm strength, and decision making needed to play at the pro level.
With the 26th pick, Kiper has the Browns taking Carlos Hyde. Hyde, the Ohio State running back, would be a great addition to a small running back corps. The Browns are looking at trying to get Ben Tate in free agency, and the addition of Hyde would be a great mixture of backs. Hyde had a great season with Ohio State with over 1500 yards and 15 touchdowns . At 6’0” and 240 pounds, Hyde is a bulldozer with speed. He can breakaway from defenders, if he isn't plowing through him.This pick came from a deal where the Browns traded away 2012 first rounder Trent Richardson. Hopefully this time they get the right guy.
This would be a great base to start a new offensive team on for a new head coach. It fills the need at quarterback and also gives the Browns the ability to try and get a running game started. The Browns need to strengthen the run to make sure they are able to get the ball out to play makers such as Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon. With 5 pro bowlers on the team, including 3 on offense, adding weapons such as Bortles and Hyde to the offense will only make it stronger.