Having already made a first-round pick in our 2015 NFL mock draft, Chris Pokorny of Dawgs By Nature is back again this morning to make a second pick for the Cleveland Browns, who of course acquired this selection in a draft-day trade a year ago involving the Buffalo Bills and wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
Pokorny addressed the Browns' need for a top-flight receiver prospect at No. 12 overall, leaving his options wide open at No. 19. Here's how he decided to play it.
19. Browns: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
More from our team site
More from our team site
Pokorny: This would be a first round that Cleveland fans could get excited over. After selecting receiver DeVante Parker with the team’s No. 12 overall pick, it is a pleasant surprise to see pass rusher Shane Ray still available at No. 19.
Although Cleveland’s defense showed flashes of brilliance last year, they still had issues against the run, ranking No. 32 in the NFL, and weren’t able to bring a consistent pass rush like head coach Mike Pettine was able to do when he was the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. This offseason, the Browns did nothing to upgrade the defensive line or edge rushing depth, and they let Jabaal Sheard walk as a free agent.
Ray could fit in Cleveland as either a rushing end or a strongish outside linebacker. AT 6-3, 245 pounds, he possess the athletic ability and motor to improve Cleveland’s pass rush while being able to play the run adequately as well. Bigger defensive linemen might be a high priority to help beef up the run defense overall, but this draft class appears deep enough that the Browns can find those players in the later rounds.
Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: If a 3-4 team like the Browns is taking Ray, they’re hoping he can move around in space. That’s something he didn’t have to do a lot at Missouri and mostly got by on his first step quickness. He’d obviously be an asset when Cleveland goes to a four-man front. But as a linebacker, he’s quite a projection. Still, at this point, he’s the best pass rusher on the board and that’s what the Browns need.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 13. Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
- 15. Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
- 17. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
- 19. Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
- 20. Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon
All picks from this mock draft
- 1-12: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
- 1-19: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
- 2-43: (coming April 10)
Coming up at Noon ET, we'll round out the Top 20 of our mock draft with the Philadelphia Eagles (and Bleeding Green Nation) making their pick. Stay tuned!
SB Nation presents: Cleveland's needs in the NFL Draft