Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Cleveland Browns [Print without images]

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Kiper mock 1.0 reaction: Browns

By Pat McManamon

Mel Kiper's first mock draft Insider goes chalk for the Cleveland Browns' first pick in the first round, and shock for the second.

The first pick, fourth overall, was predictable. Kiper has the Browns taking quarterback Blake Bortles of Central Florida. He's a big, strong-armed guy who came out of nowhere this past season to earn first-round status. In Kiper's draft, Johnny Manziel is off the board when the Browns pick, but Kiper has the Browns favoring Bortles over Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville.

Bortles makes sense because of his size and arm strength, and he can develop while someone else -- Brian Hoyer? -- plays. That might be a good thing if he is not forced into the lineup too early.

The second first-round pick, which came from the Colts for Trent Richardson, is a bit of a shock, but should make the locals happy. Kiper has the Browns taking Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde.

This is a shock because the Browns traded a first-round running back to get a first-round pick that Kiper then has them using on a running back.

Maybe it's a Cleveland thing.

Hyde is a big, strong, powerful runner who would seem to be a very good NFL prospect. He would make the Browns a better team.

But the Browns' front office seems to buy into the new thinking that does not favor taking running backs high. Not one running back was selected in the first round of last year's draft.

It will be interesting to see if Kiper's thinking is right.