The draft rolls on with our second pick of the day. Caprock High Football traded quite a bit to move into the second overall selection of our 2015 BRB Mock Draft. We pondered if perhaps it was to ensure they could select the next best available quarterback after Jameis Winston, but...
The Cleveland Browns select Leonard Williams, DE/DT from USC.
This pick may come as "excessive" or "unrealistic" to some folks. But over here in Cleveland we don't give too much credence to that sort of talk.
In Cleveland, our philosophy of football is tied to its ancient and deep roots: smash mouth D and running the football. Many are expecting a certain signal-caller to be picked here, because, well, Josh McCown at best is a good backup in the mold of Brian Hoyer/Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Johnny Manziel is, well, he's JFF. But if our past history shows anything, it's that hoping to find the next "franchise QB" in round 1 is fool's gold, especially if that prospect needs grooming. History also shows we're not the best organization at grooming and molding a QB.
Instead, going along with our philosophy, which runs strong in Coach Mike Pettine, we as an organization chose to pick the closest thing we've seen in sometime to a "can't miss" prospect. That prospect is none other than Defensive Tackle from USC, Leonard Williams.
Williams will allow Pettine to get back to what he does best: dominate the game in the defensive trenches. As much as a real QB is a need, so is restoring the D-line. We were last in the NFL in rushing last year. Phil Taylor should be back and that will help. Drafting Williams will allow Pettine to use multiple fronts with Leo at the DE, Taylor at the NT and Desmond Bryant moving to the 2-gapping DT that he more naturally fits as and allow Randy Starks and Billy Winn to fill in as great rotational guys. Williams will likely command double teams along with Taylor allowing Keke and Kruger to actually get after the QB. With Joe Haden and Tramon Williams in the back, our D can return to the smash mouth days of old.
It was tempting to sit back and just take BPA, but what this team needs is an ace, a true franchise player. At 12 and 19, we could get some nice key pieces to a roster that is admittedly with holes, say a Malcom Brown and Ereck Flowers (not to mention the 3rd rounder given up like Lockett or David Cobb)--BUT at pick number 2, we can take the closest thing we've seen to J.J. Watt since 2011 and build around that in years to come.
Williams is not an exact J.J. clone, but he is of a special size and athleticism that few NFL players can be considered a member of. We can group him with freaks like JJ Watt, Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, Haloti Ngata, Sheldon Richardson, Jurell Casey, Gerald McCoy. Williams' upside is as good as any of the names listed, if not better (except for super-human J.J. Watt.) He has size: 6'5", 305 lbs., length: 34.5" arms, speed: 4.97 40, strength: (no bench reps). Say tuned in coming days for an episode of "Sports Science" on Leo; apparently he literally just throws John Brenkus across a room.
If it takes a third this year and second this year to turn two role players into a potential J.J. Watt, that's an easy decision.
Another excellent write-up that I hope the rest of the drafters will use as the standard for their own write-ups.
It's tough to say what will get Cleveland out of its perpetual football misery, but if Leonard Williams is as advertised, it'll certainly help... although not even J.J. Watt could save us from that miserable 2-14 campaign in 2013. The Browns, at least, seem smart enough to release Johnny Manziel if he doesn't shape up, so perhaps there's hope in the horizon.
Leave your thoughts on the pick down below. AFbuzz, your pic for the Jaguars is due by 7 PM CT tonight!
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers--Jameis Winston (QB--FSU)
2. Cleveland Browns (from Tennessee Titans)-- Leonard Williams (DE/DT--USC)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars--AFbuzz
4. Oakland Raiders--HTown5
5. Washington Redskins--BriceMcCainHOF
6. New York Jets--WotanTX
7. Chicago Bears--DaJarBot
8. Atlanta Falcons--grandmasteroz
9. New York Giants--CoolBreeze3
10. St. Louis Rams--El Torito
11. Minnesota Vikings--Puma028
12. Tennessee Titans (from Cleveland Browns)--Huggy The Bear
13. New Orleans Saints--UTBawse23
14. Miami Dolphins--Bleyd
15. San Francisco 49ers--fredy05
16. Houston Texans--BRB Masthead
17. San Diego Chargers--traviscogg
18. Kansas City Chiefs--Zach_The_Gamecock
19. Tennessee Titans (from Cleveland Browns via Buffalo Bills)--Huggy The Bear
20. Philadelphia Eagles--gm.in.waiting
21. Cincinnati Bengals--Free Range
22. Pittsburgh Steelers--bigralph
23. Detroit Lions--BostonianToro
24. Arizona Cardinals--bt20
25. Carolina Panthers--TexanStro
26. Baltimore Ravens--Three and Out
27. Dallas Cowboys--Roll.Texans.Roll
28. Denver Broncos--BNew417
29. Indianapolis Colts--Schaubshank Redemption
30. Green Bay Packers--FeedEmToTheWolves8099
31. New Orleans Saints (from Seattle Seahawks)--UTBawse23
32. New England Patriots--MD.Texan