The Ohio State Football program has sent 172 players into the NFL Draft over the last 30 years. The Cleveland Browns have drafted three of them.
The last Buckeye to be drafted by the Browns was wide receiver Brian Robiskie in the second round of the 2009 draft. Before that, it was tight end Darnell Sanders in the fourth round of the 2002 draft. Seven years before that, linebacker Craig Powell was selected by the Browns in the first round of the 1995 draft.
You then need to flip the calendar all the way to 1985 for the next Buckeye. Then to 1977 for the next Buckeye before that. That’s five Ohio State players over the last 41 NFL Drafts. And one of them was punter Tom Skladany!
Enough is enough.
Hell, enough has been enough. The final straw came last year when the Browns passed on Malik Hooker to only then select Jabrill Peppers.
It would be too unbelievable if it wasn’t completely expected.
Not gonna lie, would kind of like to see the reaction from people after the Browns pass on Malik Hooker to take Jabrill Peppers.
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) April 28, 2017
That’s why I thought now would be a good time to write up a Browns mock draft that made more sense than the Browns normally come up with. And additionally, to come up with a Browns mock draft that had a little bit of Buckeye flavor to it.
The players that I have drafted below are players that I have actually seen play, which is a little bit different than how the Browns normally do it.
I also drafted players who come from winning programs. The culture in Cleveland needs to change, so I’m bringing in as many players from winning cultures as I can.
And then I’m signing more after the draft is over.
Let’s get this thing started.
1. Baker Mayfield, QB Oklahoma
It has only been very recently that word started coming out of Cleveland that maybe Baker Mayfield could be the guy. For the longest time, the names being leaked were Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. It appears that the Browns organization was trying to hide the fact that they were actually interested in Mayfield. They probably thought somebody might trade up to zero to select him before they could. If you’re a Browns fan and you don’t like this, that’s fine, but he’s the only quarterback in this draft who is willing to plant a flag in the middle of Heinz Field. That should count for something.
4. Traded to Buffalo for picks 12 and 22 in the first round.
The Jimmy Johnson draft pick value chart has Cleveland getting the slightly better end of the deal here, but since Buffalo is trading up to get a quarterback, they will be okay with paying a tiny bit of a premium to get the guy they wanted most. North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb has been a popular pick here, but it’s a luxury pick for the Browns, and luxury isn’t what they need. The Browns live in a house that is missing most of its roof, and Chubb would be a brand new boat parked in the front yard. The more logical pick here is for the Browns to trade down for a whole bunch of new tarp.
12. Denzel Ward, CB Ohio State
Denzel Ward’s name has been talked about as a Top 10 pick, but a little bit of a slide will find him right in Cleveland’s cross hairs. Ward will step in and be a lockdown guy from day one. Ohio State’s recruiting has been so good this decade because high school players know that if they sign with Ohio State they don’t have to worry about being drafted by the Cleveland Browns. That all goes out the window here. Can the Buckeye football program withstand the loss of such a huge recruiting draw? I don’t know.
22. Mike McGlinchey, OT Notre Dame
The Browns will have selected the best quarterback, the best cornerback, and now the best offensive tackle in the draft as they find a replacement for the retired Joe Thomas. Or at least a replacement for Shon Coleman, who moves from right tackle to left tackle to replace Thomas.
33. Derrius Guice, RB LSU
I’m not a fan of Saquon Barkley at No. 4 when there are plenty of very good running backs available here. Plus, I can’t in good conscience daft a running back at No. 4 overall who only rushed for 35 yards against Rutgers last year.
35. Maurice Hurst, DT Michigan
There is a whole bunch of scuttlebutt about some teams being concerned with Maurice Hurst’s health, but it’s unlikely that the Browns have even opened any of those messages. Their inbox is ‘so annoying.’ Hurst upgrades the tackles for the Browns and gives them a penetrating interior weapon to set the tone for the rest of the defense. I know I said I was only selecting players from winning cultures, but Hurst saw Ohio State up close four times as a Wolverine, so he has a pretty good idea of what a winning culture looks like.
64. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE Oklahoma
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is a versatile pass rusher who could complement the rest of the Cleveland defensive line in sub packages. Admittedly, this is a bit of a luxury pick, but not big-new-boat-in-the-yard luxury. It’s more like a sweet new Go-Kart with a La Cucaracha horn.
114. Tyquan Lewis, EDGE Ohio State
I mean, what fun is having just one Go-Kart? Plus, Tyquan Lewis is a former captain at Ohio State who has never once complained about anything. The Browns need more Tyquan Lewises.
150. Tegray Scales, LB Indiana
I don’t know if Tegray Scales can be a starting NFL linebacker, but I know he has a chip on his shoulder the size of Baker Mayfield’s self assurance. He should find a home immediately on special teams.
175. J’Mon Moore, WR Missouri
J’Mon Moore is a big receiver (6-3 204) who is a back-to-back 1,000-yard guy for Missouri. He improved on a 4.6 40-yard dash at the Combine to run a 4.48 at his pro day. He finished third in the bench and fourth in the vertical at the Combine, by the way.
188. R.J. McIntosh, DT Miami, Fl
R.J. McIntosh is a very good athlete who could become a very good player. Again, this is where the new culture needs to have an impact. If McIntosh buys in, he could become an effective inside presence.