ESPN.com is having a bit of a mock draft party today with Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. both revealing their latest three round projections.
Both analysts see the top five picks going the same (Newton, Dareus, Miller, Green, Gabbert) but they first differ when the Cleveland Browns are on the clock. Kiper sees the Browns taking Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, and McShay thinks they will take pass rusher Robert Quinn.
It appeared at one point that Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers would be a steal here but concerns about Bowers’ injured knee continue to increase. Quinn, meanwhile, is coming off a strong pro day workout, and while he’s not as stout against the run he offers significantly more upside than Bowers as a pass rusher. Adding an impact right defensive end like Quinn would be a great start for the Browns as they transition to a 4-3 defense.
Kiper had this to say in defense of his Julio Jones pick:
There are a lot of Browns fans probably hoping that Green falls to this spot, but if Jones is the one available, he’s an outstanding consolation prize. His size and speed combination is the best in the draft at the position, and his development as a wideout over the past year shows a determination and work ethic that will be loved by the coaching staff. The Browns need a true No. 1 at wide receiver, and if healthy, Jones can be that guy. A gifted athlete, he blocks as hard as he runs routes. Great when healthy, still really good when battling through pain.
Personally, I think the better of the two selections is the Robert Quinn pick. Quinn has excellent ability rushing the passer, and likely would be a top three pick had he not been suspended this past year.