Now that Day 1 of the 2015 NFL Draft is over for the Cleveland Browns, it is time to shift our focus to Day 2—where the Browns own pick No. 43 in round two and pick No. 77 in round three. After bulking up the trenches with Danny Shelton (DT) at No. 12 and Cameron Erving (OL) at No. 19, it is safe to say the Browns will likely step out of the trenches for their two selections on day two.
While most fans have firmly zeroed in on the wide receiver position with the Browns second-round pick, there are a number of other players at other positions of need for the Browns who could hear their named called. With this in mind, here are five players to keep an eye on who could be wearing the orange and brown when it is all said and done.
Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
After signing Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline this offseason, the Browns should still be targeting a WR with No. 1 potential in this draft. Prior to a wrist injury this offseason, many felt Strong was a lock to go in the first round—instead, we enter Day 2 with him still on the board.
Standing 6’2” and 217 pounds, Strong quieted many critics of his speed with a 4.44 40-yard dash at the combine. He has good height and length for a wide receiver, and is one of the best in this class at going up and getting the ball.
Despite quieting critics at the combine, there is still concern about his top-end speed and second gear, which is one of the reasons why he is still available. But with 157 catches, 2,287 yards and 17 touchdowns in his two seasons at Arizona State, the Browns should snatch him up if available at No. 43.
Eli Harold, DE/OLB, Virginia
Passing on Bud Dupree with the No. 19 pick, the Cleveland Browns could find a good one to add to the mix in Harold. At 6’3” and 247 pounds, Harold put up a 4.6 40-yard dash at the combine. Utilizing that size and speed, Harold registered 141 total tackles, 36.5 tackles for a loss and 17.5 sacks in his three seasons at Virginia. He also forced four fumbles and intercepted two passes at the collegiate level.
Losing Jabaal Sheard in free agency, Harold instantly provides someone who can come in and rush the QB from day one. With excellent burst and the ability to utilize his speed to get around the edge, he would certainly become a quick favorite of head coach Mike Pettine. He also has a non-stop motor, continuing to fight and try to get to the QB through the whistle.
Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
A player Cleveland fans are obviously very familiar with, the 6’0” and 196-pound deep-threat would bring a different dynamic the Browns offense currently does not have. Smith’s big play ability was seen day in and day out in college, as he posted gaudy yards per reception numbers, consistently burning defenders on a weekly basis throughout his career. He left Ohio State with 121 receptions for 2,503 yards (20.7 per catch) and 30 touchdowns.
Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Someone nobody expected to be around on Day 2, if Collins is there at No. 43 for the Browns—he could be too good of a player to pass up despite having Tashaun Gipson and Donte Whitner on the roster. At 6’0” and 228 pounds, though he struggled in coverage from time to time, he is a sure-fire tackler and hitter in the open field.
Drawing comparisons to former Brown, T.J. Ward, some feel he needs to improve in coverage to really become elite at the next level. Until then, he can make a major impact delivering punishing hits all around the field.
Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
While many people focused on Marcus Mariota as a potential QB option for the Browns in the 2015 NFL Draft, let’s not forget this little nugget from Adam Schefter back in February—Hundley was a player the Browns would have considered Top 10 in the 2014 NFL Draft had he declared. A year later, Farmer and company could have the opportunity to select him at No. 43 in the second round.
Though not a QB this writer feels is ready to start from Day 1, Hundley has a lot of traits NFL front offices will drool over. He is 6’3” and 226 pounds, is an excellent athlete (runs a 4.63 40-yard dash) and has the arm to make all the throws at the NFL level. He finished his three-year career at UCLA with 9,966 yards passing 75 touchdowns and 25 interceptions with a 67.6 percent completion percentage.
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