ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper expects the Browns to receive offers for the No. 6 pick in the draft later this month. CEO Joe Banner is open to trading down and would like to add a second-round pick. The Browns gave up theirs when they selected receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft in July.
“They’re going to have, I think, great opportunities to move down because that pick is going to represent either Eric Fisher possibly, the left tackle from central Michigan, or Lane Johnson, the left tackle from Oklahoma,” Kiper said today on a conference call. “So that’s going to be a valuable pick that somebody’s going to want. So, yeah, I think they could move down.”
Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner seems like the natural pick if the Browns remain at six. The Browns need a starter to join Joe Haden, haven’t found one in free agency and Milliner is the top player at the position.
Kiper doesn’t think the Browns will get a chance at Milliner. He expects him to be taken in the top five.
If that’s the case, Kiper said there isn’t a cornerback alternative worthy of a top-10 pick.
“There’s no corner to take after Milliner at pick No. 6,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a corner to consider until you get into maybe that 19 area. In that 19-32 range is where I think maybe you’re going see maybe two to three to four corners come off the board.”
BREAKING DOWN NASSIB
The Browns reportedly will have a private workout Thursday with Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib. Kiper agrees with many experts who expect him to land in Buffalo with former Orange coach Doug Marrone, likely early in the second round.
Kiper gave his scouting report.
“He’s 6-2, up around 230 pounds. He can hang in there, he can take a hit,” Kiper said. “His accuracy, I’d like to see if he can be more precise with his throws and allow his receivers to do more after the catch, a little erratic with that at times, inconsistent with that.
“He’ll put a little more pressure on your line at times. If you protect him, he can do some things throwing the football. He’s got a nice arm, I like the way the ball comes out of his hand. Is he being a little overdrafted if he goes in the early second? Probably. He’s going to get an opportunity to be a starting quarterback. Whether he’s going to be a big-time starting quarterback is very debatable. Can he be a decent to solid, I think he can.”
Kiper was asked to evaluate Nassib’s arm strength. The Browns’ new offensive system relies on a quarterback stretching the defense with downfield throws.
“He’s got a good arm. Does he have a great arm? I didn’t see it,” Kiper said. “Does he have a good enough arm to be a successful starting quarterback in this league? Yes, he does.”
HIGH ON HUGH
Kiper is a fan of Illinois offensive lineman Hugh Thornton, who graduated from Oberlin High School.
“I see him to be a third-round pick. I look at Miami on a pick from Chicago at 82 would be a nice spot for him,” Kiper said. “I like him. I think when you look at his versatility, he can settle in and be a heckuva guard in this league. At 6-3¼, 320 pounds, with I think very good athletic ability overall for a player his size. Good movement, good agility. I like him.”