ESPN’s Mel Kiper released his first NFL mock draft before the actual one kicks off in April and he has the Cleveland Browns taking Myles Garrett first overall. That’s not a complete shocker, but it’s their second pick in the first round that might surprise some people. Most people have Leonard Fournette going first among running backs — despite an injury-riddled season — and Kiper is among them, but he has the presumed second-best back in Dalvin Cook going to the Browns as well.
While most people have Fournette above Cook based on ceiling and his more physical running style, Cook was clearly the much better running back in 2016 and was a major weapon out of the backfield too. Here’s what Kiper said about the Browns nabbing Cook with the 12th overall pick:
“After picking Myles Garrett No. 1, this would give the Browns two prospects in the top five of my Big Board,” Kiper writes. “Cook is a speedy home-run hitter who rushed for 4,464 yards and had 48 total touchdowns in three seasons for the Seminoles. Cleveland also could look at an offensive lineman, cornerback or linebacker.”
While it’s quite the compliment to go in the first round even the first 15, Cook might be hoping for the next update of Kiper’s mock draft. Cleveland is just not a place anyone wants to go if they’re trying to win games.