Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
After drafting Marcus Mariota with the 12th pick in this draft, the Cleveland Browns look to continue to fill more holes while also providing weapons for their rookie quarterback. They could have went defense at this spot after having the worse rush defense in the league a season ago and many analysts are projecting a nose tackle such a Malcolm Brown or Eddie Goldman but their plan to move Phil Taylor back to his natural position of nose tackle drops defensive tackle in the pecking order of needs. In his 5 games last season before going down with a knee injury, Taylor played defensive end not nose tackle which hindered his strengths of occupying blockers to free up the linebackers behind him. In 2013 when he played nose tackle, he was Pro Football Focus' 25th ranked defensive tackle in 2013 (out of 69), notching positive grades as a run-blocker.
So why not a wide receiver?
With Jalen Strong still on the board; Cleveland would strongly consider him even with the additions of Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe but after failing to resign Jordan Cameron, the Browns are desperate at the tight end position. Plus with the deep receiver class, there's a good chance that Cleveland can address this in the 2nd round, 3rd round or possibly later. Maxx Williams is the clear number one tight end in this draft class with not even a close second. When you look at the depth chart at tight end for the Browns you have Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray. With a combined 6 touchdowns in 14 seasons, I don't think either of these two are going to be high on anyone's fantasy draft boards. Williams will be the starting tight end day one for Cleveland.
After ranking 32nd on 3rd down conversions in 2014 with a 29.5% conversion rate, Williams will provide the Browns offense with a safety valve and go to guy in these situations. Williams has NFL bloodlines with his father and grandfather both playing in the NFL. At 21 years old and coming out of college with only two years of playing experience, Williams is still a bit raw and may take some time to adjust to the NFL game but he's a guy that has all the tools to become a pro bowl tight end. Despite his rawness, Williams has an impressive ceiling.
CBSSports.com's Dane Brugler says that "Williams owns the all-around skill set that fits all 32 NFL teams with the ability to line up in-line, in the backfield or as a flex option out wide" and he "projects as a mismatch nightmare with the versatile traits to be equally effective as a pass-catcher and blocker."
Although his college stats aren't eye popping with 61 catches for 986 yards and 13 scores in two seasons and a yards-per-catch average of 16.2, you have to keep in mind Minnesota is a run heavy offense that leaned on fellow draft prospect RB David Cobb. In fact, the Gophers only threw for 12 touchdowns in 2014 but Williams caught 2/3 of them with 8. Also last season, Williams had twice as many receptions at 36 then the second highest pass catcher on the team at 16.
Although 19 may be a little early as most "draft gurus" have him going in the later first round but seeing as this is such a need and there is little to no chance he is there in the 2nd round; Browns have to pull the trigger and lock this position up for the next 5 years.
Drafting Williams will give the Browns offense an immediate upgrade at a thin position while also allowing him and Mariota to develop a rapport together from day one. Cleveland still needs help and will several picks to fill other holes but for a dismal offense in 2014, both Mariota and Williams will give the Brown fans something to get excited about.
Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.
Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2015 CSC Community Mock Draft Hub.
|Pick||Team||Selection||Team Representative||Approval Rating|
|1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||
QB Jameis Winston - Florida State
|2||Tennessee Titans||DE Leonard Williams - USC||Tee Word||85%|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||DE Dante Fowler - Florida||Khannar||80%|
|4||Oakland Raiders||WR Amari Cooper - Alabama||arcuate||73%|
|5||Washington Redskins||DE Randy Gregory - Nebraska||Lostastic||29%|
|6||NY Jets||OLB Vic Beasley - Clemson||BlackandGold4ever||52%|
|7||Chicago Bears||LB Shane Ray - Missouri||saintmanumit||28%|
|8||Atlanta Falcons||DE Bud Dupree - Kentucky||Dave Choate||46%|
|9||NY Giants||NT Danny Shelton - Washington||GoFastTurnLeftMaybeRight||60%|
|10||St. Louis Rams||OT Andrus Peat - Stanford||Kevin Sean Held||46%|
|11||Minnesota Vikings||WR Kevin White - West Virginia||gulf shores||60%|
|12||Cleveland Browns||QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon||ryan_la_sports07||68%|
|13||New Orleans Saints||CB Trae Waynes - Michigan State||Dave Cariello||57%|
|14||Miami Dolphins||RB Todd Gurley - Georgia||Ralph Malbrough||30%|
|15||San Francisco 49ers||DE Arik Armstead - Oregon||The Irish Assassin||31%|
|16||Houston Texans||WR DeVante Parker - Louisville
|17||San Diego Chargers||OT La'el Collins - LSU||LeedsSaint||66%|
|18||Kansas City Chiefs||WR Dorial Green-Beckham - Missouri||jmcmillan_93|
|19||Cleveland Browns||TE Maxx Williams - Minnesota||ryan_la_sports07|
|20||Philadelphia Eagles||Matt Mosley|
|25||Carolina Panthers||Jake White|
|28||Denver Broncos||Ryne Hancock|
|29||Indianapolis Colts||Alex Lyles|
|30||Green Bay Packers||Matt Mosley|
|31||New Orleans Saints||Dave Cariello|
|32||New England Patriots||Whit Prottsman|