When the Browns are selecting at #4 in the upcoming draft many expect them to select a QB but recent reports have suggested that may not take a QB but instead choose a non QB at #4 and the select a QB with either their second first round pick (via Indianapolis for Trent Richardson) or instead with their second round pick. When they select with their first pick it is likely that Sammy Watkins and JaDeveon Clowney will be gone off the board so if they were select the best player available it may come down to a choice between Buffalo DE Khalil Mack, Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews and Auburn OT Greg Robinson. Khalil Mack would be an interesting choice and I’ll discuss him at a different time. With Joe Thomas still considered the best LT in the NFL and didn’t show any signs of decline last season being a first team All-Pro and making his seventh straight Probowl, it would mean whoever was selected would have to play on the right side for a couple of years. If a tackle was selected it would be expected that Mitchell Schwartz would slide into the RG position which would suit him better after he regressed last season after a stellar rookie season. This move would be even more logical with Shawn Lauvou signing as a free agent this offseason.
With Joe Thomas on the left and whichever tackle would be selected would be probably be a strong run blocker to complement the pass blocking on the left and to help improve Cleveland 30th ranked rush attack last year. With this in mind if Cleveland were to select a tackle I would lean towards them selecting Greg Robinson. This big mauler was one of the main reasons the Auburn Tigers no-huddle rushing attack got them to NCAA title game in Pasadena. A powerful and strong blocker who really drives defenders back helped Tre Mason lead the SEC in rushing yards, he also has the athleticism to protect well on the left side but is still a bit lacking on technique.
On the other hand it may be difficult to pass on Jake Matthews who is a more polished player with better technique but without the power and freakish athleticism of Robinson. After blocking for Johnny Manziel is well prepared for a rookie quarterback who might flighty and take whenever he feels pressure. Matthews who was overshadowed last year by fellow tackle Luke Jeokel and this year by fellow Aggies Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans has been talked about as the most complete player of the lot but will probably see his draft stock fall simply by virtue of the fact that there is so many QB needy teams in this draft. Matthews is the son of former Houston Oilers legendary LT and 14 time Probowler Bruce Matthews.
With either of these tackles the Browns would be set for the future at both tackles with the plan to be a long-term replacement for Joe Thomas. They would also as cover should Thomas ever get injured which has astonishingly never happened in his seven year career with the Browns. If either were to be selected presumably the Browns rushing attack would improve particularly with the signing of free agent running back Ben Tate and the return of Dion Lewis from injury after missing all of last year after suffering a broken leg during the preseason. Whether they do select a tackle at #4 or not it will be an interesting draft for the Browns this year.