CLEVELAND BROWNS NFL DRAFT PLAN OF ATTACK
OT, OG, WR, S, LB, CB
FREE AGENT ACQUISITIONS:
DT Andrew Billings, DE Adrian Clayborn, OT Jack Conklin, LB B.J. Goodson, TE Austin Hooper, RB Kareem Hunt (re-signed), FB Andy Janovich, CB Kevin Johnson, S Karl Joseph, QB Case Keenum, S Andrew Sendejo
FREE AGENT LOSSES:
QB Drew Stanton, WR Rashard Higgins, TE Demetrius Harris, LB Christian Kirksey, LB Joe Schobert, CB TJ Carrie, S Eric Murray, S Damarious Randall
ROUND 1 TARGETS:
OT Mekhi Becton, OT Jedrick Wills, OT Tristian Wirfs, OT Andrew Thomas, WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Jerry Jeudy, WR Henry Ruggs III, CB CJ Henderson
ROUND 2 TARGETS:
WR Brandon Aiyuk, WR Tee Higgins, WR Jalen Reagor, WR KJ Hamler, WR Laviska Shenault Jr., CB A.J. Terrell, CB Jeff Gladney, CB Jaylon Johnson, CB Noah Igbinoghene, OT Ezra Cleveland, OT Isaiah Wilson, S Antoine Winfield Jr., S Ashtyn Davis, G Cesar Ruiz, G Lloyd Cushenberry III, G Jonah Jackson, LB Kenneth Murray
ROUND 3 TARGETS:
OT Prince Tega-Wanogho OT Ben Bartch, OT Saahdiq Charles, WR Bryan Edwards, WR Van Jefferson, WR KJ Hill, WR Chase Claypool, S Terrell Burgess, S Kyle Dugger, CB Amik Robertson, CB Bryce Hall, CB Cameron Dantzler, G/C Tyler Biadasz, G Netane Muti, G Matt Hennessy, LB Malik Harrison, LB Troy Dye, LB Willie Gay Jr.
PLAN OF ATTACK:
The Browns are widely expected to take an offensive tackle at pick 10. Who will be on the board obviously depends on what the teams picking ahead of them do, but there is a slim chance the Browns could have their pick of the litter. One guy who would make a lot of sense would be Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs. Wirfs destroyed the Combine with his impressive workout. He moved extremely well and showed plenty of athleticism and power. He can play guard or tackle and the Browns need help at both. They could also go with Georgia’s Andrew Thomas or Ole Miss’ Jedrick Wills. They did well in bringing in Jack Conklin to man the right side of their line, and will likely go with one of the rookies listed above to be their left tackle in year one. It is so likely to happen, it’s not even worth it to talk about another position here.
This could be an unsexy Draft for Browns’ fans as they could easily decide to bolster their offensive line again in the second round. They could look at an interior player this time and target a guard. They’d be thrilled if Cesar Ruiz from Michigan fell to him. He can play center or guard and has a nice thick upper body with a powerful lower half. If he’s gone, they could look at Lloyd Cushenberry III from LSU. Cushenberry also provides position flexibility and is a physical blocker who moves much better than a man his size should. The Browns also need help at linebacker and would only pull the trigger here if Kenneth Murray or Patrick Queen unexpectedly fell to the top of the second round. They could also flesh out their receiving corps by taking advantage of the deep class this year. Jalen Reagor, Brandon Aiyuk, Tee Higgins, or Laviska Shenault Jr. could all be considered if any were still on the board.
The Browns have two third-round picks as the Texans, for some reason, gave them a third-rounder for running back Duke Johnson. With those choices, they should look at a linebacker and a wide receiver. At linebacker one guy really sticks out and that is Ohio State’s Malik Harrison. Harrison is the definition of a downhill thumper. He closes in quickly and does an excellent job wrapping up ball carriers and finishing his tackles. He will be a liability in coverage for the better part of his rookie season, but once he improves there, he won’t come off the field. Another linebacker who is shooting up draft boards lately is Willie Gay Jr. This guy has exceptional sideline to sideline speed and can cover a ton of ground quickly.
With their other third-round pick, the Browns should add depth to their receiving corps. They are set at the top with Odell Beckham Jr., and Jarvis Landry but need help after that. They could look at a handful of guys here. Van Jefferson, Chase Claypool, Bryan Edwards, Tyler Johnson, K.J. Hill, and Collin Johnson could all be considered. A good fit would be South Carolina’s, Bryan Edwards. He’s got great size at 6’3 and strong reliable paws. He is a fairly advanced route runner and should be able to carve out a nice role for himself in year one.
Round 1: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Round 2: G Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU
Round 3: LB Malik Harrison, Ohio State
Round 3: WR Bryan Edwards, South Carolina