Well Brown’s fans, it’s that all too familiar time of year we all know so well, draft season. Cleveland will once again hold a high pick after sliding up to 10th. There will be several needs on both sides of the ball, determined largely by who the new front office regime re-signs. Some of these players include Damarious Randall, Joe Schobert, and Kareem Hunt. As it stands today, the most pressing needs are offensive line and safety which could be both be addressed in free agency. Let’s take a look at Cleveland’s options for day one of the NFL draft.
Scenario 1 – Pick at 10
Assuming the Brown’s don’t make any trades with their first pick they should be able to find an immediate starter. Depending on how many quarterbacks and wide receivers go early, there may very well be top ranked players of need available at ten. If Cleveland keeps the pick, they will more than likely look for an offensive line or safety. A few of these options include:
Grant Delpit S – As the top rated safety in this year’s draft class, Delpit would be hard to pass on if still available. He is one of the leaders on a talented LSU defense and consistently makes plays all over the field. The 6’3 safety is tough against both the run and pass and defends especially well against tight ends. If Randall isn’t re-signed, Delpit could slide into that starting role immediately.
Tristan Wirfs LT – The Iowa Hawkeyes always seem to have a first round talent lineman, and this year it will be Wirfs. He has some questions surrounding him including footwork, but should be a day one starter at either tackle. Wirfs weighs in at 6’5 325 lbs and should also be a day one starter. At 20 years old, he could be a key member of this line for years to come.
Scenario 2 – Browns Trade Up
If none of the players above truly entice the front office, a valid option would be to trade up. Should Cleveland elect to go this route there are only a few names they would likely target. These players include:
Andrew Thomas LT – An elite left tackle to help protect Baker sounds very enticing. Thomas is a two-time All American and has been the anchor of an outstanding Georgia Bulldogs offensive front for 3 years. He is hands down the most talented tackle in this year’s draft, and arguably one of the best to come out in years. Andrew Thomas is an elite pass and run blocker with a combination of physicality and phenomenal technique. If the big Georgia Bulldogs is still sitting around at 5 or 6, Cleveland might do everything in their power to snag him.
Jeffrey Okudah CB – Some boards have Okudah going as high as 3rd behind Joe Burrow and his current teammate Chase Young, but that could all change quickly. If the Lions pass on Okudah, several teams behind them could take offensive players forcing the talented Buckeye DB to slide. Ohio State has truly become DBU with secondary starters all over the NFL. What makes Okudah’s so intriguing is that he’s possibly the best pro-ready corner the Buckeyes have ever produced. This move would give the Brown’s one of the most talented young secondaries in the league.
Scenario 3 – Browns Trade Back and Up
This is never the most exciting routefor fans, but don’t be surprised if the Browns slide back a few spots to acquire an additional pick. If Cleveland would drop down the 15-20 range, they could use their 2nd round pick to move up and draft again late in the 1st round. Statistically speaking, this is intriguing because of the much higher odds that a first round player turns into an NFL starter over any other round. Should Cleveland elect to go this route here are a few options:
(Pick 15) Mekhi Becton LT – The 6’7 365 lbs left tackle from Louisville might be a steal in the middle of the first. One concern would be Baker being over to see over such a tall lineman, but Mectons strength is truly incredible. With an incredible reach and upper body strength, he would be a force clearing holes for Nick Chubb and company.
(Pick 28) Malik Harrison LB – If the Browns allow Joe Schobert and or Christian Kirksey to walk, there will be a huge need at linebacker. Harrison had an outstanding year for the Buckeyes and has elite speed that will come in handy at the next level. He recorded 75 total tackles this past season and 81 as a Junior. Proof of his freakish athleticism below:
The first round of the NFL Draft will be held on April 23rd in Las Vegas. As of today, that leaves Cleveland’s front office with 110 days to evaluate and make decisions leading into the draft. Stay tuned to BrownsAccess for more draft coverage and off-season news.