From now until April 23, 2020, the Browns will focus on the NFL Draft and what players could help improve the team going forward. While the core of the Browns group is strong, the team still needs multiple positions filled. Using the Fanspeak website, I will explore different outcomes the Browns could choose.
With the way the roster is constructed now, it looks as if Browns’ most significant needs are as follows.
- Offense: Right Tackle, Left Tackle, Tight End
- Defense: Strong Safety, Strong Side Linebacker, Defensive Tackle, Defensive End
According to the website Tankathon, the Browns will have seven picks available in the 2020 NFL Draft.
With this week’s mock scenario Andrew Berry added vital players the team wasn’t able to sign in free agency. Each player chosen will help the Browns from starting to building a foundation long into the future.
Pick 18: Offensive Tackle Josh Jones Houston
With the addition of Bill Callahan as the offensive lines coach, Browns GM Andrew Berry was able to select a raw offensive lineman with a very high ceiling. Jones is a big tackle at 6’7 310 pounds, and with 45 games played with the Cougars over four years, it’s given the tackle years of experience at one of the more difficult positions on the offensive line. If Callahan can unleash the raw talent in Jones game, the Browns will have a long term answer and a starter for the 2020 season at the left tackle position.
From Pro Football Focus:
“Jones dominant senior season has pushed him all the way into the day 1 conversation. He’s got the tools and performance to be a starting NFL tackle for a long time.”
Pick 26: Linebacker Kenneth Murray Oklahoma
The Browns will run more of traditional 4-3 defense this season, and after the release of Adarius Taylor, the team looked to add another Sam linebacker to fill the void. Murray finished his college career playing 40 games and recording a monstrous 325 total tackles with 36.5 for a loss, 9.5 quarterback sacks and 6 passes defended.
2/15/20: Murray is a fast and physical linebacker who flies around the field and is always around the ball. He is put together well and a good tackler. Murray can make mistakes from being overly aggressive and over-pursuing on some plays, but he is a heat-seeking missile who has generated a big buzz in the scouting community for being a future three-down starter and difference-maker. Murray is a sideline-to-sideline run defender, good in zone coverage, covers a lot of ground in pass defense, and is a dangerous blitzer. He reminds this evaluator of a young Thomas Davis. In 2019, Murray had 102 tackles with four sacks and four passes batted. 6/29/19: Murray was a tackling machine for the Sooners in 2018 and was one of the nation’s leaders with 155 stops. He also added 12.5 tackles for a loss with two passes batted. As a freshman, Murray had 78 tackles with 7.5 for a loss.
Pick 41: Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. Minnesota
- Early reports have Winfield Jr. as a favorite for DC Joe Woods
The Browns had a great need at the safety position for the 2020 season, and Winfield Jr. checks every box on the list. At 5’10 and 190 pounds, Winfield Jr. is the definition of a smash-mouth football player and will fit perfectly in the AFC North. Playing a total of 30 games, he was able to record 122 solo tackles, 50 assisted tackles, and 4 sacks. If a team wants to target him in the air Winfield Jr. has that covered as well with 7 interceptions ranking him 4th overall with 2019 National Leaders.
“Antoine Winfield Jr.’s draft stock is currently the highest it’s ever been. After his two-interception performance against Penn State, many are starting to see him for what he is: A top-five safety in this draft class. He lacks elite size, but makes up for it with solid technique and athletic ability. He has the speed to play in any coverage, but is a sure enough tackler and strong enough at the point of attack to play at the line of scrimmage. Add on his elite ball skills, and you’ve got quite an intriguing prospect. The medical history is worrisome, and his size stems questions. However, Antoine Winfield Jr.’s draft stock has been skyrocketing all season. If he continues to play at the level he has, then first-round consideration could become a real possibility. I currently grade Winfield Jr. as a top-five safety prospect, and a second-round player. “
Pick 74: Offensive Guard Damien Lewis LSU
Lewis is one of my favorite linemen in the 2020 draft, and the Browns may still look to add depth or a potential starter for the right guard position. With a total of 27 starts and 963 snaps at right guard with the best offensive unit in the college football over the 2019 season, Lewis was a crucial part of the program. At 6’3 and 332 pounds, Lewis has the raw talent to become an NFL starting guard in a short time frame.
“Damien Lewis was unranked coming out of Canton High School in Senatobia, Mississippi, as a 6-foot-3, 320-pound prospect that played along the offensive and defensive line. Lewis built his resume at Northwest Mississippi Community College where he was a two-time junior college All-America selection at guard, earning him offers from 18 different schools. He was a consensus three-star recruit and the No. 2 JUCO guard in the 2018 class, per 247Sports. Following visits to West Virginia, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Kentucky, Lewis committed to LSU where he started each of the past two seasons. Lewis caught our eye back in his first season as a starter in 2018. He finished that year as the ninth highest graded guard in the country and we had high expectations heading into 2019. While he lost a bit more in pass protection this season, a good deal of that can be chalked up to Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown. All this season did in our eyes was cement that 2018 was no fluke. His 204 true pass sets this past season was one of highest figures for any guard in country. While he allowed 10 pressures on them, he still was impressive for the most part against a difficult slate of interior defenders.”
Pick 90: Tight End Albert Okwuegbunam Missouri
The Browns need help at the tight end position, and with the 90th pick, they add a monster with Okwuegbunam. At 6’5 255 pounds, he’s a red zone mismatch nightmare for opposing teams. In only 27 games, the Missouri tight end was able to record 98 receptions for 1187 yards and a whopping 23 touchdowns.
Pros: He shows good overall athleticism and versatility for the position. In the run game he is good due to his willingness to come off the ball and strike. He demonstrates good technique as an inline blocker and keeps his hands inside. In the passing game he has aligned inline, at “H”, and even flexed out as an “F”. He shows good speed when running seams and other deep routes in the passing game. He demonstrates good toughness to catch the football when contact is imminent. He demonstrates good tracking ability when the ball is in the air. He also displays good, natural hands and rarely allows the ball into his frame.
Pick 112: Defensive End Darrell Taylor Tennessee
The Browns need to add depth at edge rusher, and Taylor was a value pick in the 4th round. The 6’4 255 pound senior was able to improve his PFF grade each of the 3 years, and 38 games played with the Vols. Taylor will also give DC Joe Woods a versatile player that can be both over the tackle or off and ever standing up as more of a linebacker when needed. Taylor recorded a total of 118 tackles and 19.5 sacks and should be a midseason starter for the Browns.
From Pro Football Focus:
“If you watch even a little bit of Taylor, you know that the long-arm bull-rush is his calling card. He works a number of different moves off of it that complement each other. With his length and explosiveness, that’s a great starting point for a prospect. The reason being is because the bull-rush strikes fear into opposing offensive linemen. They can take a completely different approach when there’s no threat of a bull. With it though, Taylor can set up a number of different pass-rushing moves. It’s one of the biggest reasons we saw his pass-rushing grading improve significantly as his career went on.”
Pick 151: Cornerback Essang Bassey Wake Forest
With the release of TJ Carrie, the Browns will need a nickel corner, and Bassey could be the sleeper pick of the 2020 draft for that position. Very fluid is how some view the 5’10 190 pound corner from Wake Forest after his 4 seasons and 48 games played. When it comes to stats, Bassey has them in spades with 227 total tackles and 12.5 for a loss, 5 interceptions with 45 pass attempts defended he was a production machine.
From Pro Football Focus:
Over the past three seasons, no cornerback in the class has played more snaps (2,806) or broken up more passes (35) than Bassey has. He may be undersized at 5-foot-10, but Bassey has proven to be a durable player with a nose for the football in his time as a Demon Deacon.
When I started this mock, I had no intention of trading back; however, the Dolphins made an offer after they selected a QB was too good to pass up. I see a small trade back if the Browns look to add a tackle in the first round as a very viable scenario. I will not be shocked if the Dolphins or Raiders call on the Browns for the 10th pick, and they accept.