Going into the 2020 NFL Draft, the Browns focus should primarily be on three things: acquiring their franchise left tackle, adding a safety for their secondary, and filling the void Joe Schobert left on this defense after signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They also could use another receiver, especially with Rashard Higgins still out on the open market. Luckily, this year’s draft has a lot of intriguing options to potentially fill these needs. The Browns have a total of 7 picks including 4 in the top 100. These early picks will allow first year GM Andrew Berry to jump on some of this year’s best prospects through the first three rounds of the draft.
Round 1, Pick 10 – Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia:
Andrew Thomas is arguably the best all-around offensive tackle in the entire draft. He also offers a ton of experience after starting at both right and left tackle for the past three years at Georgia. Thomas is a powerful and nasty blocker with a ton of athleticism for his stature. In 2019, Thomas posted an 82.1 pass blocking grade with one pressure allowed all year along with a 93.4 run blocking grade (per PFF). This led to him being a first team All-American as well achieving All SEC honors in his junior year. Thomas displays tremendous technique as a tackle and is a bona-fide day one starter at the next level. After meeting with Browns HC Kevin Stefanski and GM Andrew Berry via teleconference, Thomas says they view his athleticism as a perfect fit in their wide zone scheme that Stefanski will be implementing.
Round 2, pick 41 – Jeremy Chinn, S Southern Illinois:
In the second round, the Browns address the safety need with Jeremy Chinn: a player who offers a ton of size and athleticism in the secondary standing at 6’3. After dominating the combine, the small school safety has been rising up draft boards. Chinn has received comparisons to fellow draft prospect Isaiah Simmons for his versatility and play making ability. He has a knack for being around the ball with 13 interceptions, 31 passes defended and 243 tackles through 4 years at Southern Illinois. On tape, he has the range and closing speed along with the ability to be an aggressive tackler. His instincts need to improve if he wants to become a dominant safety in the NFL, but his upside is intriguing. For a Browns defense that has struggled covering tight ends in the past few years, adding a player with Chinn’s size and aggressiveness would immediately solve that problem. Coming from a small school, he might not be a day one starter, but the Browns added two veteran safeties in free agency that would allow Chinn some time to catch up to the speed at the next level.
Round 3, pick 74 – Logan Wilson, LB Wyoming
After waiting patiently to find their Joe Schobert replacement, the Browns land the perfect player in Logan Wilson to fill his role. Wilson was a tackling machine during his 4 years at Wyoming, racking up 421 total tackles and 7 sacks. Per PFF, Wilson finished the 2019 season with a 91.6 grade against the run, 81.4 in coverage and a 90.5 overall grade. Wilson is not the most athletic LB in the 2020 class, but he displays incredible instincts allowing him to quickly diagnose plays. Wilson is not only a terrific tackler, but an incredible player maker as well with 10 career interceptions. Capable of playing all three downs, Wilson has the ability to become a day one starter at either the SAM or MIKE spots. A three-time captain at Wyoming, Wilson is the complete package from a leadership standpoint to his ability on the field. If Wilson falls into the Browns lap at this spot, he will immediately upgrade a LB group that desperately needs it.
Round 3, pick 97 – James Lynch, DT Baylor
With their second selection in the third round, the Browns add an interior pass rusher in James Lynch. Lynch displays good hand usage and has the versatility to bounce outside if needed. Lynch showed an impressive ability to get after the passer this past year after posting 13.5 sacks with 3 forced fumbles for Baylor. He plays with a relentless motor and displays good bend coming off the edge. Lynch is a lengthy defender standing at 6’3, possessing some intriguing tools. Lynch is not incredibly gifted athletically and needs to improve upon his strength to become an every down player, but he would help create a really nice rotation between Richardson, and Ogunjobi for this Browns defensive line.
Round 4, pick 115 – Antonio Gandy – Golden, WR Liberty
With Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry already on the roster, wide receiver is not the biggest need for the Browns, but they could still use a big target on the outside for Baker Mayfield. Standing at 6’4 and 222 pounds, Gandy-Golden is not only a great red zone weapon, but he also displays good separation ability allowing him to get open at all levels of the field. In 2018 and 2019, Gandy-Golden posted back to back years with 10 touchdowns, over 1,000 yards, and 70 plus catches at Liberty. With the combination of his size and strength, Golden is extremely tough to bring down after the catch. According to PFF, Golden broke 17 tackles on 70 catches in 2018 and 16 tackles this past year on 79 catches. With his unique skill set, Gandy-Golden would be a great third option if the Browns choose not to retain Rashard Higgins.
Round 6, pick 187 – Reggie Robinson II, CB Tulsa
After the departure of TJ Carrie and Denzel Ward struggling to stay healthy the past two years, the Browns could use some added depth in their corner back room. Reggie Robinson has the size at 6’1 and physicality to match up against bigger receivers in the NFL. After only playing in 8 games his junior season, Robinson bounced back his senior year finishing with 38 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 13 passes defended. His impressive play earned him first team All American Athletic Conference honors. A very aggressive corner, Robinson uses good press technique to help disrupt receivers’ routes. Aside from his ability as an outside corner, Robinson is solid against the run and a very good open space tackler. With a blocked kick in each of his four seasons at Tulsa, Robinson would also be a great addition on special teams for the Browns.
Round 7, pick 244 – Oluwole Betiku, DE Illinois
A 5-star recruit who originally committed to USC, Oluwole Betiku failed to see the field much in three years and decided to transfer over to Illinois for his senior year. Betiku made the most of his lone season at Illinois, breaking out with 9 sacks, and 13 hurries. Standing at 6’3 and 250 pounds, Betiku is a physical freak and an incredible athlete for a player his size. After not getting an invite to the combine, Betiku put on a show at his pro day. He ran a 4.69 40 and had a 4.26 short shuttle time. A very raw prospect, Betiku will need time to develop but his physical tools alone make up for a very intriguing prospect. With Olivier Vernon struggling to stay healthy the past few years, Betiku could provide some quality insurance coming off the edge opposite of Myles Garrett.