I should start by saying that I use a lot more of a quantitative approach when evaluating drafts and a lot less of a movie guy. So without combine and drive data in my hands, some of my analysis is subject to change. For me, the Browns’ biggest needs are at WR, Edge rusher, DT and RT. Guess Conklin is either out for the season or cut, so RT has become a new priority. I focused my draft on explosiveness on offense (the data tells us that explosive offenses are key to deep playoffs) and passer rushing along the DL.
For round one, I grabbed Garrett Wilson, OSU’s silky smooth WR. I imagine it will be the most popular choice here. Truth be told, I toyed between WR and edge rusher at #13 with a Kenny Pickett mix. Depending on how his training numbers go, I think I’d lean DE George Karlaftis of Purdue if he’s around. Unfortunately he wasn’t available, so Wilson is the safest route for me. Wilson finished in the top 20 nationally and 7and in the yards per course class, should display excellent speed/driving metrics, has great pedigree as a 5-star prospect from Lake Travis, Texas, and he’s entering the draft at age 21.
Andrew Berry’s top four picks in two rounds since becoming the Browns’ general manager are 21. In rounds 2 and 3, I grabbed a few defensive linemen in Logan Hall from Houston and Travis Jones from Connecticut. Room rated 10and and Jones 29and in PFF’s pass-rush class among DTs this season. Completed room 11and in pass rush success rate. Assuming Malik Mcdowell, Malik Jackson and potentially Jadaveon Clowney are all gone and neither Jordan Elliot nor Tommy Togiai played well last year, I think the Browns will want to put the DL back together.
I made a trade, giving up a 4th round pick (#104) and a 5and round pick (#154), and a 6and round pick (#191) to the Colts for #80 and #174. The goal was to grab the top RT on the board in Louisiana’s Max Mitchell. Mitchell was the highest-rated tackle in all of CFB last season while earning a 94.8 overall rating while playing at RT. He’s only played one game against a Power 5 team this season, against Texas, but allowed just one presser in that game.
I completed the draft with CB Marcus Jones of Houston and TE Derrick Deese Jr. of San Jose St. Jones is short (5’8) but finished 11and in the degree of PFF coverage in the country and forced the 2n/a most incompletions per target. He’s a deep coin at the moment but could possibly slip into the slot in the years to come. He was also in the top 8 in kickoff and punt return averages with 4 total return touchdowns this season. He would add depth to CB but could also enter the Browns roster immediately as a returner. Deese Jr. is a JUCO transfer who was a former WR turned TE. He’s a little rough but has good hands and provides explosiveness on the court as he’s seen 19 deep targets (over 20 yards), 2n/a the most in all of CFB last year. He produced the most receptions on these deep targets (9) with two TDs, zero drops and the 2n/a the highest PFF rating on these deep balls.