It’s Combine Week! The free agency market will open wide before we know it in less than two weeks. I think it’s prime time to start looking forward and exercising our imaginations on how the Browns could leverage their draft this April. Now, obviously, things can and will change for the Browns’ draft strategy as the chips fall during free agency and when certain players shine (or not) at the Combine, improving their draft stock (or not).
We will update our theory on the Browns’ round-by-round draft strategy as we get closer. For now, here’s how I see the Browns draft weekend could look from the number one overall pick to pick #129 of Round 5.
Round 1. #1 Overall – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Fixing their immediate QB issue with Tyrod Taylor in free agency opens up the ability for the Browns to take the top prospect overall with the #1 pick.
Round 1. #4 Overall – Trade to Miami Dolphins
Adam Gase and the Dolphins love Baker Mayfield enough to trade up with the Browns. They send over the #11 overall pick and Jarvis Landry (maybe more).
Round 1. #11 Overall – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Can you even imagine this offense? Taylor, Jackson, Barkley, Duke, Gordon, Landry, Njoku. . . My goodness!
Round 2. #33 Overall – Isaiah Wynn, OT/OG/C, Georgia
At some point, the Browns should be looking to add depth to their offensive line. Joe Thomas’ status is up in the air at this point. Wynn is capable of playing pretty much anywhere on the line; he’s extremely athletic and blew holes open for two of the best running backs in this deep class at Georgia.
Round 2. #35 Overall – Justin Reid, S, Stanford
The Browns would be completely transparent that there’s been a glaring need at the safety position. They remedy that problem with Eric Reid’s younger brother out of Stanford.
Round 2. #64 Overall – Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana
I’m extremely excited that Cobbs will probably fall all the way here. He’s got a bit of a reputation for taking some plays off — but if you saw him shred up every cornerback on the OSU Buckeyes this past season, you’d have him as far up on the WR board as I do. The 6’4”220-pound receiver will automatically fill the WR2 and free up Jarvis Landry to play the slot. Corey Coleman’s status: unknown.
Round 3. #65 Overall – Holton Hill, CB, Texas
Again, the Browns could land a guy of extreme talent who will translate to the next level easily and falls in this draft. He should easily be a first-round prospect, but he was suspended for violating team rules. The physical corner out of Texas could be the steal of the draft.
Round 4. #97 Overall – *Traded for Tyrod Taylor
I believe the Buffalo Bills will become the suitor for A.J. McCarron, so without the need for Taylor, he becomes a draft-day or prior-to-draft trade piece for the Browns.
Round 4. #119 Overall – Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama
After the Browns go with a corner with some possible character issues, but all the talent in the world, they sure up the cornerback position even more with a talented senior DB of tremendous character out of Alabama.
Round 5. #129 Overall – Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF
Smith was the top weapon for the undefeated Knights this past season. You’ve seen John Dorsey draft Tyreek Hill in the 5th round for the KC Chiefs. This is my prediction for Dorsey’s next Tyreek Hill for the Browns.
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