With an absolutely exhilarating win on Halloween night against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns made no sudden trades during last Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.
— West Coast Cavs (@WestCoastCavs) November 1, 2022
With the front office feeling comfortable with the roster going forward and the Cleveland Browns coming off of a very relaxing bye week to play the Miami Dolphins this Sunday, the Browns are in quite an interesting position.
With that being said, what should the Cleveland Browns do going forward?
Well, the answer is quite simple, rebuild the defense and put the pieces together for Deshaun Watson to win a Super Bowl in the near future.
Today’s mock draft focuses on the key pieces of a Browns team that are clearly talented to win football games but also focuses on the future of the team this offseason amid Kareem Hunt rumors, etc.
Today’s article is Cleveland Sports Talk’s Cleveland Browns mock draft 2.0, the post-bye-week edition:
• 43rd overall pick – Pittsburgh DT Calijah Kancey
With the Cleveland Browns first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft being in the 2nd round, they can win out and you’d still be able to get a dominant star player like Calijah Kancey.
Kancey, with the best PFF score for interior linemen (92.1), is being considered the next Aaron Donald to come out of Pittsburgh University.
Pitt is now 23-1 under Pat Narduzzi when recording 5+ sacks in a game.
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) November 6, 2022
The kid loves to hit and he plays with one of the best high motors in the country.
If the Browns can draft him next year while also maintaining to keep Jadeveon Clowney, that’s a scary defensive line to try to block.
Career Stats: 87 tackles, three pass deflections, 12.5 sacks, & one forced fumble
Career Achievements: Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America (2020), First-team All-ACC (2021), & AP Third-team All-American (2021)
• 96th overall pick – Arkansas S Jalen Catalon
When you think of a lockdown safety in college football with a major chip on his shoulder, there are very few that are better than Arkansas free safety, Jalen Catalon.
Despite missing this season with a serious shoulder injury after a week one matchup against the Cincinnati Bearcats, Jalen Catalon allowed the lowest passer rating when targeted in 2021 (21.7).
Lowest passer rating allowed in zone coverage last season among SEC Safeties
🔒 Jalen Catalon: 50.0
🔒 DeMarcco Hellams: 51.0
🔒 Jordan Battle: 53.8 pic.twitter.com/ZdYQFgIAju
— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 7, 2022
God knows this team needs help with finding safeties, especially with the miscommunication problems concerning John Johnson and Grant Delpit this season.
Career Stats: 159 tackles, nine pass deflections, three forced fumbles, five interceptions, and one defensive touchdown
Career Achievements: The Athletic Freshman All-American (2020), FWAA Freshman All-American (2020), First-team All-SEC (2020), & Phil Steele Third-Team All-American (2020)
• 112th Overall Pick – Syracuse RB Sean Tucker
After breaking Syracuse’s single-season rushing record (1,496) in 2021, Sean Tucker is still creating highlight plays for the 2022 NCAA football season.
📺 ACCN pic.twitter.com/rirMIDMxAO
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) October 15, 2022
Sean Tucker would become the perfect Kareem Hunt replacement if drafted by the Cleveland Browns, considering his electric 4.33 speed and receiving skills that can cut up any defense for over 100 yards on any given Sunday.
Career Stats: 2,899 rushing yards, 23 rushing touchdowns, 62 receptions for 619 receiving yards, & four receiving touchdowns
Career Achievements: FWAA First Team All-American (2021), AP Second Team All-American (2021), Walter Camp Second Team All-American (2021), AFCA Second Team All-American (2021), ESPN All-American (2021), The Athletic All-American (2021), Phil Steele All-American (2021), & PFF All-American (2021)
• 129th Overall Pick – Iowa CB Riley Moss
After Riley Moss led all Big 10 CBs in PFF Grade last season (80.1), he’s probably the most underrated defensive player in Big Ten history.
Playing with such speed and energy, he and Martin Emerson could essentially become the best young DB duo in the AFC north, learning behind All-Pro CB Denzel Ward.
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) September 5, 2021
Career Stats: 148 tackles, 22 pass defended, two forced fumbles, & 10 interceptions for three defensive touchdowns
Career Achievements: Third-team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele (2020), Team Hustle Award (2021), Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year (2021), First-team All-America by Sporting News (2021), Second-team All-America by FWAA and Phil Steele (2021) and Third-team All-America by Associated Press
• 142nd Overall Pick – Maryland WR Rakim Jarrett
Put Rakim Jarrett on the right football team and he’s an absolute star in the National Football League.
His speed is what is very important to a Browns WRs core that lacks such qualities.
Rakim Jarrett has that “make everyone else look slow” speed. pic.twitter.com/gP47l4Ntml
— Ross O'Keefe (@RossOKeefe2) November 7, 2020
Career Stats: 113 receptions for 1,457 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns
Career Achievements: 2x Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (2020 & 2021), Phil Steele Third Team All-Big Ten (2021), Pro Football Focus Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (2021), Biletnikoff Award Watch List (2022)
• 143rd Overall Pick – Florida DE Brenton Cox Jr
Do you believe in second chances? After recently being kicked off the Florida Gators football team for “Cumulative effect”, I believe that Brenton Cox Jr. is worthy of a second chance.
While he’s considered by most teams as having a behavioral problem, his skillset is elite enough to be able to play in the NFL, as Cox created the 2nd most pressures in a season (48) by a Florida defender since 2014.
Brenton Cox Jr. sacked Will Levis with his own RT pic.twitter.com/1nuqdZYXRL
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) September 10, 2022
If he’s able to perform at a high level during the NFL Combine, while also performing great during team interviews, he is deserving of a 2nd chance, especially with the Cleveland Browns.
Career Stats: 137 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 10 passes defended, & one forced fumble
Career Achievements: Second-team All-SEC (2020)
• 174th Overall Pick – BYU OT Blake Freeland
100% depth move right here, Freeland provides stable protection for Deshaun Watson in case of an injury on the offensive line.
At 6’8 and 304 pounds, Freeland is a dominant yet developing star in the making, that would thrive learning next to Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller.
Career Achievements: Phil Steele & Pro Football Network All-Independent First Team Offense (2021)
• 208th overall pick – Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei
In the likely chance that Jacoby Brissett will leave this offseason for greener pastures, DJ Uiagalelei being drafted by the Cleveland Browns would be a smart move for the franchise.
To have a young and decent QB in the backup role behind Watson would play a very pivotal role in case an injury occurs next season.
Career Stats: 60.6% completion rate, 5,154 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns & 15 interceptions / 741 rushing yards for 12 rushing touchdowns
Career Achievements: USA Today High School Offensive Player of the Year (2018), USA Today High School All-American (2019), & Nationally ranked the number one high school prospect in America (2019)