The Cleveland Browns are currently scheduled to pick tenth in this years NFL draft. The team has major needs on the offensive line, while also having holes in the secondary and in their linebacker core. There have been talks of the Browns trading their pick to the Redskins in a package for Trent Williams, or of trading it to the Jets for Jamal Adams. After Isaiah Simmons’ incredible combine performance, some fans have asked for the team to trade up so the team could acquire Simmons. However, many fans have begged the team to stick to script and select many of the talented offensive tackles in the draft.
One potential idea may be trading up to select Isaiah Simmons. A likely trade partner for the Browns would be the Carolina Panthers who pick seventh. If the Browns did this it would be a surprise, as linebacker is not considered the primary need for the Browns. Simmons is the best pure athlete in this draft. He ran a 4.39 40-yard dash time, is 6’4”, weighs 240 pounds, and nearly has a 40 inch vertical leap. For reference, he is as fast as Julio Jones, weighs as much as Derrick Henry, and is as tall as Randy Moss. He can play ever position on defense, but he is listed as a linebacker. While he is an absolute stud, if the Browns were to trade up to pick him they would be taking the risk that any team that was already in the top six didn’t take him before the Browns had that chance.
Another option that the Browns have is to trade down. The New England Patriots could be a possible trade partner, as the Patriots could serve to trade up to acquire a quarterback with Tom Brady skipping town. The Patriots currently have the 23rd pick, but this is an unlikely move. There isn’t a second tier of offensive lineman that the Browns would want to select at pick 23. There also isn’t a quarterback that the Patriots could select with that pick. Most mock drafts have Joe Burrow, Tua Tagalovia, and Justin Herbert gone by pick six, while quarterbacks like Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts will likely fall to the second round. For these reasons, trading back seems very unlikely for the Browns.
Taking an Offensive Lineman at ten
The Browns biggest weakness is at offensive tackle, and this draft has some good ones. Mekhi Becton, Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Willis, and Tristan Wirfs are all top tier offensive lineman. There will almost certainly be one of them available at ten, with many projections having the Browns taking either Becton or Thomas. Becton went to Louisville and was fantastic there. He matched up well with premier pass rushers such as Julian Okwara and then showed supreme movement skills and agility against Clemson’s variety of blitz packages. He is 6’7” and weighs over 360 pounds. He also ran a 5.10 40-yard dash, the fastest time that someone who weighs over 350 pounds has ever run. However, Becton’s drug test at the NFL combine was flagged, bringing up many questions.
Andrew Thomas isn’t as tall or as heavy as Becton is, but he is very consistent. He does well in both pass protection and run blocking. He can also play both sides of the offensive line, but it seems more likely that he would play left tackle for the Browns, as free agent addition Jack Conklin fills the role of right tackle.
Even though the Browns have two star studded wideouts in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, the Browns could add Oklahoma’s Ceedee Lamb or Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. This would make no sense for the Browns, as wide receiver is nowhere near the top of their needs and would not be a valuable addition to the team. The Browns could use a third option at wide receiver, though they should look for a player to fill that role on the final day of the draft.
Who the Browns Should Take
The Browns should take Isaiah Simmons if he is available at ten. If Simmons is not available at ten, which is more likely than not, the Browns should stick to the script and take Andrew Thomas, though any of the offensive lineman would be a huge benefit.