It’s no secret that the Cleveland Browns underwhelmed in 2021 which was supposed to be their be super bowl or bust season after coming up a defensive stop short of beating the Chiefs and going to the AFC championship the prior year. Going 8-9 and finishing third in the division which at the start of the season was theirs to lose.
You can blame it on Baker Mayfield getting injured not just not playing to his potential. The drama surrounding the wide receiving core. The defensive not stepping up until later in the season. The covid bug, injuries to key players, etc, etc. In the end we were not good enough. With free agency looming their are plenty of opportunities to address areas of need, but the NFL draft is where we can grab a newer young group of players to develop into hopeful stars and propel the Browns with depth, and with some good coaching and a little bit of luck, some star power.
Let’s take a look at who the Browns could end up with at pick number 13.
WR's are one of the most needed positions on the Browns right now so we will take a look at my top 5 in the Draft and then a few non receivers that could fall to the Browns and would be hard to pass up.
In a deep WR draft it’s no secret the Browns need a good young wideout to help Baker on the outside.
My top 5 is in no particular order.
GARRETT WILSON- Ohio State
This may be one of the most popular choice. An Ohio State stand out and sure handed WR. He had a great combine. He’s 6’0 tall & ran a 4.38 40-yard dash. Wilson has good route running skills although he is a bit reckless at times. He was extremely productive at OSU, being a cornerstone of the offense, but his boom or bust potential in the NFL is a bit concerning at pick number 13. His best attribute is that he can play wherever you need him
On the outside, in the slot, or opposite side of a WR1 if we can pick up a great receiver in free agency. He is a jack of all trades and we may see if he is a master of all or none come the 2022-2023 season.
DRAKE LONDON- USC
Although he was injured most of his season at USC, he is a physical specimen at 6’5. He has good hands and will be difficult to defend on 50/50 balls. Unfortunately he doesn’t have top end speed, which you want to see if you are drafting a receiver at 13. Again he is a boom or bust prospect, but if he hits his ceiling, he could be one of the best wideouts in the NFL for years.
TREYLON BURKS- Arkansas
He was standout at Arkansas in a very tough SEC and managed to shine. At 6’3, 225 lbs with massive hands, he is a big physical receiver. Extremely strong and a nightmare for any cornerback to cover. He did hurt his draft stock a bit while only running a 4.55 40-yard dash. If he can improve his speed it would hard to pass on him as he is very smooth in almost every other facet of his game. He does however have a very quick first step. So if he can show he has top end speed he is the clear cut answer and a comparison I like is to a prime Larry Fitzgerald.
CHRIS OLAVE- Ohio State
Another favorite as he was a Ohio State product. His draft stock rose significantly at the combine. Blazing fast, smooth as they come and with great hands. Olave has a tremendous burst and is above average at route running at all three levels. He’s 6’0 tall, but seems to play taller than that. He is a threat anywhere on the field especially on the deep ball. He needs some strength to create separation off the snap however and could be challenged by the better cornerbacks in the league.
JAMESON WILLIAMS- Alabama
Ohio State transfer and Alabama product had a amazing season with the Tide, rising to one of the best receivers in college. However he suffered a ACL tear that will keep him out at least half of the regular season if not more. At 6’2 with explosive leaping abilities he may be the most athletic wideout in the draft. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see him in the combine due to his injury. He stays in my top 5 because of what he did at Alabama. 1,500 yards and 15 TDS is elite and if he comes back at full health in the NFL could easily be a WR1. It would be hard to take him at 13, but a trade back to acquire more draft capital, maybe into the early 20’s could snag Williams for the Browns.
JORDAN DAVIS- Defensive lineman/Georgia
Jordan Davis may be the most athletic man for his size I’ve ever seen. He’s 6’6, 340 lbs. ran a 4.78 at the combine (not that he will ever run 40 yards at the pro level). He also had a 32 inch vertical which puts him at a 10 feet 3 inch jump, which is great for blocking field goals and extra points. He is a absolute unit in clogging up the middle and stuffing the run. Easily able to take on double teams and allow teammates to clean up at the line of scrimmage. Don’t think he is a one trick pony though as he also had 20+ QB pressures and along with LB Nakobe Dean was a cornerstone of that Georgia defense that won the National Championship last season.
NAKOBE DEAN- Linebacker/Georgia
Speaking of Georgia’s defense, the top linebacker in this class is Nakobe Dean. He is a 3 down LB. He may be a bit undersized at 5’11 and 229 lbs, but he is as explosive as they come. He can run sideline to sideline. He would compliment Owusu-Koramoah extremely well. Dean can come flying off the edge. He had 6 sacks last season. He also can cover as he had 2 INT's as well. If the Browns drafted Dean they could have one of the best young linebacking tandems in the NFL.
JERMAINE JOHNSON- Defensive End/Florida State
With Hutchinson and Thibodeaux off the board before pick 13, the next best defensive end in my opinion is Jermaine Johnson. Johnson has the size and tools to be the best end in this draft. He is 6’5, 260 lbs, ran a 4.58 40-yard dash. He has a blazing first step, great hips, and gets under his opponents pads easily pushing them back in a bull rush. He has all the tools to be a dominant pass rusher in the NFL. He finished his final season at FSU with 12 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. The two biggest concerns on Johnson is that he needs to learn to recognize the run and defend better. The second is the hope he isn’t a one year wonder as his last year at FSU was by far his most productive.
KYLE HAMILTON- Safety/Notre Dame
I know what you’re thinking. Why would we draft another defensive back? Well…Because Kyle Hamilton may be the best prospect in the draft. At 6’4, 220 lbs, he is a ball hawk, having 8 interceptions in 3 seasons and 3 INT's last year in just half the season before an injury sidelined him. He is 100 percent now however and would make an immediate impact on any team. He hits like Mack truck and to add to his impressive size and speed, he still has room to get even stronger. I can’t even fathom a bigger Kam Chancellor, but that’s my comparison. A bigger Kam. If he falls to 13 it would be extremely hard to pass on him.
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