"74. Cleveland Browns: Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State"
On paper, Malik Harrison reads just like Baun does. A biggish linebacker, with good lateral speed and a decent enough 40-time to not get blasted by tight ends or slot receivers. At this point in the third round, however, I think the Browns should go for a receiver, not two straight linebackers. The team signed one already, in BJ Goodson and they could still make a move. With Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki also on the roster, the decision to go get a second young linebacker is perplexing.
We’re already not sure what Wilson or Takitaki will be, and in turn, we’re not sure what Baun could be either. So there’s no point in getting a fourth unproven commodity this high in the draft. A better pick would be Penn State’s, K.J. Hamler. This is of course if the Browns don’t get a receiver in the first two rounds.
Whether the Browns keep or trade Beckham is irrelevant to drafting Hamler. He’d be used as a third receiver at best his rookie year and could prove to be a dynamic difference-maker on the offensive side of the ball down the line. He would also shore up one of the last holes the team has on that side of the ball, outside of the guard position.
The Browns should choose between Harrison and Baun. They’re similar players, though I feel Baun has a better nose for the ball but getting both seems redundant. That’s no slight on the Columbus native-Harrison. It’s simply a matter of using this draft to fill as many needs as possible.
The Browns don’t need two of the same type of players.