5. Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame
The Browns recently added some depth at defensive end, but the transaction probably doesn’t preclude Cleveland from selecting an edge rusher.
With this in mind, Julian Okwara could be a name to watch. The Notre Dame product was hurt this offseason, in that he didn’t get a chance to perform at the Irish’s pro day as campuses across the nation shut down as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Keeping in mind that the Browns front office is yet again driven heavily by analytics, it was interesting to see Okwara mocked to the Ravens with the 28th pick in Pro Football Focus’ latest first-round mock.
Okwara played in 44 games with the Irish and drew rave reviews for his physical measurement. Okwara checks out at at 6-feet-4 and 252 pounds with 34 3/8-inch arms. While he drew a 90.4 pass rushing grade a season ago, PFF’s Steve Palazzolo wrote that this prospect comes with coverage dropping athleticism, making him a candidate to be an off-the-ball linebacker.
In a perfect scenario, the Browns would select a tackle with their first-round pick, followed by safety in round two. With eyes set on linebacker/edge rusher in rounds three and four, Okwara would be a great pick in that spot if he’s still available.