Cleveland Browns: Analytics not in love with Jedrick Wills at 10th pick

Cleveland Browns Jedrick Wills (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns Jedrick Wills (Photo by NFL via Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns finished rebuilding their offensive line by adding Alabama’s Jedrick Wills with the 10th pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

Interestingly, the Cleveland Browns analytically driven front office chose a player that the analytics crew at PFF didn’t love. The website, in its Analytics 2.0 moc,  had Tristan Wirfs, Josh Jones and Ezra Cleveland all going ahead of Wills. PFF mocked Wills to the Packers at No. 30.

So, the Browns tapped Wills with fellow tackles Mekhi Becton and Wirfs still on the board.

Even though Wills was an elite talent, the pick comes with some risk, as Wills will be asked to switch from the right side to the left. He allowed just one sack last season and he allowed just four pressures in his last six games for the Crimson Tide, according to the PFF.

While Wills played right tackle for the Crimson Tide, he still protected Tua Tagovaoila’s blind slide, as the new Dolphin is left handed.

Wills took his turn rotating with the other tackle prospects in the mocks leading up to draft day, but he proved too great a talent for the Browns to pass up.

The Browns were long rumored to be candidates to trade down, but with three offensive tackles to chose from, Andrew Berry stood pat in his first go-round leading a draft, taking the Alabama tackle.

Wills joins an offensive line anchored by left guard Joel Bitonio and center J.C. Tretter. The Browns showed how a high a priority the line was for them entering the offseason by signing Titans’ free agent Jack Conklin.

Undoubtedly, the Browns picked Wills to final answer the long-term answer the question mark left by the retirement of  Joe Thomas after the 2017 season. If Wills is unable to transition from the right side to the left, he could at least take over at right tackle. Worst case scenario, he could be a right guard.

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So, unlike drafting a quarterback, if Wills doesn’t pan out on the blind side, he’ll at lest be able to contribute at another position.