The title of their article is appropriate because it’s way too dang early to get into 20210 Mock Drafts already but will the Cleveland Browns go WR next year?
Sports Illustrated wants you to know who they think the Cleveland Browns are going to take in the 2021 NFL Draft, and that person is Auburn wide receiver, Seth Williams. At pick No. 16 by the way. That means SI only sees the Browns winning seven to nine games next year which in itself is a talking point but let’s not get into that right now.
The question is, should the Browns be that worried about wide receiver already? Honestly, there is some substance as to why they could. Let’s play a game, it’s called “Odell Beckham isn’t unhappy and wants to retire in Cleveland”. It’s a fun game because it means we have to ignore the old adage “where there’s smoke there’s fire”. So let’s just pretend, ok? Even if Beckham stays committed through the length of his contract and then some, that still means that they have to worry about the injury history with him.
He’s missed gobs of time in the last three years and has numerous issues requiring surgery to take care of. Can his body hold up that much longer on an elite or near-elite level? That’s a big question to ask and unfortunately, it has to be asked. With injuries, surgeries, and declining production, Beckham remains a question mark. Too many talk about what he used to do as a star, not what he’s been doing. So yes, concern over Beckham is bad enough.
He’s not alone, however.
Jarvis Landry is also now suspect in that area. When you have major surgery there’s always a chance you won’t be the same after. The trauma to your body is unbelievable. In the case of Landry, getting surgery on your hip is never minor, and keep in mind just how problematic a hip can become.
Top prospect Tua Tagovailoa wasn’t sure he’d ever play again. Bo Jackson ended his football career because of a hip injury. The hip, much like the shoulder, is one of those joints that once it becomes compromised becomes a problem chronically. Was Landry’s injury as bad as Tagovailoa or Jackson’s? No. We think. So don’t expect a sudden retirement.
Is his hip now an issue that could affect him for years? Yes, and that’s partly why the Browns would be wise to bolster the receiver corps next year. It doesn’t help that the Browns really didn’t address a slot-guy anyway in 2020 or seems that they’re intending to. At least for the foreseeable future. Any wideout who gets a deal at this point will probably get a one or two year contract for moderate to lower end money.
This takes us back to why a wideout is so important next year; in theory. Here’s what SI said about Williams;
"16. Cleveland Browns: Seth Williams, WR, AuburnIf selected by the Browns, Williams (6′ 3″, 224 pounds) would give Baker Mayfield a big-bodied receiver to complement smaller wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. The physical wideout had a breakout season (59/830/8) despite playing with a freshman quarterback, and has averaged 17.3 yards per reception in the first two seasons of his collegiate career."
All we can do now is wait and see how the 2020 season goes. I for one wouldn’t mind Oklahoma’s IL Creed Humphrey or Penn State’s LB Micah Parsons. Though, that’s next year’s problem. For now.