2. Draft Zaven Collins
The thing about winning? You pick late in the draft. The Browns will be picking 26th come draft day, which means you’ll have to squeeze in a nap in during the day because you’ll be staying up late to watch Cleveland make their selection.
When Andrew Berry phones the pick in, he should tell Roger Goodell that Cleveland will draft Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins.
Tulsa? I know. If he’s taken in the first round, he’ll be only the second first-round pick Tulsa’s produced in the common draft era.
However, the Browns invested heavily on the offensive side of the ball last offseason, but this spring should be all about building the defense.
Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki will return in 2021, but linebacker is clearly an issue, which is why Collins is the pick. The Browns also like rookie Jacob Phillips, who saw his playing time increase in the second half of the season.
1. The Browns need guys who can get to the quarterback and Collins showed an ability to get to that in college.
He was an excellent blitzer, accumulating16 pressures on 51 rushes, according to Pro Football Focus.
2. He can also drop into coverage, which is huge, because the Browns currently don’t have a linebacker who can do both things well. Collins posted a coverage grade of 93.7, which is considered excellent. Collins totaled four interceptions, three incompletions and nine passing stops when Tulsa had him drop into the defensive backfield.
The question now becomes will the Browns commit a first-round pick to a linebacker? They ignored the position until they took Jacob Phillips in the later rounds when they really could’ve used someone earlier.
Perhaps there wasn’t a player available Berry deemed worthy of taking. Time will tell, but LB is the biggest position of need.