5. Jalean Phillips, EDGE, Miami
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler mocked Jaelean Phillips to the Browns with the 26th pick.
Brugler admits, the decision could come down to how Phillips’ medicals look, but if he’s cleared, he’d be the draft expert’s pick. Phillips suffered multiple ankle injuries at UCLA. He was also in a moped accident that left him with a broken wrist.
For a time, he thought about quitting football, however, he decided to stick with it, transferred to Miami and made his debut with the Hurricanes Oct. 8.
Brugler contends that Phillips’ movement and handwork are what makes him a likely first-round selection.
I continue to advocate for a linebacker, but with the money the Browns have to dump into their current players, signing a big-time defensive end to play opposite of Garrett isn’t realistic. The Browns can save on a premier position by getting someone on their rookie contract, which is why it won’t be surprising to see them go with an EDGE defender.
As far as the Browns current crop of players go, they have nobody to provide a consistent rush outside of Myles Garrett.
Olivier Vernon started to play well before suffering a season-ending injury, but his contract with the Browns is up and he’ll likely miss most of the 2021 season rehabbing.