The Athletic’s latest mock has the Browns drafting a corner out of Northwestern.
The Athletic’s latest mock draft has the Browns taking a corner with the 26th overall pick–Greg Newsome, out of Northwestern.
The pick was made by longtime Browns’ scribe Zac Jackson, as the online outlet’s 32 beat writers all contributed to the mock.
With linebacker being the obvious need, I can’t see the Browns using a first-round pick on a spot they believe can be filled through free agency/later in the draft. They could always trade down (shameless plus). That leaves defensive end and corner as the major needs, which are positions that analytics types such as Paul DePodesta would favor.
The idea of a corner has also grown on me considering Greedy Williams missed the entire season with a nerve injury (shoulder). We all have high expectations for Williams, but it’s important to remember that he was a second-round pick. Every team passed on him in the first round, despite Mel Kiper, you, me and your grandma having him mocked in the first round.
Perhaps the Browns take Newsome and he blossoms into an elite starter opposite of Ward and Williams bumps down to the third spot. That’s OK. Teams are passing more than ever, meaning your really need three corners to be on the field.
The Browns also have to consider their depth chart. Look for Terrance Mitchell to try and find a pay day in free agency, and god for him, he’s earned it. Mitchell was always a solid option in his three years with the Browns, and with injuries plaguing Williams, and Denzel Ward to some degree, he became invaluable to the depth chart.
Some other notes on the The Athletic’s mock:
1. Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins was mocked to the Saints at No. 28. I’d be scared to let him pass me by at No. 26. Yeah, I know, I just finished ranting about analytics and linebackers. But, dang–If I saw how difficult Tampa’s linebackers made life difficult for Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl, then you can be assured the Brown saw it too.
2. With EDGE being a concern, it was interesting to see what rushers were available to the Browns with the 26th pick. The cream of the crop went as expected, and then Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari went 22nd to the Titans, while raw Penn State product Jayson Oweh was mocked to the Jets at No. 23.
After that, the next edge rushers off the board were Jaelan Phillips (Miami, No. 31 to the Chiefs) and Texas’ Joseph Ossai, who went 32nd to the Buccaneers.
Both players have been mocked to Cleveland at some point in the mock season, depending on where you look.