Browns: Tony Grossi mock draft 4.0 lands best at position group

Browns Christian Barmore. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Browns Christian Barmore. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Tony Grossi’s latest mock draft delivers the Browns the best player at his respective position group.

Christian Barmore played for Alabama, and as a red-shirt sophomore, played the best games of his collegiate career during the postseason against Notre Dame and Ohio State.

He’s the slam-dunk best defensive tackle in a class that’s weak at the position. Various mocks have the prospect going from the mid-teens to very late in the first round.

I liked seeing Tony Grossi mock (subscription) Barmore to the Browns in his fourth mock because the lineman was my first selection for the Browns in The Factory’s first seven-round mock.

Getting pressure from the inside so that the defense can generate a pass rush with its front four defenders is paramount to Cleveland taking the next step in the playoffs. Look no further than the Super Bowl, when Tampa’s four down linemen forced Patrick Mahomes into playing the worst game of his career.

Among Division I, Power-5 conference interior lineman since 2019, no player brought more pressure to opposing quarterbacks than Barmore. In total, he pressured quarterbacks 65 times in his two seasons with the Crimson Tide, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Browns now have to replace a starter, with Larry Ogunjobi departing via free agency. If the season started today, the Browns would be OK at defensive tackle. They still have Sheldon Richardson, who will probably be entering his final season with Cleveland.

Elsewhere on the roster, the Browns have Andrew Billings, a former Bengal who signed as a free agent last offseason. He opted out of 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. Additionally, there’s Jordan Elliott, a player the Browns are reportedly very high on.

Billings should be good and there should be improvement from Elliott, but neither have the ceiling of Barmore, which is why, if Barmore falls into Cleveland’s lap at No. 26, you couldn’t blame Andrew Berry for scooping him up.

Other notes from Grossi mock draft 4.0.

1. Zaven Collins was Grossi’s pick in mock 3.0, but the long-time writer passed on him. This time around, Collins went 28th to the Saints.

It’s not really a surprise to see Collins passed over. The Browns re-signed Maclom Smith. They’re bringing back homegrown linebackers Mack Wilson, Sione Takitaki and Jacob Phillips. They’re still looking at veteran free agents. The tea leaves suggest what many have been saying for months, which is Berry won’t use a first-round pick on a linebacker.

2. Edge rusher is still a concern, as the Browns were tied to a couple in free agency, only to come up short. The first defensive end off Grossi’s board was Miami’s Gregory Rousseau, who went 11th to the Giants.

A previous Grossi mock draftee, Jaelen Phillips, went 14th to the Vikings. Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari went 21st to the Colts, Michigan’s Kwity Paye went 22nd to the Titans and Pen State’s Jayson Oweh went 23 to the Jets.

The only defensive end who went after the Browns selection of Barmore was Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham. He’s a player who’s been mocked to the Browns before, but ask yourself: Would you want the draft’s sixth-best end, or the top-rated defensive tackle. Easy call.

3. Grossi passed on Northwestern corner Greg Newesome, a player he mocked to Cleveland in version 2.0. Here, he has Newsome going to the Bills at No. 30. Like last week, he has a run on corners starting near the end of the top 10 with Patrick Surtain going ninth to Broncos, Caleb Farley 10th to the Cowboys, and Jaycee Horn going to San Fran at No. 12.

The Browns secured their secondary by signing Troy Hill away form the Rams, giving a four-year, $24 million contract. With that kind of money, the front office expects him to play, a lot.

I wouldn’t totally rule a corner out here, but it seems with the resources allocated to the position group, passing on someone like Newsome is now probably more likely.

4. Grossi doesn’t see any changes among the top quarterbacks, but noted the Jets will either trade the No. 2 pick, or Sam Darnold. If they do the later, they’ll take BYU’s Zach Wilson. Ohio State’s Justin Fields is still penciled in at No. 8 to the Panthers.

Grossi finally got off the Mac Jones to the Patriots train he’s been driving. This time around, he has North Dakota State prospect Trey Lance going to New England. With Cam Newton coming back to start, Lance will have time to incubate. As for Jones, the Alabama product fell out of Grossi’s first round.

Next. 3 over 30 free agents Browns roster really needs. dark

5. Trevon Moehrig, a player who had been gaining steam in the mock draft world as a potential Browns pick went to the Jaguars at No. 25. Even if he were available, it’d be unlikely Cleveland would pick him following the free-agent signing of John Johnson.