Browns: Trades galore in Tony Grossi mock draft 5.0

Browns Jaycee Horn (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Browns Jaycee Horn (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Browns actions in free agency mean Cleveland isn’t necessarily pigeon holes into drafting for a certain position.

By signing Takk McKinley, John Johnson and Jaycee Horn, GM Andrew Berry addressed the biggest needs on defense, particularly at defensive end, safety and corner.

That said, if the player, who ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi mocked to the Browns (subscription) in his fifth crack at the 2021 NFL Draft is available, the selection would be a no-brainer for Cleveland.

Grossi mocked South Carolina corner Jaycee Horn to Cleveland with the 26th pick. Pro Football Focus had Horn ranked 24th on their Big Board, while Mel Kiper Jr. had him at No. 21.

That said, the many, many mocks constructed during the offseason haven’t had Horn available for the Browns at NO. 26. Grossi had him going to the 49ers with the 12th pick in his previous mock. Elsewhere, I’ve seen him go anywhere from 10-20.

If the Browns can get him–and I’m not really buying that he’ll be available–then it’s slam dunk. Horn could compete with Greedy Williams for a starting spot, while Hill could man the slot, which is his best position.

Other notes on Grossi’s Browns mock

1. Grossi never does trades in his mocks, but did so in version 5.0. He’s had BYU quarterback Zach Wilson penciled in at No. 2 for each mock, and that didn’t change, even though he forecasted a trade.

Grossi predicted the Panthers would trade up with the Jets to select Wilson.

2. The wheeling and dealing continued with the third pick, where Grossi had the Broncos swap selections with the Dolphins. Miami received No. 9, No. 40 and No. 152, in addition to a 2022 second-rounder.

3. What about Justin Fields, Buckeye fans? Grossi forecasted another trade at No. 4, with Bill Belichick getting his next quarterback as he hunts down Don Shula’s all-time wins record.

So the Patriots come up from No. 15 to take Fields, while Falcons move down to 15 while picking up pick a third-rounder (No. 96) and an additional first rounder in 2022.

4. Grossi wasn’t done with Atlanta, who after trading down, came back up to No. 7 to draft tight end Kyle Pitts. To come back up, Atlanta would send Detroit No. 15, a second-round pick (35th) and a fourth-rounder next year.

5. Incredibly, all of the trades cause the draft’s top tackle, Penei Sewell, to drop to No. 8, where Grossi mocked him to the Jets. Sewell seems like a fit fort Cincinnati, but he argued the signing of Riley Reiff cleared the way for Cincinnati to draft potential LSU superstar receiver Ja’Marr Chase with the fifth pick.

6. Speaking of falling, Heisman winner DeVonta Smith fell to ninth to the Dolphins. Most mocks have the Dolphins taking Smith, but at No. 3. In Grossi’s world, Miami still gets their player while picking up assets along the way.

7. Two corners were plucked off the board before the Browns took Horn at No. 26. Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley went 10th to the Cowboys, while Alabama’s Patrick Surtain went 12 to San Fran.

8. The rush on edge rushing defensive ends begins with the 11th pick, with Michigan’s Kwity Paye being the first selected (Giants). Miami’s Greg Rousseau went 14th to the Vikings and fellow Hurricane Jaelen Phillips went 17th to the Raiders.

Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari went 21st to the Colts, while Penn State’s Jayson Oweh went 23rd to the Jets. In this mock, the Browns get Oweh after trading down.

9. If you’re counting, that’s five edge rushers–in a year where there are no Myles Garrett type players–off the board by the time Cleveland picks. Grossi opted for the third best corner over the sixth-best edge rusher, and that’s just fine by me.

10. He mocked Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins to the Saints at No. 28 for the second straight week. I had been writing Collins off because I’m convinced Cleveland won’t pick a linebacker in the first round. That said, I wonder if the Browns believe he can rush off the end. If they do–and there’s no evidence to suggest they actually believe this–I would think he’s in play.

Next. 7-round Browns mock lands WR earlier than expected. dark

Fortunately, we get answers to all of these questions when Roger Goodell takes the stage to announce first-round picks with beautiful Lake Erie serving as the backdrop.