First 2022 Browns Mel Kiper Jr. mock draft works, but could be better

With the Cleveland Browns missing out on another trip to the playoffs, fans, disappointingly, are left to play the mock draft game.

And with ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. (subscription required) releasing his first prediction, the silly season just got serious.

Kiper mocked Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson to the Browns with the 13th pick. Nothing surprising here, as the Buckeye has routinely been mocked to Cleveland. Baker Mayfield needs some help at the wide receiver position, and Wilson is an easy name to slot into the Browns’ spot.

Wilson is coming off a season in which he caught 70 passes for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns. Kiper talked up the wideout’s ability to play outside, or in.

“‘He’s a great route runner who can also run away from defensive backs after the catch,’ Kiper added.”

If Wilson’s the pick, no one will complain, especially since there’s a large sect of the northeast Ohio population doubles Buckeye and Browns fans during weekends in the fall.

Wilson was the second receiver off of Kiper’s board, with USC’s Drake London going 10th the Jets. That’s the player the Browns should be eyeing, and while Wilson’s a nice consolation prize, London is the player I’d be trying to pick up.

When Kiper gets into the nuts and bolts of the prospect, who missed the second half of the season with an ankle injury, the first thing he mentions is London’s elite size.

“London–who is 6-foot-5 and also played not eh USC basketball team–has a chance to be a special outside receiver. He caught 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games this season and seven touchdowns in eight games this season.”

Perhaps I’m still scarred from the 2016 draft. Remember, in his first draft with the organization, Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta’s analytically oriented front office went with a smaller wide receiver in Corey Coleman. The Baylor product lasted two years.

Wilson is listed at 6-feet, 192 pounds. You can stop screaming. I’m not just chalking him up a future bust. He has elite speed and can be a great player, but look at the Steelers with Chase Claypool and the Bengals with Ja’Marr Chase. These are big receivers who pluck the ball out of the air.

We have suspicions of our quarterback having trouble seeing over the offensive line. Maybe, with a big guy to throw the ball to, things will get a little easier. I’m kidding–I think.

Other notes on Browns, Kiper’s 2022 mock draft:

1, Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson went No. 1 to the Jags. Makes sense. You’ve got the QB, now fills he most important position on the defense.

2. A quarterback has to wait until the 11th pick to hear his name called. In this case, it would be Liberty’s Malik Willis.

3. Pitt’s Kenny Picket goes 18th to the Saints, while Ole’ Miss signal caller is pegged for the Steelers at No. 20.

4. Remember the Alabama receiver who tore his ACL in the national title game? His name is Jameson Williams and Kiper has the Patriots taking him with 21st pick, despite the fact he probably won’t play a down in 2022.

Would love for him to fall to Browns in the second round. Wish he was healthy so he’d be there at 13.

5. Cleveland’s greatest need, besides receiver, is defensive end. Keep the name of Penn State edge rusher, Arnold Ebiketie, int he back of your mind. He had 9.5 sacks for the Nittany Lions this past season.

6. I’m going to throw in another position of need…tackle. Jedrick Wills hurt his foot early in the season. When he returned, there wasn’t much to gloat about. As the 10th pick in the 2020 draft, the Browns really, really need him to be good.

Perhaps flipping him over to the right side and taking a new left tackle would improve an offensive line that really needs to get better at both tackle spots. Remember, Jack Conklin suffered a late, season ending injury, and he’s likely to miss a good chunk of time in 2022.

With receiver being a greater need, I don’t see Cleveland going this route, but worth keeping in mind.