Perfect Picks: Cleveland Browns
With the NFL Draft approaching we will be looking at each team and evaluating where they need to improve. In this particular series we will run a seven round mock using the Draft Network Mock machine and find the ‘Perfect Picks’ for each franchise.
We will highlight four players that could help each team. This will feature picks 1 and 2, a mid round gem and a late round sleeper.
After 18 years in the wilderness the Browns made it back to the playoffs. After taking care of the Steelers, it was little surprise to see them fall at the hands of the Chiefs. It was a solid draft in 2020 and the Browns will look to double down and add pieces for a run at the AFC North title.
Round 1 - Pick 26 - Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami
The Browns have one of the top defensive ends in the game. They could however, do with a running mate for Myles Garrett. With Olivier Vernon set to hit free agency, the Browns are looking at nine sacks walking out of the door. Curtis Weaver isn’t ready to step straight in so selecting an edge with their first rounder makes sense.
Gregory Rousseau will not be to everybody’s taste. He is a long speed rusher but a lot of his production came operating on the interior of the defensive line. Having opted-out of 2020, the Miami defensive end couldn’t prove the doubters wrong and show he had refined his pass rushing technique. That could lead to a drop for Rousseau on day 1 of the draft.
Round 2 - Pick 59 - Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
Chazz Surratt will enter the NFL having only played the linebacker position for two years. However those two years have been ultra productive. With over 200 tackles and 12.5 sacks, Surratt flashes regularly on tape. His athleticism helps him overcome technical deficiencies but the NFL could be a steep learning curve.
His addition to the Browns would be a nice compliment to the current physicality Cleveland has at the position. Surratt is comfortable in coverage and has excellent run and chase ability. While the likes of Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki can provide the thump of physicality Surratt is missing.
Mid Round Gem - Pick 91 - Kary Vincent Jr, CB, LSU
The Browns have invested heavily in LSU alumni. Greedy Williams, Jacob Phillips and Grant Delpit should all be major pieces on Cleveland’s defense next year. They could add another in Kary Vincent Jr.
Vincent Jr was stuck behind some talented names in the Tigers secondary but that shouldn’t take away from the obvious talent he shows on tape. The key to Vincent is his versatility. Physical enough to play safety or line up in the nickel, he also has the smoothness to hold up on the outside. With depth an issue at all spots in the Browns secondary a playmaker like Vincent would be a valuable asset.
Late Round Sleeper - Pick 170 - Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee
The late rounds of the NFL draft are all about adding depth. For the Browns, wide receiver should be an area they can build on. Outside of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham there is a shortage of legitimate receiving threats. Donovan Peoples-Jones has at times flashed but reinforcements are needed.
Tennessee’s Josh Palmer performed well on a poor Volunteers side. The 6’2 receiver plays bigger than his listed height. He has excellent body control and high points the ball. While a lack of separation will hold him back from the higher rounds, he can add a different edge to the Browns lineup. Palmer can be the rotational outside threat that allows Landry to move inside on certain downs.
Draft In Full:
26. Gregory Rousseau, Miami (Edge)
59. Chazz Surratt, North Carolina (LB)
89. Amari Rodgers, Clemson (WR)
91. Kary Vincent Jr, LSU (CB)
110. James Hudson, Cincinnati (OT)
132. Jaylen Twyman, Pitt (DT)
170. Josh Palmer, Tennessee (WR)
212. Tristen Hoge, BYU (iOL)
251. Eric Burrell, Wisconsin (S)
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com.