The Browns filled quite a few holes by spending lots of cash in free agency, but they need to add another starter in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Baker Mayfield and his Browns teammates collapsed under the weight of massive preseason expectations in 2019. If the franchise wants to avoid that fate in 2020, they need to find more quality players in this year’s NFL Draft.
The good news for fans in Cleveland is that their front office was very aggressive in filling some key needs in free agency. Making Austin Hooper the highest-paid tight end in the NFL might not be a great value, but it likely rounds out the team’s receiving corps.
Perhaps more importantly, landing Jack Conklin drastically improves the team’s options at the tackle position. The former Titans’ star should solidify the right tackle position for the next few years. Drafting a potential starter at left tackle is definitely an option for the Browns at No. 10, but signing Conklin gives them the flexibility to address a different position there.
Linebacker and safety are other spots where Cleveland might choose to spend valuable draft capital. The secondary wasn’t good last season, and Joe Schobert‘s departure leaves the cupboard pretty bare at linebacker. It’s tougher to match value to the team’s first round pick at those spots, but don’t rule out the idea of a trade to solve that issue.
Here are five players that could hear their names called by the Browns in Round 1.
5. Derrick Brown, Auburn defensive tackle
The Browns are getting a little long in the tooth at defensive tackle. Adding Brown to the mix would give them quality depth and a potential star to build around. The chances of him slipping all the way to No. 10 aren’t great, but Cleveland could provide him a landing spot in the event of a draft-night slide.