Three scenarios for Browns on Draft Day

Three scenarios for Browns on Draft Day

3 years ago
4 min read

Cleveland will soon be the center of the football universe, as they host the NFL Draft for the first time ever. So there will be some pressure on the Browns to deliver in front of the home fans.

Following an 11-5 season and a trip to the AFC Divisional round, it’s not as if this team has a ton of weaknesses they need to address. But in a conference that features the Chiefs, Bills, Ravens, and Steelers, along with tons of young quarterbacks, assessing all options on draft day is essential if you want to get better.

Typically, there are three different scenarios that can play out for every team, every pick. The most obvious one is waiting until you’re officially on the clock before making a selection. However, the possibilities of trading up or trading down need to be considered as well, but only if the price is right.

So, all that being said, it’s time to put on the magic hat and predict how things would go if the Browns did any of those three things with their first-round pick; traded up, traded down, or remained where they stood.

Scenario #1: Trading up

As addressed in previous articles, the Browns have needs at edge rusher, outside linebacker, and cornerback. Cleveland is looking at cornerback but feels the price is too high to move up in the top half of the draft for either Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II or South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn. So in all likelihood, they’re going to target one of those first two positions.

As the pick gets closer and closer, Georgia EDGE Azeez Ojulari goes off the board, as does Michigan’s Kwity Paye. Fearing missing out on an impact pass-rusher, the Browns are able to secure a deal to move up five spots, acquiring pick No. 21 from the Colts. Since they moved up just a few spots, all it cost GM Andrew Berry was a mid-round pick this year and a mid to late-round pick next year, which the pick-hoarding Colts signed off on.

With the trade-up selection, the Browns select Penn State EDGE Jayson Oweh. Oweh is a player who has seen his stock rise over the last few weeks and who Cleveland would be ecstatic to land in the 20’s. Oweh has showcased his physical gifts, running a 4.33 40-yard dash which elevated him on many teams draft boards.

Best of all, he would be able to play outside linebacker or defensive end, seemingly addressing two of Cleveland’s biggest needs. So while it cost a couple of picks, Berry and the Browns take Oweh and are very satisfied with the start of their draft.

Scenario #2: Trading down

Turns out Oweh running a darn near 4.3 40 forced a team to take him inside the top-15. Ojulari and Horn are off the board as well, as the Browns don’t see a lot of talent that definitely wouldn’t be available in the first round.

Fortunately, the benefit of picking in the bottom eight of the first round is that there are many teams who are interested in moving back into the first round. And although the Browns already own nine picks this year, they could look to add more to their total of seven for 2022.

In this scenario, that team is the Dolphins, who have a ton of picks to play with and are interested in moving back into the first round. After drafting either Kyle Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase at sixth overall, they want to continue to bolster their offense with young talent and are targeting Clemson running back Travis Etienne. So they offer the 36th pick, as well as a sixth this year and an additional third-rounder next year.

Now picking in the early second, the Browns have more picks in hand and end up with a player they were already discussing in the first round, Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton. According to’s Chad Reuter, Bolton is an interior playmaker in the mold of Tampa Bay’s Devin Bush, so he would fill a need for the Browns in a big way despite being available in the second round.

Scenario #3: Staying put

While teams will no doubt send offers the way of Cleveland to move up, or Cleveland will look to move up themselves, the likeliest scenario is the team deciding that the player they want and/or need will be there for them at No. 26.

The player in this final scenario is Miami EDGE Gregory Rousseau. There was a time where Rousseau was the consensus top pass-rusher in this draft class, but his stock has fallen a bit after opting out of the 2020 season and having just an okay pro day. But the talent, athleticism, and upside all remain, giving the Browns someone who can learn from Myles Garrett, Takk McKinley, and potentially Jadaveon Clowney and become an above-average edge rusher in the NFL.

Cleveland, of course, would be thrilled if Miami’s Jaelan Phillips falls to them as well and perhaps would consider going with someone like Texas’ Joseph Ossai at the same position. But the upside of Rousseau being available at 26th overall would be a nice get for Berry and the Browns, solidifying their choice to stay right where they are.

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