The main goal for the Browns this draft is to find a long term LT. Other positions to target are safety, linebacker, wide receiver, right guard, and defensive line. Here are some suggestions that could make sense at each pick.
Rd 1 10 Andrew Thomas LT Jedrick Wills RT Tristan Wirfs RT Mekhi Becton LT
The Browns have been in need of a LT since Joe Thomas got injured his final season. Luckily there should be at least one of these players available when the Browns select. My preferred option is Andrew Thomas. I like his 3 years of starting experience at Georgia where he faced good competition in the SEC and only gave up 5 sacks. He has long arms and I think he will be a solid LT for 10+ years. He fits the blocking scheme the Browns will be running with new Head Coach Kevin Stefanski. Wills is also very impressive and is a close second behind Thomas for me. Wills was a RT in college but I do think he could play LT. He protected Tua’s blindside at Alabama. Wirfs and Becton are very impressive athletes but I think they need a little more development.
Rd 2 41 Antoine Winfield Jr S Michael Pittman Jr WR
The Browns signed Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo this offseason but only to 1 year deals. A long term safety has been a need for a while. Winfield impressed me at Minnesota and he had 7 interceptions in 2019. He is the son of former CB Antoine Winfield who had a successful NFL career.
The Browns do have Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. but the rest of the depth chart could use some help. Both Landry and OBJ dealt with injuries last year and underwent offseason surgery. Therefore, an insurance WR isn’t a bad idea. Pittman is a bigger WR which is a need for the Browns. A solid third WR seemed to be a crucial missing part of the offense for the Browns in 2019 as Rashard Higgins had only 4 catches after it seemed he had a nice rapport with Baker Mayfield in 2018. Stefanski ran a lot of 12 and 21 personnel last season so this might be somewhat high for the Browns to take a WR but I do think a third WR would help the offense. Pittman impressed me a lot at USC and I think he’s going to be good in the NFL. He is the son of former RB Michael Pittman who played 11 seasons in the NFL. This may be early for a WR given the other team needs but I think Pittman could be the best player available at this point.
Rd 3 74 Akeem Davis-Gaither LB Willie Gay Jr LB
The Browns lost Joe Schobert in free agency and he was a good coverage LB so the Browns need linebackers who can cover. Davis-Gaither is a good coverage LB and had double digit tackles for a loss the past 2 seasons.
Gay was also good in coverage in college but had a lack of playing time due to suspension. If his character concerns are cleared up a third round pick could make sense.
Rd 3 97 Van Jefferson WR Darnay Holmes CB
Jefferson is a solid route runner and is skilled at getting open. I think he’d be a good fit for Baker Mayfield. As mentioned above a third WR would be a good addition.
Holmes was highly regarded coming out of high school. The Browns top 2 CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams missed multiple games with injury last season so it’s a good idea to add some depth. The Browns do have Terrance Mitchell and Kevin Johnson but both are free agents after the season.
Rd 4 115 Khaleke Hudson LB/S Geno Stone S
Some view Hudson as a linebacker and some view him as a safety. I liked Hudson a lot in college. He caught my eye his sophomore year at Michigan when he had 17 tackles for a loss. He has lots of experience and I think he would be a great depth piece for the Browns to add and he should contribute on special teams right away.
Stone was solid at Iowa and would provide depth at safety and contribute on special teams.
Rd 6 187 Colby Parkinson TE Charlie Taumoepeau TE
Stefanski ran a lot of 12 personnel with the Vikings so having multiple TEs is a good idea.
Parkinson is 6’7 and has mismatch ability. He had 7 TDs on only 29 catches in 2018. Taumoepeau is a TE from Portland State who could be worth a shot as a late round pick.
Rd 7 244 Jon Runyan Jr OL Josiah Coatney DL
Runyan mostly played LT at Michigan but also has experience at RG and RT. He could possibly play tackle in the NFL but seems more likely to be a G. Runyan’s father played in the NFL for 14 seasons.
Coatney is a run stuffing defensive lineman. The Browns signed Andrew Billings but only to a one year deal.
Potential Undrafted Free Agents to Target
QB Nate Stanley, Kelly Bryant
A 4th QB for the offseason.
RB Pete Guerriero
Had 1,995 yards rushing in 2019. RB for training camp and can compete for the 3rd/4th RB role.
G Michael Onwenu
Guard for training camp competition.
EDGE John Daka
Pass rusher for training camp competition.
CB Parnell Motley
CB for training camp competition.
S Shyheim Carter
Secondary competition for training camp.
K Sam Sloman
The Browns drafted Austin Seibert last year. He was inconsistent as a rookie but does have a powerful leg. Here is a kicker to challenge him in the offseason.
Potential Trade Targets
Trades of key players don’t happen too often during the draft but they can have big impacts. Trent Brown made a huge impact for the Patriots in 2018 and was a key part of their Super Bowl run. The 2 main trade candidates this draft are Trent Williams and Yannick Ngakoue. Here are some other names to who could be on the move.
Desmond King CB/S
The Chargers have a talented secondary and signed Chris Harris this offseason to play in the slot. King may be a trade candidate due to the depth chart and he is a free agent after the season. If the Browns could get him for a reasonable price he would be a good acquisition and could help the secondary immediately. The Browns did sign Kevin Johnson to likely play the slot but only to a 1 year deal.
Joe Thuney G
The Patriots franchised tagged Joe Thuney. The Patriots are very low on cap space so Thuney could be a trade candidate. The Browns would want to sign Thuney to a long term deal if they were to trade for him and he’ll get a big contract. The Browns do have cap space and have a need at RG. Thuney plays LG so either Bitonio or Thuney would move to RG. The Patriots traded Jamie Collins to the Browns for a third round pick in 2016 before he was set for a big contract so a similar deal could happen and it could make sense for both teams.