Cleveland Browns Post Free Agency 2022 Seven Round Mock Draftby Jonas Clark April 13, 2022 0 comments
The Cleveland Browns arguably won the sweepstakes of the offseason when they landed Deshaun Watson. What was arguably more impressive was that they didn’t have to part with any of their young talented pieces. The trade did cost the Browns their first-round pick in the next three drafts, including the upcoming one. Still, they did keep the rest of their selections for this year. Of course, they did move their fifth-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys for Amari Cooper in a no-brainer trade. While big names were released, such as Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper, Cleveland brought in new star power for their salaries. Of course, they may yet add another pick or two with a trade of Baker Mayfield as they prepare to “win now”.
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.
Round 2, Pick 44: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
The Browns may not be drafting in the first round anymore, but that doesn’t prevent them from adding such talent in the middle of the second round. With his excellent size and just two drops in college, Pickens is a big, reliable target for Watson. He returned from an ACL injury that happened last spring to play in 2021, giving his recovery more certainty. Pickens will be a day-one starter alongside Cooper, regardless of whether Donovan Peoples-Jones or a free agent addition is the third option. While he may not have the speed of Chris Olave or Garrett Wilson, some have compared Pickens to another former Georgia receiver, A.J. Green, who preyed on the Browns’ secondary for years with the Cincinnati Bengals.
For more on Pickens, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 3, Pick 78: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
Cleveland released Hooper to open up salary cap space this offseason, essentially promoting David Njoku to the starting role. Additionally, Harrison Bryant is entering his third season. This now opens up a vacancy in the offense as the Browns under head coach Kevin Stefanski often use three-tight end sets. Ruckert is an excellent fit for this role. A sure-handed pass-catcher, Ruckert’s versatility also has him as one of the best blocking tight ends in this class. If he’s still there, it’s hard to imagine them passing on him.
For more on Ruckert, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 3, Pick 99: Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss
With Jadeveon Clowney uncertain to return to Cleveland needs help on the defensive edge. Sure, the Browns did trade Mack Wilson to the New England Patriots for Chase Winovich to play opposite Myles Garrett. That still doesn’t settle the position. Williams graded well and is an outstanding value late in the third round. In 2021, he set the program record for sacks in a season with 12.5 to go along with 16 tackles for loss. Garrett has permission to play along the defensive line as he sees fit. Thus, Williams has upside starting potential that could be realized as early as this season.
If you're looking for a hidden gem that has all the tools you need as an edge defender, look no further than Ole Miss' Sam Williams, says @JustinM_NFL.#FrontOffice33 | #NFLDraft https://t.co/gBxLLEZXKv
— The Draft Network (@TheDraftNetwork) March 30, 2022
Round 4, Pick 118: Eyioma Uwazurike, DL, Iowa State
The Browns currently only have three interior defensive linemen on the roster. Even so, those they have aren’t all that assuring. A massive presence up the middle, his production speaks for itself. With Garrett and the edges rushing from the outside, Uwazurike’s power up the middle is key. The defense would cinch quickly on quarterbacks and running backs alike, wreaking havoc. At 6’6”, he can also reach up with his over 10-inch hands for deflections at the line on defense and special teams.
Round 6, Pick 202: Juanyeh Thomas, S, Georgia Tech
Recently, Cleveland re-signed Ronnie Harrison to a one-year contract to bring the safety back. However, they still lack a long-term solution at safety. A projected middle-round pick, finding Thomas in the sixth round is a steal. Graded with starter potential, Thomas has the size and skill that teams want, but also the positional flexibility that the Browns look for. Per Lance Zierlein on NFL.com, Thomas could bulk up to play linebacker, or provide an option at safety, allowing the Browns to look to the future at two positions with one selection.
Round 7, Pick 223: Aaron Hansford, LB, Texas A&M
With the aforementioned departure of Wilson at linebacker, the Browns have a need for depth at the position. Hansford was a Senior Bowl selection, a great cap to a strong season at Texas A&M where he led the team with 89 tackles, 8.5 for losses. He does have a history of injury, heavily impacting his season in 2018. Still, he started nearly every game the following three seasons. Another late-round selection with the potential to develop into a starter, the Browns get another steal.
Texas A&M @AggieFootball LB Aaron Hansford
(@AaronTheRealMVP) is a new modern athletic space/cover ‘backer who fits what #NFL is looking for these days in three-down LBs. Accepted @seniorbowl invite last year before returning to school. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️#BestoftheBest pic.twitter.com/FyHtm1W79d
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) October 16, 2021
Round 7, Pick 246: Noah Elliss, DL, Idaho
A lack of quality and depth in the middle of the defensive line is why the Browns should go interior lineman with their final pick of the draft. While scouting reports pick at Elliss’ technique, that can be corrected through coaching. At worst he projects as a backup, but 6’4”, 346 lbs is a great start to developing something. Fortunately, where Cleveland could be at should the draft play out like this mock draft, Elliss doesn’t need to make an immediate impact. With potential ahead of him, the Idaho product is with a flier.
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