The Cleveland Browns have arguably had the best free agency period in the entire league so far. As of right now, they have pretty much addressed every team needs that they wanted to fill within the past two weeks. They should probably add another free-agent defensive lineman and possibly a veteran wide receiver before the draft. Today we’re going to dive into our first Cleveland Browns mock draft of the 2021 season.
Cleveland Browns Focus on Defense in Mock Draft 1.0
Round 1 (26) Christian Barmore – DT Alabama
Last season, Cleveland’s interior defensive line faired decently well when it came to stopping the run, but once again it failed to generate any type of consistent pass rush. Sheldon Richardson ended up being a great contributor against the run, and was able to get an interior push at times but wasn’t consistent. He is also going to be playing his final season for Cleveland in 2021 because there is absolutely no chance they are going to be willing to resign him at the price tag he would want. Larry Ogunjobi showed signs of promise with Cleveland, but unfortunately became worse overall every season which led to him becoming a free agent. Christian Barmore can make up for his loss and then some.
Round 2 (59) Richie Grant – S UCF
I know what you’re all thinking. Why would the Browns take a safety this high in the draft when they already have their opening day starters in Ronnie Harrison, Grant Delpit, and John Johnson III? I’ll tell you why. Yes, those three guys will most likely make up one of the top safety groups in the NFL next season, but that won’t be the case if one of them gets hurt. Unfortunately, Cleveland has had to deal with a large number of injuries within the defensive backfield throughout the past few seasons. Having a guy like Richie Grant who can back up and rotate in at all three safety positions would prove to be assuring.
Round 3 (90) Dyami Brown – WR North Carolina
Cleveland needs to add speed and the ability to stretch the field to the wide receiver room, and Dyami Brown adds exactly that.
Round 3 (92) Benjamin St-Juste – CB Minnesota
The Browns will hopefully have Greedy Williams back at full strength to man the outside or field cornerback position, but they need to find an adequate backup. Adding a big, long cornerback like Benjamin St-Juste would give the Browns a nice option to play against some of the bigger AFC North wide receivers.
Round 4 (111) Jordan Smith – DE UAB
Cleveland was able to sign Takkarist McKinley in free agency which helps in their continuous search to find a pass rusher to start opposite of Myles Garrett. I believe McKinley has the potential to be that guy, but if not, Jordan Smith gives them a 6-7, 255-pound ball of clay that they can mold into whatever they need him to be. Smith showed great pass rush ability at UAB but needs to add weight and strength in order to be the full-time player the Browns might need in the future.
Round 4 (133) Trill Williams – CB Syracuse
Cornerback depth has been something that Cleveland hasn’t had in a long time. After adding St-Juste in round 3, they take Trill Williams here to shore up the position group. Syracuse had one of the top secondary groups in the NCAA last season and Williams was a big reason why. He’s another big corner who has a knack for attacking the football.
Round 5 (170) Kenny Yeboah – TE Ole Miss
There has been a whirlwind of rumors going around about David Njoku and whether or not he wants to be a Cleveland Brown. There’s still a solid chance that he won’t be a part of the team heading into Week 1, and if that’s the case then they need to find another tight end. Kenny Yeboah fills the role of rotational tight end/H-Back in the Browns offense. He has great hands, moves really well on the field, and shows great vision as a blocker.
Round 6 (212) Landon Young – OT Kentucky
The Browns take a swing tackle here in Landon Young because they let Kendall Lamm walk in free agency. Young is a great physical prospect who started 26 games at Kentucky. Cleveland takes a flyer here on the developmental offensive tackle.
Round 7 (259) Elijah Mitchell – RB Louisiana-Lafayette
Cleveland needs to upgrade their third running back spot from D’Ernest Johnson with Elijah Mitchell. When Nick Chubb went down with an injury last season, they struggled with Johnson taking over as the main early-down back. Kareem Hunt was forced to run the ball more which took away from the diversity of the offense.
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