Cleveland Browns 2022 7 round mock draft - version 1

     Welcome the Deshaun Watson era.   Beyond the public relations issues and beyond the eligibility concerns, the deal instantly shifted the Cleveland Browns to a different mode of talent acquisition.  Gone are the luxury picks in the first round that the Browns have enjoyed over the years.  More limited is the money under the cap that the Browns will have available to them going forward to make splashy free agent signings.

    Part of the plan is Deshaun Watson being on the field and making players better around him.   It is hard to argue that he didn't do that in his last full NFL season.   Another is that Watson could make Cleveland a destination for NFL receivers looking to revive their careers on one-year "prove it" deals and NFL veterans at other positions accepting less to chase a ring.   I'll believe that when it happens.  And until Watson clears up his legal troubles, these players would be signing on for Jacoby Brissett for at least some period of the season.    

    The final mode will be finding NFL-level talent and depth after the first day of the draft.   That will be the Browns' lot in life in this year's draft and the coming two years.    It will be interesting to see what course the front office charts.    

    Accumulating picks in the middle rounds to take multiple swings might be the highest percentage chance of finding the future talent that the Browns will need to cheaply fill out the roster as salaries of the Browns' young core of elite players escalate.   The Rams, for instance, have done a good job in this regard.   I don't think the Browns have been stellar in rounds 3-7 under Berry to date.  Peoples-Jones and Jacob Phillips show some promise.   Jordan Elliot and Anthony Schwartz have been minor disappointments so far.   Tommy Togiai, James Hudson and Demetric Felton showed a little last season and left room for optimism.   Fields and Lecounte III played sparingly.  Harrison Bryant has been okay.

    This year might be one where it is not difficult to trade up into the latter half of the first round if one is so inclined.  The value is said to lie in the second round.  It wouldn't seem that the Browns have much ammunition to climb from the forty-fourth pick to one in the top thirty-two.    Doing so would leave Berry and company watching the middle rounds of the draft -- the supposed strength of this draft class.

    I'm predicting that the Browns will be active in the draft -- and that activity will likely come in trading down in the second round with teams that have fallen in love with a player to acquire middle round picks in this year and years to come.

    For my first all Browns seven round mock draft (conducted through the Pro Football Focus draft simulator), I stayed pat for all available picks and selected as follows:

  • 44.
  • 78.
  • 99.
  • 118.
  • 202.
  • 223.
  • 246.

  • Second round (44)

    Perrion Winfrey, DT Oklahoma.   6'4", 303 lbs.   RAS Unknown

    With the likely loss of both "Maliks" from last season, and the questionable outlook for Jordan Elliot and Tommy Togiai from the last two drafts, addressing the defensive interior is a must.   Winfrey is a freakish athlete who has only one year of big time college football on his resume.  He fills a need and offers plenty of upside.  His college production is marginal when compared to his talent and that appears to be why the PFF draft simulator allowed me to pick  Winfrey at this point in the second round.   There is a good chance he's not still there at forty-four.

    Third round (78)

    Alec Pierce, WR Cincinnati.  6'3", 208 lbs.   RAS 9.8

    At a third round price, Pierce offers an intriguing combination of size, athleticism and intelligence.  Pierce has experience both outside and in the slot and possesses all of the metrics to be a solid number two or "big slot" receiver who could develop into more.  He may be a little redundant of DPJ, however. 

    Third round (99)

    Jeremy Ruckert, TE Ohio State  6'5", 250 lbs.  RAS Unknown

    After putting Austin Hooper out to pasture and with Kevin Stefanski's love of 12 and 13 personnel, a tight end is on tap in the draft -- although maybe not this high.   The tight end has never been a featured pass-catching position at Ohio State and Ruckert had few opportunities.   When he did, however, he made the most out of them showcasing athletic prowess and excellent hands.   Ruckert is also an accomplished blocker, which will help fill a role different from Harrison Bryant.

    Fourth round (118)

    Khalil Shakir, WR  Boise State  6'0, 190 lbs.  RAS 8.01

    With a need to upgrade the receiving corps, the Browns can afford to double down at the receiver position.  Shakir projects as a versatile slot receiver who should immediately compete to replace Jarvis Landry if Landry isn't resigned and no high-quality veteran replacement is added to the fold.  

    Sixth round (202)

    Thayer Munford, OG Ohio State  6'6" 320 lbs.  RAS 6.61

    A massive human being that has college experience playing guard and tackle.   An okay athlete who probably best projects as a right tackle, but can offer position versatility.  As the salary cap escalates it will be difficult to keep Teller, Bitonio and Conklin together.   The Browns need to keep taking swings while they still have Bill Callahan to coach these guys up.

    Seventh round (223)

    Derion Kendrick, CB Georgia  6'0"  205 lbs.  RAS ?

     A former Clemson wide receiver who has second-day draft selection traits as a nickel corner, but some skeletons in his closet.   Like Richard Lecounte who the Browns took late in the draft last year, Kendrick also did not run well at his pro day.   For some reason he gained 11 pounds between the combine weigh in and his pro day (194 to 205) and ran a plodding forty time in the 4.7's (Lecounte ran in the 4.8's causing his fall).   At this point in the draft, the Browns can afford to take a chance on a guy with some character concerns and who will slip in the draft based on some testing issues.   

    A team can never have enough guys who can cover and it is hard to believe that a former five star wide receiver is really as slow as Kendrick tested during his pro day.

    Seventh round (246)

    Logan Bruss, OT Wisconsin  6'5" 318 lbs.  RAS 8.73

    Bruss posted an impressive RAS of 8.73, showing that he is athletic.   While he probably does not have the foot speed to handle NFL edge rushers on a consistent basis, he may offer position flexibility as an NFL back up who can play both inside and outside and with improved technique may even have the opportunity to develop as a swing tackle.  Rinse and repeat what I said earlier about Bill Callahan and the long term cap ramifications of paying Watson along with the Browns' veteran, highly compensated offensive line as currently constituted.   We like our linemen from Wisconsin here as well.  

    Cleveland Browns 2022 7 round mock draft - version 1 Cleveland Browns 2022 7 round mock draft - version 1 Reviewed by AT Dawgger on 12:14 PM Rating: 5

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