The Super Bowl might be Sunday, but unfortunately for the Dawg Pound, we all know that for much of the last 20 years, the Cleveland Browns’ Super Bowl happens to be in April, not February. Since their return since 1999, the Browns’ Super Bowl has essentially been the NFL Draft every year. One day, the Browns will hopefully play (and win?) the Super Bowl, but succeeding in the draft is vitally important for that to happen.
So, with that said, the 2020 NFL Draft is just 85 days away and let’s be honest, it’s never too early to start talking about it, especially when it comes to mock drafts. With it being Mock Draft Wednesday here at WFNY, we’re back with our second Mock Draft Roundup of the offseason.
Even with the inevitable changes ahead, including following the NFL Scouting Combine and Pro Days, let’s take a look at the direction some mock drafts have the Browns going with the No. 10 pick in the first round. In case you don’t see some big-name analysts’ mocks, it’s due to them not have an updated one in the past week or so.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
This is a tough pick to project because the Browns don’t even have a general manager yet, but Cleveland’s clear weakness in 2019 was at left tackle. Greg Robinson was in and out of the starting lineup there and is now a free agent; he’s not the long-term answer. If the Browns can’t upgrade there in free agency, they should look to the draft. Becton, a 6-foot-7, 370-pound mountain of a man, is rising since he declared for the draft and scouts got a look at his 2019 film. He has great feet for his size and can plow through defenders in the running game. The last offensive tackle the Browns took in the first round? Joe Thomas at No. 3 overall in 2007. If Becton can come close to Thomas’ ceiling, new coach Kevin Stefanski could stick around a long time.
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Browns must upgrade their offensive tackle situation. Thomas has some areas for improvement, but he’ll be too tempting to pass up.
NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
The Browns need another rock-solid edge blocker in the starting lineup.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
After nearly a month, the Cleveland Browns finally have a new general manager: Andrew Berry. Now the question becomes whether or not he’ll hold at No. 10 or trade back. Regardless, the Browns need to come out of the first round with an offensive tackle. Becton is a hot name who could help bolster Cleveland’s rushing attack.
CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
At 6-foot-7 and 360 pounds, Becton is a mountain of a man, but he moves like someone who weighs more like 260, which pairs nicely with his footwork, balance and strength. The Browns have myriad problems, and fixing the offensive line is as good a place as any to start. Ultimately, this team’s success comes down to Baker Mayfield, but protecting him might make that a lot easier.
The Big Lead’s Ryan Phillips: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Cleveland’s top need is at offensive tackle and they find a good one here. Wirfs played right tackle for Iowa in 2019 and absolutely mauled the opposition. He might be able to shift to the left side at the next level, but if not, he’s still one of the best tackles in this year’s class. At 6-foot-5, 322 pounds, he has the size to be an anchor at either tackle position.
Athlon Sports’ Bryan Fischer: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Baker Mayfield’s regression had plenty to do with the coaching staff but just as much to do with a lackluster line trying to protect him. That tide can turn by bringing in Becton, who is “block out the sun” big yet can move to catch up with any edge rusher.
CBS’ Josh Edwards: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Browns fans have been concerned that an offensive tackle would not fall to them at No. 10 overall. There are now four offensive tackles drawing consideration at the top of the board. They will have an opportunity to upgrade protection for Baker Mayfield.
Walter Football: OT Austin Jackson, USC
Perhaps the Browns will think twice about entering the season with Greg Robinson as their left tackle. They desperately need help on the offensive line. Austin Jackson is a terrific athlete with quick feet and superb agility.
CBS’ Chris Trapasso: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Browns’ war room erupts with the board falling this way. Thomas will be the top offensive lineman for many teams in this draft,
Fox Sports’ Jason McIntyre: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The sneaky best positional coaching hire of the offseason could be Bill Callahan to run the Browns offensive line. Thomas will have to stave off some competition as the best lineman at the draft, but he makes all the sense to Cleveland.
Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Hanson: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Numerous factors led to the Browns falling short of their hype-filled preseason expectations including poor offensive line play. Cleveland could be in the market to upgrade both tackle spots. Left tackle Greg Robinson was briefly benched midseason and is again a free agent while right tackle Chris Hubbard graded out as PFF’s 76-best offensive tackle (out of 81 qualifiers) last season. A three-year starter at Georgia, Thomas has experience at both left tackle (2018 and ’19) and right tackle (’17).
Drafttek’s Austin Smith: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
For Browns’ fans, picking in the top 10 is a familiar feeling, although this year’s tenth-overall selection comes with more of a sting considering the lofty expectations coming into the 2019 season. The offense had collected an insane amount of talent, while the defense not only had a solid starting unit, but also quality depth in a number of areas. Everything was looking up for the Dawg Pound, yet here we stand. The hiring of Kevin Stefanski now gives us our third coach in three years, and the exit of John Dorsey means that still no Cleveland General Manager/Executive VP of Football Operations has lasted more than four years since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999. And at the risk of turning our brown eyes blue, I will remind everyone that the last two people to hold that latter title before the Cleveland franchise was shipped off to Baltimore, were future Hall of Famers, Ozzie Newsome and Bill Belichick.
So yes, there is still some residual pain at the idea of our top 2019 achievements being Nick Chubb losing the rushing title in the last week of the season, and the Browns’ shocking upset victory of Baltimore way back in Week Four. Yet we will likely over-remember Myles Garrett bashing Mason Rudolph upside the head with his own helmet, and Odell Beckham Jr. looking like Antonio Brown-lite with his constant, attention-starved stunts. Now, let’s talk about how easy it will be to fix this team. Stefanski is coming from a situation in Minnesota where he had a similar crop of talent on the offensive side of the ball. However, the glaring hole for Minnesota a year ago was the same culprit to Cleveland’s constant offensive struggles in 2019.
This offensive line was in the bottom portion of the league in nearly every category, with Baker Mayfield being near the top of the NFL at facing pressure. This group, and more specifically these tackles can’t be the anchor around this offense’s neck any longer. Jedrick Wills is coming off an incredible season at Alabama, with many believing he could be this year’s top player at the position. I am more fond of Andrew Thomas because he is a natural fit on the left, but Wills is everything a team could want in a Right Tackle, and with some work, could even hold up on the blind side.
FanSided’s Brad Weiss: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
If there was one team that came into the season with hype surrounding them, it was the Cleveland Browns, who spent big money on talent in the offseason. In addition, their second-year quarterback was all over the television appearing in ads, but unfortunately, all the hype did not translate into wins.
In fact, the Browns were one of the more disappointing teams in football this past season, and have already made the move to a new head coach. Kevin Stefanski will be getting his first NFL head coach job in 2020, and he made a smart move this week, bringing in former head coach Bill Callahan to be his offensive coordinator.
Still, no matter how many moves this team makes this offseason, they have to address the fact that Mayfield took a step back in 2019, and ran for his life for most of the season. At pick No. 10, they should bring in Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, who has the ability to start at left tackle right away at the NFL level, and this offensive line needs all the talent they can get.
247Sports’ Lance Cartelli: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Browns were in the mix for Redskins tackle Trent Williams — and they could deal for him in the offseason — but, for now, Cleveland selects the Georgia offensive lineman to block for Baker Mayfield.
To make it easier on you here are all of the players that were predicted to go to the Browns (and how many times they were):
Notice the trend? It’s obvious that the Browns are all but certainly going to take an offensive tackle with the 10th pick in April. The only question is who it will be?
What say you, Browns fans? Do you have a certain position(s) that you want the Browns to focus on early in the draft, specifically in the first round? Do you have a can’t-miss guy(s) that if they drop to No. 10, you want Cleveland to take and it would be considered a steal? Which position do you think they should focus on? If you had a perfect plan for the draft, specifically the first round, what would it consist of?
That said, if there is a certain mock draft(s) that you feel as though we should include in these, please let us know. The more mock drafts and predictions, the better.
Cody Suek’s mock drafts:
Mock Draft Roundups: