Welcome back to Mock Draft Wednesday! The 2020 NFL Draft may still be 71 days away, but here at WFNY, we will continue to have every Wednesday morning be filled with a mock draft of some sort. This week’s edition is the Mock Draft Roundup, which gives you a variety of different mock drafts on the interweb, showing you, Cleveland Browns fans, the direction your favorite NFL team will likely lean towards in the upcoming draft.
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.
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):
ESPN’s Todd McShay: OT Josh Jones, Houston
I hadn’t seen enough of Jones before he dominated the trenches all week at the Senior Bowl, but he is a 6-foot-7 behemoth with tons of athleticism. Greg Robinson’s one-year deal is up, and there’s an open spot on the left side of that Cleveland line. Quarterback Baker Mayfield somewhat quietly turned it around in the second half, and it’s no coincidence that it came with an improvement in pass protection for the Browns. Buy Mayfield some time and you can bet Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. will find a way to get open. Louisville’s Mekhi Becton and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas are also potential choices here, but I really like Jones’ potential.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
With an analytically driven front office and approach to player acquisition, it is anyone’s guess who the Browns might favor with this pick. But there is no denying the team’s dire need to upgrade the offensive tackle depth chart and Wirfs was one of the highest-graded pass protectors in college football last season.
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Becton played only left tackle for the first time this past season after flip-flopping from left to right based on the formation his freshman and sophomore seasons. His play took a massive step forward with an 81.3 overall grade. He’s still very raw, but you can’t coach someone to be 6-foot-7, 369 pounds and move the way he does.
CBS’ R.J. White: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Browns are in a great position to address their biggest need and improve Baker Mayfield’s protection, as there are four tackles potentially worthy of being top 10 picks. Thomas is a nice blend of experience and upside at left tackle.
CBS’ Ryan Wilson: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
The Browns have their (next) coach in Kevin Stefanski, whose job now entails getting this talented group to play like a team. Making his job easier: Landing the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the country; Kinlaw thought about coming out last year but returned to South Carolina where he had a stellar season, and then capped it off with an even better week of practice at the Senior Bowl.
CBS’ Chris Trapasso: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Thomas is a road-grader for the run game and improved his footwork in 2019 to become sound in pass protection thanks to his overwhelming power and dancing-bear-like qualities in his kick slide
Walter Football’s Walter Cherepinsky: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
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. At 6-foot-7, 340 pounds, Mekhi Becton is a massive human being. Despite his size, however, Becton is athletic and flexible. He projects similarly to Cordy Glenn.
Walter Football’s Charlie Campbell: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam enjoyed going 1-31 so much that he brought back Andrew Berry to help reproduce that magic with holdover fraud Paul Depodesta. Thus, Cleveland will shy away from drafting good football players like Denzel Ward or Nick Chubb in favor of prospects who score well in analytics. Fortunately for their fans, the Browns may not be able to screw up their first-round pick if they draft one of the top three offensive tackles, as Andrew Thomas, Mekhi Becton, and Jedrick Wills are all safe picks to be good pros.
Becton (6-7, 369) is a massive blocker who is a good athlete for his size. For the next level, it would help him to trim some weight and get in better condition. Becton has weight issues, and some teams have medical concerns with him relating to his back. However, some team sources have said he is extremely talented with a ton of upside. They say Becton has freak show athletic ability for a player of his size, calling him a more athletic version of Trent Brown. They think Becton could be a franchise left tackle, and some sources believe he could end up going as top-16 selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
With the new analytics-driven front office running the ship, it’s tough to know exactly which direction the Browns will go. But I do think offensive line help is a must at multiple spots, and new OL coach Bill Callahan loves players who can engage power. So while I could easily see Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs here, I also couldn’t resist pairing up the powerful, nasty and surprisingly agile (for a 350-pounder) Becton.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
TRADE: Las Vegas sends pick Nos. 12, 80, and a 2021 second-rounder to Cleveland for pick No. 10
Once again, the Browns have a new general manager and head coach, and they could take advantage of the draft’s offensive tackle depth and move down while getting extra picks. Whether it’s Wills, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, or Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, they should be able to find a starting tackle in this range.
NFL Mocks’ A.J. Fagerlin: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
The need is clear for the Cleveland Browns. Offensive tackle. Plain and simple. That’s it. Sure, an impressive defensive player like Simmons or Brown may be tempting if they fall to 10, but Cleveland absolutely needs to address their offensive line.
Tristan Wirfs primarily played right tackle for the Iowa Hawkeyes but did see some time at left tackle as well. While some believe Wirfs fits best as a guard at the next level due to his length, I believe he has what it takes to fit perfectly as a tackle in new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski’s offense.
Wirfs has the frame for a tackle and the nimble feet as well. He is dominant in the run game which is what he will need to do in Stefanski’s zone run scheme. He is very physical and plays through the whistle. While still improving his technique as a true pass blocker, he has all the physical traits and attributes necessary to succeed.
There are a lot of tackle prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft that are rather similar in play style. While there may not be your prototypical franchise left tackle, blindside protector prospect in this class, there are a lot of guys that perform well as pass blockers and dominate in the run game.
There are probably five different tackles that the Browns could consider with this pick depending on how the draft plays out and Wirfs may be the best fit. He could stay at right tackle, move to left tackle or there is even the fail-safe of him filling in as a high-level right guard if need be. At 10, Tristan Wirfs is step one to fill the gaping holes in the Browns offensive line.
Fantasy Pros’ Kyle Yates: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Browns fell apart last season and we are now seeing yet another HC/GM combination in Cleveland. The first order of business though for this team will be to retool this Offensive Line. Baker Mayfield simply didn’t trust the guys who were blocking for him last year and this led to a lot of early bailouts that put plays off schedule. Andrew Thomas isn’t the top-tier prospect that some initially made him out to be, but he’s still a darn good football player. The Browns “reach” a bit here to ensure they get the last of the top Offensive Tackles as they work to make sure Mayfield’s comfortable in the pocket in 2020.
Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Hanson: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Cleveland could be in the market to upgrade both tackle spots. Left tackle Greg Robinson was briefly benched midseason and is a free agent again while right tackle Chris Hubbard graded out as PFF’s 76th-best offensive tackle (out of 81 qualifiers) last season. A three-year starter at Georgia, Thomas has experience at both left tackle (2018 and 2019) and right tackle (2017).
Draftwire’s Luke Easterling: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
There’s no denying the amount of talent this offense has at the skill positions, but it’ll be all for naught if the Browns don’t improve their offensive line in a big way this offseason. Wills has been a fast riser throughout this season, and could easily be off the board by this pick. If he’s not, he’d be the perfect blend of need and value for Cleveland.
Drafttek’s Austin Smith: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Another week, another mock draft and another offensive tackle to the Browns. I’ve made no secret about my displeasure for the play of the offensive line this past season, and between the two Tackle positions and Rght Guard, they are desperate for upgrades. The way this class is shaping up, I don’t see a scenario where Cleveland can’t get their hands on a Tackle here at ten that fits the value of where they are picking. Two weeks ago, I had them selecting Andrew Thomas, who would step in and start right away on the left side. Last week, it was Jedrick Wills who was penciled into the tenth selection as one of the most physical Right Tackles in this class, and a guy that could eventually prove worthy of playing on the left.
With both off the board, I am going with Wirfs, who is a textbook fit at Right Tackle. While I had my questions about the former-Hawkeye entering the season, he took his game to another level as a junior. Wirfs played with much better balance, making him that much more accurate with his hands. The weight-room warrior trusted his athleticism more in his pass sets, and looked like a more confident player in general. The truth is any of those three could wind up being the pick at ten, and it would fit both need and value. Obviously, I’d love to fill the vacancy at Left Tackle as opposed to having to take a player that fits better on the left, but I’m not willing to reach for a player like Houston’s Josh Jones or Louisville’s Mekhi Becton. Both are extremely talented, but also come with far more concerns than any of the top three players I mentioned.
Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Browns have an amazing set of skill players around Baker Mayfield, but their pass protection was the reason they were slow to find their explosiveness early in 2019. That will change with run-tilted and offensive-minded new coach Kevin Stefanski. Thomas matches great size (6-5, 320 pounds) with good hands and footwork. Stefanski also will love what Thomas can do to open holes for the running game.
NFL Spin Zone’s Cody Williams: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
There were a multitude of issues with the Cleveland Browns this past season, many of which started with head coach Freddie Kitchens. As poorly as Baker Mayfield played, among other things, the head coach sunk many of the opportunities this team had. If you’re looking at personnel, however, Mayfield wasn’t the biggest issue but rather the guys protecting him, who were downright awful as a group.
That’s why the Browns use the No. 10 overall pick here to take Tristan Wirfs out of Iowa. Not only is he phenomenal as a mover that can play effectively on the edge in space but there is also the potential to move him inside should they need to do so. Subsequently, he’s the answer to anything this offensive line could need and would be an upgrade at almost any position he’s fit to play.
To make it easier for 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: