What a weird time it truly is. Sports or not, this is an unprecedented time in our world. Even with essentially every sport in the world coming to a halt, the NFL is still doing the best they can to give sports fans something to look forward to. First, it was the NFL Free Agency period. Now, it’s the NFL Draft. Instead of front office personnel meeting in their respective “war rooms” ahead of and during the draft, they will be forced to stay in their own homes, meeting virtually with the rest of their team’s front office members. That also means players won’t be in attendance for the draft or even be able to hold a party for it, rather just be with their family (and less than 10 people altogether). In a time that has been filled with plenty of unprecedented changes, the upcoming NFL Draft will definitely be one of those.
With no Pro Days taking place at colleges throughout the country, game film and the combine will be counted on much more than ever before. As a whole, this virtual draft will be weird and more interesting than ever. It may no longer be in Las Vegas, but the NFL Draft is still vitally important for each of the 32 teams in the league, including the Cleveland Browns. With that, 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 Todd McShay: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
The Browns brought in Jack Conklin in free agency, but they still need a left tackle opposite the former Titan. Wills played the right side at Alabama, but he is versatile enough to make the transition and continue Cleveland’s process in getting Baker Mayfield more protection. Louisville’s Mekhi Becton is another tackle to watch here.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
The Browns somehow get lucky enough to find the top offensive tackle still on the board at No. 10 overall.
Alabama’s Jedrick Wills may have started at right tackle for the Crimson Tide, but he has the athleticism to easily slide to the left side and protect the blind side of Baker Mayfield. Wills is a finisher with awesome NFL-ready technique and the power to handle whatever type of pass rush is thrown at him.
He is a clean projection and ready to step right into an NFL offense.
CBS’ Ryan Wilson: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Cleveland gets its left tackle of the future. The Browns selected a Thomas who played offensive tackle in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft; that career ended with Hall of Fame credentials. The hope is that a similar fate awaits the franchise.
CBS’ Will Brinson: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
How do the Browns not go with an offensive lineman here? They need to keep protecting Baker Mayfield, even after signing Jack Conklin this offseason.
CBS’ Chris Trapasso: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Be prudent here, Browns. Thomas is a monster at left tackle with tentacles for arms and loads of power. He’s an ascending pass protector too.
CBS’ Jordan Dajani: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
The Browns need help at offensive tackle. If two already go in the top nine like I project, Becton will make it three in the top 10.
CBS’ Jeff Kerr: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
The Browns send a “thank you” card to the Jaguars for taking Jeudy, as that enables them to land Wirfs. They solidify the right side of the line with Wirfs and Jack Conklin , as Cleveland can plug Wirfs at guard to start before an eventual move to tackle if they find another answer on the blindside this offseason.
CBS’ Tom Fornelli: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Same story as the Cardinals here in that I’m not sure which OT the Browns prefer, but I’m convinced an OT will go here.
Sports Illustrated’s Matt De Lima: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The timing just never felt right for Baker Mayfield last season. He seems like a timing guy. Of course, he can scramble and make plays; you can’t take that away from him. He also needs to be able to “one-two-three and sling it,” for lack of a better term. Thomas can come right in on the blindside and in time, have a long, purposeful career like former Browns legend Joe Thomas. Here’s what Browns Maven Pete Smith had to say about Thomas.
Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Hanson: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
If Simmons is still on the board here, the Browns should run their pick up to the virtual podium. The converted safety won the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate linebacker, but he’s a defensive chess piece that has lined up nearly everywhere. Testing off the charts by running a 4.39 in the 40 at 238 pounds, Simmons has sideline-to-sideline range and playmaking ability.
Sports Illustrated’s Jaime Eisner: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Continuing the theme of an offseason filled with more steak than sizzle (contrary to their previous offseason), the Browns get the left tackle they really need here. Thomas’ experience in a pro-style offense should aid his quick transition into a starting role in 2020. Here’s what Browns Maven Pete Smith had to say about Thomas.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar: OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State
TRADE: The Jets trade pick Nos. 11 and 68 to the Jaguars for pick No. 9
Trades in front of them could really doom the Browns. If they see four offensive tackles go ahead of them, a trade back makes sense. It gives the Browns an extra second-round pick, though it means passing on Simmons. But considering how badly the Browns need a left tackle, any other position is a tough sell. There’s some strategy behind the choice of Ezra Cleveland. He’s an exceptionally athletic offensive tackle, something an analytics-driven front office has to realize.
USA Today’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Emphasizing stability over flash, Cleveland’s new regime has made it clear it wants to employ a steady approach toward building its roster and supporting Baker Mayfield. That might lead them to Thomas, an experienced blocker who has already handled an assortment of pro-level pass rushers.
Cleveland.com’s Tim Bielik: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Browns need to leave the first day of the NFL draft with a left tackle. They will likely either trade for Trent Williams or take the best offensive tackle available. The latter seems more likely. And in this case, the best tackle remaining is Thomas.
He has a good combination of technical ability and power. That’s a good base for a good offensive line coach like Bill Callahan to build on. It may be an adjustment for him to play in a zone-blocking scheme. But Thomas has plenty of talent that should help him succeed in any scheme.
NFL.com’s Charles Davis: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
The Browns add to a tremendous free agency haul by drafting the massive Becton to complement the recently signed Jack Conklin at the tackle spots.
NFL.com’s Peter Schrager: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
The Browns have a glaring need at tackle, and Becton could be the best of the entire bunch. The dominant run blocker is compared to Trent Brown and Bryant McKinnie due to his massive size ( 6-7, 364 pounds), and yet, he’s still fairly nimble and can run (5.1 40-yard dash!). The Browns have all those weapons; they need to protect their quarterback.
Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
The Browns took care of right tackle in free agency with Jack Conklin signed to replace Chris Hubbard. Here they can get a massive upgrade from Greg Robinson on Baker Mayfield’s blindside. Wirfs has the athleticism at 6-5, 320 pounds to hold down left tackle for a long time. He combines his pass-blocking skills with power and physicality in the running game.
Walter Football’s Walter Cherepinsky: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
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.
Jedrick Wills is a quick and athletic tackle who has the strength to open up huge running lanes. Several teams absolutely love him, so he’ll likely be chosen earlier than most expect.
Walter Football’s Charlie Campbell: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Cleveland lost Joe Schobert in free agency, and Simmons’ amazing workout numbers should appeal to the team’s analytic approach.
In 2019, Simmons totaled 104 tackles with seven sacks, one forced fumble, three interceptions and eight passes broken up. He collected 89 tackles with six passes broken up and one interception in 2018.
The 6-foot-4, 238-pound Simmons is a sideline-to-sideline run defender who is fast and physical. He has good instincts and is a hard hitter. Simmons has rare pass-coverage skills and will be a dynamic weapon in the passing game. In zone coverage, Simmons covers a lot of ground, and he shows the ability to play man coverage on tight ends down the seam and running backs out of the backfield. Simmons even ran with slot receivers during the 2019 season. On top of being an asset in coverage, Simmons is very capable to contribute to the pass rush as he is a dangerous blitzer. Simmons is a tough run defender who flies around the field and is a physical tackler. His best fit for the NFL would come as a Will linebacker. Team sources have been raving about Simmons for years.
Fantasy Pro’s Mike Tagliere: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Many will wonder why the Browns don’t take Mekhi Becton here, but they need someone who is a starter right away. Not that Becton can’t be, but he’s considered much greener than Thomas is. I’ve said before that Thomas is my favorite tackle in this draft and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the first one off the board, even if there’s not a whole lot of buzz around him.
Fantasy Pro’s Bobby Sylvester: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Browns are in the Trent Williams sweepstake and may end up dealing Odell Beckham so don’t be surprised if they don’t end up with a pick at 1.10. If they do, you can almost lock them in for one of the top four offensive tackles.
NFL Mock’s Ian Higgins: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Possibly the offensive tackle with the highest floor in the 2020 NFL Draft class, Andrew Thomas proved to be a consistent presence as both a pass protector for Jake Fromm and a run blocker for D’Andre Swift.
At 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, Thomas has the physical tools to compete as an offensive tackle and provide consistent production on the edge. He may not be as specialized as the mammoth Becton or pass specialty Wills, but Thomas is a well-rounded tackle who will be able to both protect Baker Mayfield and set the edge for Nick Chubb at a position currently severely lacking talent in Cleveland.
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):
Here are the totals from all of the NFL Mock Draft Roundups combined:
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: