The 2020 Cleveland Browns reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season and won their first playoff game since the 1994 season with a 48-37 wild card win over their division rivals, the Steelers. All this came with star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr missing the back half of the season on injured reserve with a knee injury and the team under the direction of first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski (although not for the playoff win, which he watched from home due to COVID protocols). All this to say the Browns made major strides as a franchise in 2020, and will look to continue that growth with the 26th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
“In general, how I view the draft is we really go into the mindset of really trying to maximize the long-term impact on our roster,” general manager Andrew Berry said this month. “It is less about filling a need or some level of instant gratification on the roster and more about a longer-term focus on the team. That all being said, I like where we are picking, and not just at 26, but at 59, 89, 91, 110 and so forth. There are plenty of opportunities where we can add young players who can grow with us over the next several years. To your question about moving off of the pick, I think the positioning in this draft allows us to be very flexible, whether that is moving up, down or sitting and picking. Largely, that will be dictated by how the board falls ahead of us. I think we have a lot of flexibility going into Thursday night.”
The Browns also have the pressure of making picks in front of a hometown audience, with Cleveland hosting this year’s draft.
“I am going to guess a quiet Thursday night would not be popular amongst this audience,” Berry said. “I will tell you that I am comfortable if we pick, I am comfortable if we move out, and I am comfortable if we move up. Largely, it depends on circumstance.”
Click here for the entire 2021 NFL Draft order
Cleveland Browns 2021 NFL Draft Picks:
- Round 1: No. 26
- Round 2: No. 59
- Round 3: No. 89
- Round 3: No. 91
- Round 4: No. 110
- Round 4: No. 132
- Round 5: No. 169
- Round 6: No. 211
- Round 7: No. 257
Click here to see all of Cleveland’s picks in the 2020 NFL Draft