CLEVELAND, Ohio – It’s the final week for mock drafts because the real NFL Draft begins on Thursday. And if you thought draft analysts should’ve come to some sort of consensus on the Browns’ first-round pick by now, well, prepare to be disappointed.
As has been the case throughout the last couple months, mock drafts are all over the place with the Browns and the 26th overall pick. Edge defender, linebacker, defensive tackle and wide receiver are all represented.
Here’s a roundup, including what analysts had to say about their Browns choices.
ZAVEN COLLINS, LB, TULSA
Rhett Lewis, NFL.com: I could see another edge rusher joining Myles Garrett and the newly signed Jadeveon Clowney, but Collins’ frame and coverage ability might be too much to pass up. Collins’ 96-yard, walk-off pick-six in Tulsa’s overtime win over Tulane is a glimpse into his big-play ability. This pick gives the Browns bona fide studs at all three levels of their defense.
Danny Kelly, The Ringer: Don’t look now, but the Browns have a pretty talented roster with few glaring needs. If there’s one spot that needs more talent and depth, though, it’s the team’s linebacker corps. Collins doesn’t fit the mold of a typical linebacker in the NFL today – he reportedly weighed in at 270 pounds at the NFL’s combine medical checks – but he’s not your average off-ball ‘backer. The former Tulsa star could wear any number of different hats for the Browns, playing the run on one play while lining up on the edge on the next.
CHRISTIAN BARMORE, DL, ALABAMA
Patrik Walker, CBS Sports: Sheldon Richardson is out and Jadeveon Clowney is in, but Clowney hasn’t racked up many sacks lately. Adding Barmore to bolster the interior will help, along with the fact Myles Garrett will be present and accounted for. Barmore has received inconsistent grading as a first-round grab, but the late 20s is widely regarded as the beginning of the second round, even if not officially — making this a great spot to take him.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: The Browns’ late acquisition of Jadeveon Clowney eases their need for edge or outside linebacker help to support Myles Garrett, so they can now focus on a quick inside disruptor who had a dominant College Football Playoff.
JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH, LB, NOTRE DAME
Peter King, NBC Sports: (King proposes a trade, with the Browns moving up to 21 and sending the Colts the 26th pick and a third-rounder). So everyone wants to sideline-to-sideling playmaking ability of Devin White. Owusu-Koramoah isn’t Devin White (15 pounds lighter), but he has some of White’s traits. The Golden-Domer is rangy (he played a rover position in the Irish D) and made first-team all-America last season, dropping in coverage, rushing and being a complete playmaker at the second level on defense.
LEVI ONWUZURIKE, DT, WASHINGTON
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: The recent release of Sheldon Richardson made the defensive tackle spot an even bigger need for the Browns. Onwuzurike’s game is a nice combination of Richardson’s and that of Larry Ogunjobi, who departed via free agency. Onwuzurike’s quickness off the snap is excellent, and he can also utilize his low center of gravity to hold the line in the run game.
MICAH PARSONS, LB, PENN STATE
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Parsons, a top-5 talent, falls to 26 because of maturity concerns. If all that is behind him, he will be a Day 1 impact player.
KADARIUS TONEY, WR, FLORIDA
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Gotta be a linebacker or some other player on defense for the Browns. Right. Right?! Not necessarily. Both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry have hit the 30-year-old mark, and Toney is an athletic offensive weapon.
JOSEPH OSSAI, EDGE, TEXAS
A.J. Schulte, Pro Football Network: Joseph Ossai just turned 21 years old this month and is a freaky athlete, boasting unique explosiveness. Ossai is an excellent run defender who has shown an ability to drop into coverage as well at times. The Browns struggled to put pressure on defenses down the stretch, and I can’t see them wanting to run the risk of that again this season.
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