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Browns look solid in’s three-round mock draft

Team fills a need and adds a sure fan favorite in Chad Reuter’s pre-free agency mock draft.

NCAA Football: Houston at Navy Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns will be in unfamiliar territory when the 2019 NFL Draft opens on April 25 in Nashville.

Not only are the Browns no longer in need of a quarterback, but the team will not be picking at (or near) the top of the draft for the first time in several years. The Browns currently hold the No. 17 overall selection, and with each team being allowed to take up to 10 minutes to make their selection in the first round, opening night will be a late one for Browns fans.

But that patience will be rewarded if the draft plays out the way that’s Chad Reuter’s predicts in his latest three-round mock draft.

Starting with Round 1, Reuter has the Browns filling a need on the defensive line:

No. 17: Cleveland Browns - Ed Oliver, DE, Houston - Oliver’s combine performance is key to his draft stock. If he is longer and bigger than expected, then he will go high. If not, he will end up a mid-first-round bargain for someone willing to trust the film more than than the tape measure.

If Oliver is still on the board when the Browns pick at No. 17 (he won’t be, but this is the season for pleasant fantasies), a Browns staff member will likely pull a hamstring running the pick to the podium.

Oliver, who is 6-foot-2 and 287 pounds, was an Outland Trophy as a sophomore as well as a finalist for the Nagurski Award. He was the American Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year that season after posting 73 tackles, 16.5 for loss and five-and-a-half sacks.

A knee injury limited Oliver in 2018, but he still made eight starts and led the Cougars with 14.5 tackles for loss and posting three sacks.

According to The Draft Network, Oliver is:

one of the most athletic interior defensive linemen I’ve ever scouted. Has movement skills and agility that are just off the charts. Makes plays away from his initial gap that are jaw-dropping. Range of a linebacker. First step to beat anyone. Explosive and sudden in all his movements, easily able to redirect and keep blockers off balance. Always plays low and leveraged, with elite pad level and hand placement to drive through opponents. Creates an insane push off the snap and typically re-sets the line of scrimmage. Power to bull rush and the quickness to win the edge. Excellent bend to turn tight corners to the quarterback. Can backdoor gaps and still make plays. Incredible motor and will chase down plays from everywhere. Never takes a play off. Gets in on stops other defensive tackles couldn’t dream of being a part of.

NCAA Football: Tulane at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

With a playmaker added to the defensive line, Reuter turns his attention to the offense with a selection that would thrill a certain subset of Browns fans:

No. 49: Cleveland Browns - Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State - Campbell stays in Ohio to use his speed and improving route-running skills for the Baker Mayfield-led offense.

Campbell exploded his final season in Columbus, catching 90 passes for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns. That far exceeded his production from his first three years, when he combined for just 53 receptions, 705 yards and three touchdowns.

According to The Draft Network, Campbell:

projects best as a swiss army knife at the NFL level. His speed can be game-breaking and his ability to create missed tackles will hold value in the quick game and as a screen receiver. That said, Campbell’s play speed doesn’t translate to the rest of his routes, making him somewhat one dimensional as a receiver going forward. Look for Campbell to play special teams and be a package specific weapon during his NFL career.

Campbell needs a lot of work, but it is easy to envision head coach Freddie Kitchens and quarterback Baker Mayfield figuring out how to get the most out of Campbell’s skill set.

NCAA Football: Air Force at San Diego State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Moving on to the third round, Reuter uses Cleveland’s first selection to add depth to the offensive line:

No. 80: Cleveland Browns - Tyler Roemer, OT, San Diego State - Signing Greg Robinson to a one-year deal to play left tackle made sense. However, finding a future starter like Roemer (albeit with some baggage) in the mid-third may be too much value for GM John Dorsey to pass up.

Roemer, a 6-foot-6, 312-pound redshirt sophomore, was suspended from the San Diego State team with two games remaining in the 2018 season for violating team rules. That led him to enter the NFL Draft.

After redshirting his freshman year, Roemer made 13 starts in 2017 and played well enough to be named to the USA Today Freshman All-American team and was a second-team selection to the All-Mountain West team.

Roemer might have a future in the NFL, but he has a lot of work to do, according to The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak:

But to call Roemer toolsy might even be too ambitious, at this juncture of his career. That length is great, but Roemer is wanting for mass all along his 6-foot-7 frame. His upper body is a bit undeveloped, though he still has good torsion strength; his lower body is critically underdeveloped, and it shows when he attempts to uproot and displace defensive linemen on down blocks and double-teams. He also lacks an anchor in pass protection to handle strong bull rushers, given his upright stance and natural leverage disadvantage.

And even if you want to gamble on the tools, Roemer’s technique and mental processing in pass protection makes him a liability in any sort of starting role. Without many starts under his belt, and a team suspension to boot that led to his early declaration, Roemer regularly loses to inside counters, stunts, and blitzes, as he loses post foot discipline and panics when presented with pressure.

Everyone know’s that Dorsey loves giving players a second chance, but selecting Roemer this high seems like a reach that even Dorsey would not embrace.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Reuter turns his attention back to the defense to close out the Browns’ final selection of the third round:

No. 95: Cleveland Browns - Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State - Layne has intriguing size. Displaying agility and speed at the combine will push him up draft boards.

Layne went to Michigan State as a wide receiver after being an All-Ohio selection his senior year at Cleveland’s Benedictine High School. He switched to defensive back during his freshman season, and became a full-time starter in 2017. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection that season and then was a second-team all-conference selection as a junior.

According to NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein, Layne is an:

Ascending bump-and-run cornerback with rare size and length who leans on good movement skills to overcome his average long speed. Although he plays with good route recognition, he’ll allow some separation from breaks, but he’s quick to hug-up and close the restrict the throwing window. He’s not a burner, but he uses his size ball skills to make plays on the football down the field. Layne’s traits could make him a fit in a variety of coverages, but he needs consistent toughness to help support against the run.

There is some speculation that Layne has the talent to be a second-round pick, so whether or not he will be available at the bottom of the third round is debatable.

What do you think Browns fans? If the Browns close out the first three rounds of the draft with these players, would you be pleased?