In any other year, the NFL would be descending on Indianapolis this month for the annual Scouting Combine.
That will not be the case this year, of course, as the league previously announced modifications to the combine because of COVID-19 precautions.
The changes include:
- All on-field workouts will be conducted during on-campus pro days
- All interviews with draft prospects will be conducted virtually
- Most of the medical exams will take place at medical facilities near a player’s college campus, and follow up interviews with teams will take place virtually
As the early episodes of Building the Browns that focused on last year’s virtual draft revealed, general manager Andrew Berry and his front office are set up very well to navigate a virtual world, so the changes should not negatively impact the Browns as they prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Browns will be selecting at No. 26 in the opening round of the draft, so let’s take a quick run through some mock drafts to discover who could hear their name called when the Browns are on the clock.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame: An elite athlete with some of the best pure explosiveness in the class, Owusu-Koromoah can quickly become one of the league’s best coverage linebackers if he continues to develop at the position. He excelled in coverage while playing a bulk majority of his snaps split between the box and slot cornerback positions.
Joe Tryon, DE, Washington: Tryon opted out of the 2020 season, but he had really strong 2019 tape. Cleveland adds the former Washington pass rusher to complement Myles Garrett.
Jaelan Phillips, DE Miami: This offseason for Cleveland needs to be about their defense. The Browns could go several ways on that side of the ball early in the draft. Myles Garrett is a superstar, but Olivier Vernon is 30 years old and set to become a free agent. Jaelan Phillips makes a ton of sense here for the Browns.
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa: The Browns have Myles Garrett anchoring their defensive line and Denzel Ward leading their secondary. They could use some complementary pieces there, but they also were short on playmaking on the second level. Collins explodes as an athlete and can make a lot of plays with his agility, quickness and range. Joe Woods would love his skill set.
Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State: The knock on Jayson Oweh is lack of production – not a single sack last season – but his testing and measurements will be off the charts. Combine that with his size, and there’s no way he isn’t going in the first round.
Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington: Onwuzurike opted out in 2020 but flashed consistently during his one day of practice at the Senior Bowl last month. He needs to play with more consistency, but he has the type of potential that could translate to being a difference-maker in the middle of a young defense in Cleveland that will only get better in ‘21.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame: Myles Garrett is one of the best players in all of football. He is dominant just about every play, but outside of him, Cleveland doesn’t really have another difference-maker along their front seven. Adding Owusu-Koramoah as a second-level defender behind Garrett would give this defense some much-needed speed and athleticism at the linebacker position.
What do you think, Browns fans? Does one of the players mocked to the Browns get you going? Or do you have your eye on someone else?
Let us know in the following poll and have your say in the comments.
Who should the Browns select in the first round?
This poll is closed
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Joe Tryon, DE, Washington
Jaelan Phillips, DE Miami
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State
Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
Other (say who in the comments)