The NFL announced on Friday that the 2021 Draft, scheduled to take place in Cleveland from April 29 to May 1, will go on as planned.
In addition, teams will be allowed to utilize their draft rooms that weekend, so that means team general managers can get out of the basement, or whichever room they used, when the 2020 NFL Draft was held as a virtual event.
As for the live draft April 29-May 1 in Cleveland -- yes, it's still on as of now, with safety precautions obviously in place there as well. https://t.co/4yrTK37ppR— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 12, 2021
Teams are required to submit their draft plans by March 26 so that they can be approved by Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Teams must still follow safety precautions, including social distancing and using masks, but otherwise they should be good to go.
As for the events in Cleveland, the league is working out the details for holding the draft with David Gilbert, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, according to Mary Kay Cabot at cleveland.com.
There is still a lot to do, but league spokesman Brian McCarthy told Cabot that the league “anticipates being onsite” in Cleveland for draft weekend.
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 in front of the hometown fans.
Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU: The Browns are oddly complete on offense and could end up going with the best player available on defense. Luckily for them, that player is Trevon Moehrig, who fills a significant need at safety. Moehrig is an all-around safety with the ability to stay deep in centerfield, play in the half-field and sometimes come down and cover slot receivers. Browns safeties earned the worst cumulative grade in the league last season at 48.2. Moehrig led the country in pass breakups over the previous two seasons from the safety position.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame: The Browns upgrade the linebacker position with a fast and physical player. Owusu-Koramoah may be a tweener but will be able to cover those hybrid tight ends and big slot receivers.
Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma: The Browns get a steal. I grade Ronnie Perkins higher than just about anyone; he’s the 16th-ranked player on my big board and the top pass rusher.
Jayson Oweh, DE Penn State: The Browns need to address their pass-rush situation opposite Myles Garrett with Olivier Vernon and Larry Ogunjobi about to make their defensive line thinner in free agency. The courting of aging J.J. Watt aside, Oweh is the classic freakish athlete in the Pierre-Paul mode who has the potential to be an explosive and productive rusher for a long time, even if he must produce situationally at first.
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State: Parson’s fall ends, and the Browns love that he boosts the off-ball linebacker group and the team’s pass rush with one pick.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame: This is a fit that makes a lot of sense with the Browns needing help in the secondary. Owusu-Koramoah is listed as a linebacker, but he’s a glorified safety. Making plays from his natural rover spot, his athleticism combined with his ability to blitz and cover will be coveted in the team’s secondary.
Zaven Collins, LB, TCU: I’ve now placed Collins with Cleveland in three straight mock drafts, and it just makes sense. If the Browns truly want to contend for a Super Bowl, they need another pass-rusher opposite Myles Garrett, and Collins has a stellar closing burst. And he can cover, as evidenced by his four interceptions last season. I could also see Cleveland looking at safety if Trevon Moehrig is still available.
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
Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma
Jayson Oweh, DE Penn State
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Other (say who in the comments)