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Cleveland Browns NFL Draft Live Blog (Day 1) - Rumors, Picks, and More

All the latest news, rumors, and nuggets you need to know on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Cleveland Browns.

The 2021 NFL Draft officially begins for the Cleveland Browns and the rest of the teams in the NFL tonight at 8:00 PM ET. The mock drafts that are staff completed for the first round (and a few more of the Browns’ picks) can be found here.

We will have all of your Browns-related coverage on the draft here at Dawgs By Nature throughout the weekend. This thread will act as a “live blog,” with updates about the latest small rumors, picks, or trades involving Cleveland or other NFL teams. You should also use the comments section as your NFL Draft open thread! (Newest updates will be at the top of the live blog below)

Browns NFL Draft Live Blog

12:25 AM: Well done, Cleveland. Although I didn't get close to the action, I enjoyed my view and will be closer up on Saturday. Stay tuned for our live blogs on Days 2 & 3 of the draft, and go Browns!

12:21 AM: I always love seeing what Draw Play Dave comes up with for the Browns' pick:

12:10 AM: Here was my instant reaction to the pick:

11:24 PM: The Cleveland Browns select cornerback Greg Newsome II from Northwestern. Our write-up on the pick is here.

11:20 PM: The Jacksonville Jaguars select running back Travis Etienne from Clemson.

11:10 PM: The Pittsburgh Steelers select running back Najee Harris from Alabama.

11:07 PM: The Minnesota Vikings select offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw from Virginia Tech.

11 PM: The run on defense continues as the Tennessee Titans select cornerback Caleb Farley from Virginia Tech.

10:53 PM: Another defensive player comes off the board as the Indianapolis Colts select defensive end Kwity Paye from Michigan.

10:45 PM: New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is trying to make something out of quarterback Daniel Jones by selecting some help in wide receiver Kadarius Toney from Florida.

10:40 PM: Strike another player that had been mocked at times to the Browns, as Washington selects linebacker Jamin Davis from Kentucky.

10:34 PM: The Miami Dolphins keep it close to home by selecting defensive end Jaelan Phillips from Miami. Phillips was another player that some had mocked to the Browns, but there are still several defensive players on the board.

10:27 PM: The Las Vegas Raiders select offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood from Alabama.

10:20 PM: The Arizona Cardinals select linebacker Zaven Collins from Tulsa, a player that was often mocked to the Browns.

10:15 PM: Bill Belichick sits back and lets the draft come to him by selecting National quarterback Mac Jones from Alabama.

10:08 PM: The New York Jets have swung a deal to move up to No. 14 and have selected offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker from USC.

The Jets gave up picks No. 23, No. 66, No. 86 to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for picks No. 14 and no. 143.

10:05 PM: The Los Angeles Chargers bring in some protection for quarterback Justin Herbert by selecting offensive guard Rashawn Slater from Northwestern.

9:55 PM: The Dallas Cowboys go defense by selecting linebacker Micah Parsons from Penn State.

9:45 PM: The Bears made the move for a quarterback as they selected Justin Fields from Ohio State.

9:40 PM: That did not take long! The Chicago Bears are trading up from No. 20 to No. 11, which had been held by the New York Giants. The Giants switch picks with the Bears and also receive Chicago’s first-round and fourth-round pick next year, and their fifth-round pick this year.

9:32 PM: We have our first trade of the night as the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have completed a trade with the Eagles moving up to No. 10 and the Cowboys dropping back to No. 12 and pick up an additional third-round selection.

And with that pick, the Eagles select wide receiver DeVonta Smith from Alabama.

9:25 PM: The Denver Broncos, who would appear to need a quarterback, instead select cornerback Patrick Surtain II from Alabama.

9:18 PM: The Carolina Panthers end the run on offensive players by selecting cornerback Jaycee Horn from South Carolina.

9:15 PM: This is the first time that the first seven players selected in the NFL Draft have been on the offensive side of the ball, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

9:11 PM: The first offensive lineman comes off the board as the Detroit Lions selective offensive tackle Penei Sewell out of Oregon.

9:06 PM: The Miami Dolphins give quarterback Tua Tagovailoa a weapon by selecting wide receiver Jaylen Waddle from Alabama.

9 PM: The Cincinnati Bengals add a weapon for quarterback Joe Burrow by selecting wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase out of LSU. Too bad for Burrow that the Bengals still do not have anyone who can block defensive end Myles Garrett.

8:51 PM: This is interesting. San Francisco general manager John Lynch reportedly kept the plan to select quarterback Trey Lance a secret from the team’s coaches and scouts, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Wonder if head coach Kyle Shanahan is currently working on one of his PowerPoint presentations?

8:49 PM: The Atlanta Falcons bring some normalcy back to the draft by selecting tight end Kyle Pitts out of Florida.

8:42 PM: Holy smokes! The San Francisco 49ers actually selected quarterback Trey Lance out of North Dakota State with the No. 3 overall selection.

8:35 PM: The New York Jets select quarterback Zach Wilson from BYU with the No. 2 overall selection.

8:15 PM: The Jacksonville Jaguars open the 2021 NFL Draft by selecting quarterback Trevor Lawrence from Clemson.

7:50 PM: The night just might be getting even more interesting as the Denver Broncos might be in the running to acquire quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers, according to media reports:

6:15 PM: A few items that could potentially be of interest to the Browns. Teams are reportedly looking to trade up not only for quarterbacks, but also for offensive lineman, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:

If there is a run on those two positions, that would push some talented defensive players closer to the Browns and could entice general manager Andrew Berry to move up a few spots.

Teams reportedly willing to move down are the Detroit Lions (No. 7 overall), Carolina Panthers (No. 8) and Denver Broncos (No. 9), according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Berry will not move up that far, but trade activity near the top of the draft could benefit the Browns later in the evening.

4:35 PM: The Browns should still be in the market for a defensive end, so it might be worth keeping an eye on Houston’s Payton Turner, who is reportedly an attractive option, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

3:50 PM: Here are some more pictures from down at the scene from ShockerBrown, showing the TV network crews, and the draft stage visibility from the parking garage.

3:40 PM: The final piece of rufio’s Browns Big Board is now complete! Go check it out.

3:30 PM: Wow, two draft-day blockbuster headlines out of nowhere! First, Tim Tebow is trying to return to the NFL as a tight end, and then the bigger one involving Packers QB Aaron Rodgers:

2:50 PM: There’s a gleam, folks! We appear to be getting a little bit of clearing in the forecast. It’ll still be cloudy, but the rain chances are diminishing. I am aiming to head Downtown this evening.

2:40 PM: We have another update from Albert Breer of the NFL Network, who says that the Browns and Ravens could be looking to move further up into the 20s:

There are rumblings that Baltimore and Cleveland could move up in the 20s, too—and my sense is that there’s going to be a premium on corners in that range. By then, Horn and Surtain will be long gone. There’s a drop off to the next group. And then, there’s a second tier and another drop-off. So Northwestern’s Greg Newsome, Georgia’s Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes, and Kentucky’s Kelvin Joseph could be the objects of some shorter moves up either within or into the 20s, with Joseph joining Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley as a bit of a wild card (Joseph’s issue is off-field, Farley’s relates to injury).

2:10 PM: Is it a spoiler alert? Jonathan Jones says the top 3 picks at quarterback are already set:

1:58 PM: One of the other exhibits is getting your picture taken inside an NFL uniform. That exhibit is just outside the NFL Locker Room exhibit.

1:35 PM: Terminal Tower will be lit up with every team’s colors, and their team logo will be projected on to the tower, for nights one and two of the NFL Draft. Yesterday, Erik Drost captured a preview of the Browns featured beautifully:

Erik Drost

Unfortunately, from the NFL Draft Experience itself, fog has currently taken out the Cleveland skyline from the equation.

1:18 PM: Speaking of ShockerBrown, he and his family showed us where the Browns helmet (previously in Mall C) has been re-located to. It’s still rainy and foggy, but at least momentarily, the rain is a light and manageable rain.

1:10 PM: Good afternoon! We are less than seven hours away from the first round kicking off. It is still raining Downtown, but Jared Mueller of The OBR has a few clips from inside the stadium of fans taking their shot at kicking a field goal or throwing a pass. ShockerBrown also sent me a picture from the outside area, and the ground is definitely wet.

11:55 AM: Late last night, Albert Breer of the MMQB reported that the Browns were among the teams “diving deep on CB Caleb Farley.”

I don’t know what the Cardinals’ medicals are on Farley. I don’t know what the Raiders’ medicals are on Farley. I do know that other teams are hearing that those two—Arizona and Vegas—have done a lot of work on the ex-Virginia Tech star. So if he slides past those teams at 16 and 17? He could be waiting a while. (Cleveland’s another team that I’ve heard is diving deep on Farley; the Browns pick 26th.)

11:30 AM: Ugh, part of me hates seeing this because I want to experience and report on it first-hand! But I’ll get my chance this weekend at some point. Here is some draft-day swag from the Draft Experience:

11:17 AM: We may not have a ton of draft rumors about the Browns today, especially since (congrats!) Andrew Berry and his wife just had a baby! In the mean time, Jake Trotter is trying to brave out the weather elements near the ESPN set, as he checks out some of the food stand options. This gives you a glimpse of the prices and options too if you’re headed down.

11:11 AM: Here is the rainy sight from Downtown Cleveland. It figures — we’ve had beautiful weather leading up to it, and now, we have dreary rain. Fingers crossed that we get some lighter rain or clearing up for nighttime, but the forecast still calls for showers all day and night.

10:10 AM: In Mel Kiper’s final mock draft, he has the Browns drafting LB Jamin Davis out of Kentucky:

The Browns are another team that could look for a Round 1 slot receiver, but they need front-seven help, too. Davis could be a Day 1 starter at inside linebacker. Zaven Collins and edge rusher Gregory Rousseau are also possibilities with this pick.

In Todd McShay’s final mock draft, he has the Browns taking DT Christian Barmore out of Alabama:

The Browns just parted ways with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson two weeks ago, and Barmore is highly disruptive. An edge rusher could also be in play here.

10:00 AM: We did our annual SB Nation Writer’s Mock Draft. For the Browns’ pick, I selected OLB Azeez Ojulari to wreak havoc with Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett. You can read my pick explanation here.

9:57 AM: Here is a stillshot picture of what each of the 12 player pods will look like, next to the draft stage. Yes, we are down from 13 to just 12 prospects attending now, because CB Caleb Farley tested positive for COVID-19.

9:46 AM: I caught some extra sleep this morning, to make sure I’m fully energized for today. Here is a full list of the Browns’ round-by-round picks. Weather-permitting, I am hoping to go downtown for the night session tonight to absorb the atmosphere a bit.

7:00 AM: Great job by Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network, who gave us a great tour of the inside of the draft stage, the player’s tent, and how things will work. It was great to also see a glimpse of the fan pods inside the draft stage, the custom team album covers on the side walls, and the rock-and-roll tunnel that the attending 13 players will be walking through. Seeing the setup, it really is a shame that more players aren’t attending!

6:30 AM: Here is your final DBN Big Board (45 players) for the Cleveland Browns, as voted on by the community! Quarterbacks were excluded from this year’s big board.

6:00 AM: Good morning, Browns fans, and welcome to Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft in CLEVELAND, OH! Today is a historic day for the city to be able to host the draft, but also a bit of a day where you let out an “ugh.”

My plans were to spend all day in Downtown Cleveland, covering both the NFL Draft Experience, and soaking up the draft itself from a distance at night time. However, rain is in the forecast for much of the day, so right now, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. If I do head Downtown, rest assured that you’ll still be in great hands with the live blog, as Thomas Moore will be manning the ship. -Chris Pokorny

Hat tip to @Lintendo_64, who waited on a roof a couple of nights ago to score this great “nice weather” picture of the Browns being “on the clock.”

If you’re looking for time to kill and haven’t seen my coverage of the city’s NFL Draft preparations throughout the month of April, you can watch some of my videos to catch up. On April 3, I went to see the 32 team helmets that were located at Mall C. On April 14, I looked at the construction that had started on the draft stage, as well as the surrounding areas.

On April 24, I looked at a few banner and artwork-related installations in Downtown Cleveland. On April 25, I took you on a bike ride between some of the “Cleveland” script signs that now feature the NFL Draft logo. And then lastly, on April 27, I showed off the completed draft stage, part of my tour of FirstEnergy Stadium, and the scene at the lakefront.