For many fans of the Cleveland Browns, the next NFL draft doesn’t matter until the current NFL season ends. For others, the interest in the future is always there. Whether that is due to the love of college football, a heightened obsession with anything Browns or just a desire to think long-term, the NFL draft has long held a special place in Cleveland fans’ hearts.
The last two weeks we’ve highlighted college games where two top 25 ranked teams have faced off and the draft prospects on those teams. Last week it was Kentucky vs Ole Miss and this week it is UCLA vs Utah.
Unlike in the past, now the hope is that the draft will add pieces that will help buoy an already talented team. Unfortunately, first-round picks are not in the team’s future for a few years after the Deshaun Watson trade.
Without those early picks, many early mock drafts will not include the Browns because they are often only one round. That is why we are thankful today for Luke Easterling’s early NFL Mock Draft that includes two rounds of selections.
With Jadeveon Clowney and Chase Winovich set for free agency at the end of the year, Easterling has Cleveland drafting an edge rusher in the second round:
41. Cleveland Browns | Army EDGE Andre Carter II
Carter is a physical marvel at 6’7”, 260 pounds with a tremendous wingspan and effort. As a junior, Carter was second in the nation with 14.5 sacks. In the young season, the All-American has 2.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss as opposing teams throw most of their attention his way.
Playing for the Army Black Knights also brings a focus on discipline which Cleveland’s defense can use some of as well.
For the Browns, adding Carter to either replace or add to Clowney would make a lot of sense. Myles Garrett will be the team’s top pass rusher for years to come while 2022 draft selection Alex Wright has the makings of a strongside defensive end but lacks quick pass rush moves right now.
Carter has room for improvement but could see his name called in the first round based on his size alone. He has shown some pass-rush moves but is not refined, yet, as he is able to win mostly based on physical traits:
#️⃣3️⃣4️⃣ picked up the pressure with 2.5 sacks on Saturday #GoArmy pic.twitter.com/uj9oT7u7Bu— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) September 12, 2022
With offensive weapons always a priority for fans, Easterling’s draft only has two going after Cleveland selects Carter: Rakim Jarrett from Maryland and Zay Flowers from Boston College.
How would you feel if Andrew Berry went with another edge rusher with his first pick in next year’s draft?