The NFL offseason hits another milestone next week as the annual Scouting Combine takes place from March 1 to March 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Cleveland Browns, who hold the No. 13 overall pick in the first round, selection No. 44 in the second round, and a pair of selections in the third round (No. 77 and a compensatory pick) will be there checking things out to see who might be able to fill the holes at wide receiver and defensive tackle, among other areas.
While it falls into the category of a Captain Obvious statement, what general manager Andrew Berry does in the draft will be influenced by what he accomplishes in free agency, but given the quality of depth at wide receiver, it will be surprising if the Browns do not select a wide receiver in the first round of the draft.
With that in mind, let’s take a run through the various mock drafts to see just who the Browns might select. The consensus lines up with selecting a wide receiver, although there are a few that go in another direction.
#Arkansas WR Treylon Burks:— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) February 25, 2022
A blend of size, hands, and positional versatility. He has underrated straight line speed. Burks can run away from defenders and he showed that top end speed against Alabama. pic.twitter.com/wFxiFNS14P
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas: Burks is a thick, YAC, contested-catch wideout who’d boost Baker Mayfield’s productivity in 2022.
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State: Ohio State’s Chris Olave is a former high school track star with solid straight-line speed and smooth route-running ability. He averaged more than 3.0 yards per route run in his 2019 and 2020 campaigns before a crowded 2021 Buckeye receiver room drove his target share down.
George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue: The Browns will need to continue to reinforce their pass rush, especially if they lose Jadeveon Clowney in free agency. Karlaftis didn’t post huge sack numbers at Purdue, but he provided consistent pressure.
Drake London, WR, USC: I would be genuinely happy with either London or Wilson here, and I do think either are a possibility. Trey Burks of Arkansas is another name to keep an eye on here during the combine.
But let’s stick with London today. He has the size advantage here at 6-5, 210 pounds (compare that to Wilson at 6-0, 192 pounds), and of course has a basketball background and even played both sports at USC until last season. That basketball background is evident when it comes to contested catches — according to PFF, he led college football with 19 this season.
A reminder that London is coming off of a broken ankle, but in only eight games he made 88 catches for 1,084 yards and seven scores.
Garrett Wilson tape…— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 25, 2022
Let’s start with this sting route (corner-post). See this concept in the NFL, too. A lot of split-safety coverages.
With an inside alignment, Wilson gets the matchup vs. a Quarters safety. #OhioState @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/nwqpkJaYzt
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State: The Browns have needs at wide receiver for sure, but the talking points in the coming months will likely concern the QB position. We think Baker Mayfield is much better than he showed last season, in part because he wasn’t healthy. Wilson is one of the most dynamic players in college football and he’ll give Mayfield another downfield option now that Odell Beckham Jr. is in L.A.
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State: After losing Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns simply don’t have a big-play threat at receiver who can stretch the field and scare opposing defenses. They won’t have to look far to find that kind of pass-catcher in this scenario, as Wilson brings his explosive play-making ability from Columbus to Cleveland.
DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M: Here’s another prospect whose stock remains volatile in any 2022 NFL Mock Draft you see. It seems like people are trying to convince themselves that there are major problems with DeMarvin Leal‘s game, but that’s just not true. He has great power to compete on the inside, but he also has the speed to get around the edge. Cleveland won’t overthink taking him, and the combination of Myles Garrett and Leal is terrifying.
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas: Cleveland has its choice of wide receivers outside of Drake London. It elects to take Burks, who is a bigger body who can contribute in the run game as well as be a matchup nightmare with his combination of size and speed. The Browns should be creative in the way he is used.
The 2022 NFL Draft will take place from April 28 to April 30 in Las Vegas.
Who is the first pick for the Browns in the 2022 NFL Draft?
This poll is closed
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
Drake London, WR, USC
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
Someone else (say who in the comments)