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Weekly Mock Draft: Trading down for a huge haul, beef up the team

Champion Chiefs move up but give up big value

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NCAA Football: Minnesota at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

While we know the title will already get the comment section going, here or social media, we wanted to be honest and upfront about this week’s Cleveland Browns mock draft. Again, the goal of the process is to help readers understand what could happen, what it would look like if different things happen and introduce new names to readers.

Today we accomplished a lot of these things.

First, to be clear, the player selected after the trade-down is actually a player that we would have no problem selecting without a trade-down. Second, we know that GM Andrew Berry values draft picks and the trade offer was just too good. Finally, it will be interesting if Berry uses selections from the fourth round on to trade for veterans as the draft is going on.

We used Pro Football Focus’ mock draft simulator for this week’s draft. First, the trade:

Quite simply, we traded a mid-second-round pick for a late second-round pick, two thirds and a fourth while also giving away our seventh-rounder (mostly so we didn’t have so many selections).

Just a lot of value where Berry could upgrade the roster via the draft or using for trades as the draft went along.

On to the Mock Draft:

Round 2

DT Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin - This is actually the defender that one PFF mock draft has Cleveland selecting with their original second-round pick. Benton could be an immediate stud in the middle of the defensive line. A stop-the-run, control-the-offensive-line nose tackle type, Benton has enough pop to stay on the field for three downs at times.

Round 3

LB Ivan Pace Jr., Cincinnati - A versatile piece behind an upgraded defensive line (hopefully a veteran DT is added prior to the draft, Pace can start right away or provide a balanced linebacker depth and special teams piece depending on what the Browns do in free agency.

S Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame - The third straight “up the middle of the defense” defender, Joseph is a true free safety type that would replace John Johnson III and pair well with Grant Delpit.

TE Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State - Don’t let the small school fool you, Kraft has the big-time athletic ability and could shine in a year or two through some development. A perfect use of an extra draft pick after the trade.

Round 4

DE Isaiah McGuire, Missouri - An athletic defensive end to add to what is already in Cleveland, McGuire can get after the passer and hold up against the run well. A needed combination with Myles Garrett.

WR Trey Palmer, Nebraska - An interesting down-the-field weapon that would immediately come in as the team’s primary returner as well. Palmer is used to being used on jet sweeps and a variety of movement-oriented situations in college where his open-field ability will be so useful at the NFL level.

RB Chase Brown, Illinois - Unless Demetric Felton is a running back again, Nick Chubb and Jerome Ford are the only two backs for the Browns. Signing free-agent running backs, unless for veteran minimums, doesn’t make sense so drafting one does. Brown has a lot of experience in zone schemes and could help right away.

Round 5

DT Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma - After adding the talented nose tackle early, here we add more of a 3-technique defensive tackle with a lot of physical upside to join the revamped defensive line. Redmond would reunite with former Sooners Perrion Winfrey and Isaiah Thomas on the defensive line.

OT Blake Freeland, BYU - While center may be a bigger concern in the near future, drafting a tackle that could replace Chris Hubbard here makes sense.

Round 6

RB Kenny McIntosh, Georgia - I haven’t figured out why McIntosh is so low on most simulator boards but adding a receiving threat out of the backfield is just fine this low in the draft and completes the running back room with competition for Felton.

Use the mock draft simulator, share with us in the comments what your draft looks like whether you trade up, down or stay put the whole time. The above one is one of my favorites I have done so far.