What we have done here at DBN is provide a draft using only players who participated in this year’s Senior Bowl for each Cleveland Browns pick in every round.
Round 2, pick #43
EDGE Andre Carter (6’-7”, 265 pounds) – Army
Without a first-round pick again this year, Cleveland must get this selection right. Any one of the other options would help tremendously. Taking an ace pass rusher makes the most sense especially with the hiring of DC Jim Schwartz. His schemes rely on his defensive line to be stellar.
The pick of an EDGE rusher might change depending on whether the Browns retain any of their own free-agent players, but also if they bring into the fold a blue-chip defensive end during the free agency period. Since those are unknowns, the pick is the best player on the board and a great need.
Carter is a pass-rushing ace. Since he plays for the academy, all he knows how to do is work, stay focused, win at all costs, come early, and stay late.
His stats for the past two seasons include 82 tackles, 18 sacks, four pass defenses, one fumble recovery, 24.5 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles.
Lots of options at this pick: TE Luke Musgrave, OT Dawand Jones, WR Rashee Rice, EDGE Derick Hall, C-OG John Michael Schmitz
Round 3, pick #99
WR Jayden Reed (6’-0”, 185 pounds) – Michigan
Are the Browns satisfied with their receiver corps? Amari Cooper and DPJ are set, but what about what is behind them? Rookie David Bell had few snaps and even fewer receptions. Will Anthony Schwartz and Demetric Felton even be on the roster next year?
Can Jaelon Darden, Cyril Grayson, Mike Harley, Chester Rogers, Marquez Stevenson, Isaiah Weston, Mike Woods, and Daylen Baldwin break out and become the WR3? Will KR/WR Jakeem Grant find a place within the offense or is he strictly a return guy?
Whatever the answer to any of those questions is, the fact remains that Reed is a game-changer. He is lightning in a bottle and is also a kickoff and punt returner. Before the Senior Bowl, he was slotted in the fifth round. The reason is that Michigan State just doesn’t throw that often. This dude has moves on top of moves, owns a huge route tree, and is smooth, tricky, and really, really fast.
If the Browns draft Reed, he will take the top off the defense and become a viable deep threat. Reed also has a great personality and is a team player. His college offense had no clue about the menace this kid is. We do.
Other options: QB Henden Hooker, EDGE Will McDonald, CB Julius Brents, LB Daiyan Henley, OT Tyler Sheen, S J.L. Skinner
Round 4, pick #111
S Sydney Brown (6’-0”, 200 pounds) – Syracuse
No single player benefited from the Senior Bowl than Brown. Projected as a sixth rounder, he popped during practice week and if he was beaten, nobody noticed. He has a twin brother Chase who is a running back. Their father Darren was a star in the CFL.
Has great quickness due to his 4.45 time in the 40. A former track star in high school. Brown is rangy and competitive. His rally to the football is exceptional and shows good pop with tackles. Versatility is a plus.
Should begin at the next level on special teams and dime packages, but will compete for a starting position very soon. A true leader and a finisher.
Named First Team All-Big 10 in 2022. Career stats: 320 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, six interceptions, seven pass defenses, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries, and one touchdown.
Other options: EDGE Byron Young, WR Dontayvion Wicks, EDGE Adetomiwa Adebawore
Round 4, pick #130
DT Keeanu Benton (6’-4”, 315 pounds) – Wisconsin
Benton is a load in the center of the defense and is exceptional against the run and one of college football’s best. Had a great practice week and definitely elevated his draft status.
He is difficult to move with a stout presence. Very strong anchor with a good combination of size, arm length, and overall is a very strong man. Good on stunts and a difficult player to take on single-handedly.
Not the best pass rusher but will get into the backfield.
Was named Second Team All-Big 10 last season. Career stats include 81 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, nine sacks, four pass defenses, 11 hurries, 11 QB hits, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
Other options: OT Nick Broeker, S Jammie Robinson, TE Cameron Latu
Round 5, pick #141
EDGE K.J. Henry (6’-4”, 260 pounds) - Clemson
DC Jim Schwartz needs his defensive line to take over in games, so a disruptive playmaker is needed and here one is.
A former basketball player, Henry is a power rusher. Excellent at stopping the run. Possesses a strong motor, can collapse a pocket, and has a good understanding of how to stack blocks.
Will begin as a rotational player but can eventually take on the starter role. Will need to gain more moves and be able to win at the point of attack more often.
Career college stats include 124 tackles, 13 sacks, nine tackles for loss, 11 pass defenses, and two forced fumbles with three fumble recoveries.
Other options: S Ji’Ayir Brown, LB Ivan Pace, EDGE Isaiah McGuire
Round 5, pick #143
DT Karl Brooks (6’-4”, 280 pounds) – Bowling Green
Yes, this is the second defensive tackle taken in the draft. But both have one thing in common: they are both big-bodied and excellent run-stoppers. Okay, that’s two things.
Played an extra year because of the pandemic with 49 starts. Ended his career with 167 tackles, 27.5 sacks, 46 tackles for loss, four pass defenses, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.
Brooks is one of those players that is more explosive than expected. He is flexible and fluid and has quite a number of moves. A solid upper body that resonates with his core strength. Very strong and a good tackler. Run defense is what his main game is, but has quite a few sacks to prove he can get inside and disrupt plays.
Not a great pursuit guy and needs work on his hand placement.
Other options: S Jartavius Martin, DE Jerrod Clark, WR Trey Palmer
Round 6, pick #189
TE Payne Durham (6’-5”, 255 pounds) – Purdue
Would love for the Browns to draft Luke Musgrave who will be a household name before you know it. And if we drafted Musgrave in the second round, that would free up this draft slot.
But for now, Durham fills a need. He had a terrific week and is a solid pass catcher. He has good length, is tough, competitive, and is an excellent blocker. Durham knows how to use his hands and is a big target.
He is not agile in space and has an issue with dropping his hips on routes so those things will need some work. Not a fast guy or elusive, but has great hands with blocking his best trait.
Started 36 games in college so durability is a plus. Had 56 receptions for 560 yards with eight touchdowns his senior year.
Other options: WR Jonathan Mingo, TE Davis Allen, LB Aubrey Miller
Round 7, pick #231
OT Nick Saldiveri (6’-6”, 307 pounds) – Old Dominion
The Browns have had issues with tackles that go down with an injury for several weeks. There is uncertainty that Chris Hubbard will be retained which leaves only James Hudson and Joe Haeg as experienced backups. Myron Cunningham, Alex Taylor, and Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. remain projects.
Saldiveri had 30 starts so he is durable and experienced. He was named Second Team All-Sunbelt Conference this past year. His game is very solid and is an exceptional pass blocker with adequate run-blocking skills but is a physical guy. He is able to keep his weight distribution consistent which means he is rarely overpowered.
Does have an issue with offsetting the defender which then forces him to have to recover especially with a DE who has a great first step. Will be developmental at first but can transition into either a swing tackle or a possible starter sooner than later.
Other options: S Jake Andrews, WR Tre Tucker, LB Cam Jones