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Browns Ultimate Offseason: Free agency and Mock Draft

Taking a swing at a revamp Browns roster in 2023

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK

As we continue to bring you a weekly Cleveland Browns mock draft, we try to switch it up a little bit while keeping it realistic. Yesterday, Barry shared with you his idea from Senior Bowl only players that could be selected where the Browns select. Thankfully, the NFL draft is full of a lot more players than just those down in Mobile.

As happens every year, it is much easier to provide mock drafts than it is mock free agency so you will see much more coverage of college players coming in than veterans that could be on the move. We also know that a lot of players will re-sign with their current teams, get tagged or released that we currently are not aware of will happen.

For today’s Browns Ultimate Offseason, you will get a taste of both the veteran portion of the offseason as well as a mock draft.

Free Agency


S John Johnson III

JJ3 has not played well in his time in Cleveland but has also been put in position to fail. Best as a versatile, roaming safety closer to the box, Johnson has been asked to play more free safety than he should. With Grant Delpit in that role, moving on from Johnson to get a better fit or cheaper version makes the most sense.


LBs Anthony Walker Jr. and Sione Takitaki

A bad interior defensive line and bad scheme made the linebackers look worse than they are. Bringing back the group, mostly, makes sense. Adding a linebacker at some point will be helpful but not required.

TE Pharaoh Brown

The team needs depth at the tight end position which is what Brown was brought in to be late last year. Brown played with Deshaun Watson in Houston and knows the quarterback’s tendencies.

DE Chase Winovich

While it would be nice to find a better edge rusher to replace Jadeveon Clowney in free agency, it seems unlikely. Instead, Alex Wright, Isaiah Thomas and Winovich must step up across from Myles Garrett with additions coming with a cheap veteran, like Carlos Dunlap, or in the NFL draft.


DT Dre’mont Jones

The former Ohio State Buckeye comes back to his home state to play for his hometown team and shore up the middle of the Browns defensive line. He won’t be the only addition but he is the big one. Jones has had over 5.5 sacks in each of the last three seasons in the league.

S Juan Thornhill

An athletic safety, Thornhill is very good in coverage but should come much cheaper than Jessie Bates III. The flooded safety market should play out well for Cleveland who are able to add a true free safety with championship experience to the backend of the defense to pair with Delpit.

WR Will Fuller

A name connected to the Browns last offseason, Fuller sat out all of 2022 and should be available on a cheap contract to reconnect with Watson. A speedy receiver that can open up the field for the rest of the offense, Fuller is a better pass catcher, but still with drop issues, than Anthony Schwartz. Contract will be close to a veteran’s minimum with incentives.

Browns Mock Draft

Today we used Pro Football Network’s Mock Draft Simulator but chose not to make any trades.

Second Round

DT Siaki Ika, Baylor

A surprising number of defensive linemen were available here including Gervon Dexter, Nolan Smith and Tuli Tuipulotu but Ika provides the size and strength needed next to Jones, the team’s big free-agent addition. Ika and Jones allow Perrion Winfrey and Tommy Togiai, and Jordan Elliott if he is retained, to slot in as solid backups.

Another option was WR Jalin Hyatt out of Tennessee, who could be a fun addition to the Cleveland receiver group but the need is too great on the defensive line.

Third Round

DE Adetomiwa Adebowore, Northwestern

Doubling down on the defensive line with Adebowore available here. Barry had a great interview with him down at the Senior Bowl where he showed how good he can be. At this point, he could push into the second round based on that performance.

Fourth Round

TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa

Continuing to build on areas of need, LaPorta could push Brown or Harrison Bryant for snaps as a rookie but develop as a perfect combination with David Njoku moving forward.

WR Trey Palmer, Nebraska

At 6’4” and fast for his size, Palmer was used in a variety of ways with the Cornhuskers including as a kick and punt returner. As GM Andrew Berry has done in the past, we backup a free agent signing with a draft pick to really address the position. The best players will make the team while Cleveland may have to move on from a recent draft selection or signee.

Fifth Round

RB Tavion Thomas, Utah

With Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson moving on in this mock offseason, adding a back to go with Nick Chubb and Jerome Ford. If Demetric Felton continues at receiver or returns to running back, he’ll have a fight to make the roster. Thomas is a bigger back that can come in on short yardage and get what is expected.

S Mark Perry, TCU

With Ronnie Harrison Jr. joining JJ3 out the door, adding a safety in the fifth round who can fill out the room and help on special teams is important.

Sixth Round

CB Julius Brents, Kansas State

Would be surprised if Brents falls this far but would be even more surprised if Berry doesn’t add a cornerback in almost every draft. Brents has the length to complement the team’s current set of cornerbacks and play on special teams right away.

Seventh Round

OL Braeden Daniels, Utah

With Chris Hubbard likely moving on and a lot of unknowns at center, the Browns should add to their offensive line group. Daniels is a good fit as a zone scheme guard with some experience at tackle but is better inside. A good swing at replacing Hubbard here late in the seventh round

Wrap Up

  • Moving on from JJ3
  • Bringing back Walker, Takitaki, Brown and Winovich
  • Signing Jones, Thornhill and Fuller in free agency
  • Drafting Ika, Adebowore, Perry and Brents to help the defense while adding LaPorta, Palmer, Thomas and Daniels to the offensive side of the ball

Obviously a lot of other little moves would happen as well to make all of those additions make sense but, as a whole along with Jim Schwartz’s arrival and Watson having a full year in Cleveland, the Browns are much better with this mock offseason.