Outside of picks in the top 10 to 15 selections in each NFL draft, the future is the focus for most teams' selection of college prospects. While most players from the first four rounds will contribute in some ways as rookies, with a few really providing a lift to their teams, overall 2024 and beyond is the focus during the three days of the NFL draft.
For the Cleveland Browns, balancing immediate needs with long-term planning is harder given the lack of selections in the first and second rounds this year. GM Andrew Berry did address positions of need throughout free agency but there are still depth concerns on defense and a desire for more speed on offense.
At the tight end position, the Browns seem set for 2023 with David Njoku and Jordan Akins at the top of the depth chart. Harrison Bryant is expected to also make the 53-man roster but the former fifth-round pick hasn’t developed as many would have hoped.
Perhaps Berry uses on of his day three selections to draft competition and, potentially, a replacement for Bryant.
6’ 4 1/2”, 239 pounds
115 receptions, 1,544 yards, 14 touchdowns in 42 collegiate games
Relative Athletic Score
Will Mallory RAS so far.https://t.co/6Kon6yztMQ #RAS pic.twitter.com/ahg1u32nUL— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 4, 2023
Average “Big Board” Position As of Publishing Date
The Draft Network’s Grade/Round Value
70./100, Fifth-Round Value
What an Expert is Saying
I feel like Miami TE Will Mallory is flying under the radar a lot this draft.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) April 23, 2023
The guy has some real move-TE skills and serious speed.
Fit with the Browns
Mallory would be an interesting developmental fit for Cleveland as they move to a more spread-out system, most likely, with Deshaun Watson. Mallory will need work as a blocker if he was an inline tight end but his speed and athleticism make him a high-ceiling, low-risk player on day three.
Browns Player Drafting Could Impact
As noted above, Harrison Bryant is the obvious name but adding another tight end could impact how many receivers and running backs the Browns choose to keep on their roster.
Medium – Low - With Njoku and Akins in place, finding a developmental tight end with that kind of athletic ability is tantalizing but cannot be a high value at this point. Mallory has the skills teams want but there is a reason that one of the most athletic tight ends in this year’s draft is ranked so low on the consensus big board with his best ranking being #142.
Mallory is an exciting name to know and watch as we see in this highlight of him playing on the outside as a receiver:
Miami (FL) TE Will Mallory possesses top-end speed to be flanked out and get vertical.— WBG84 (@WBG84) April 8, 2023
Creates enough separation to get a step ahead of the DB and extends for the ball to make the contested catch. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/8hKCBoYi7i
How important do you think adding a fourth TE or replacing Bryant is for the team this year?