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Executives talk about the Browns’ draft class, and Cleveland’s shift away from the running game

Mike Sando of The Athletic polls executives from around the league for their anonymous assessments of the 2023 NFL Draft.

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NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Just like he did for free agency, Mike Sando of The Athletic is back at it for the NFL Draft, relaying quotes from anonymous executives for all 32 teams’ draft classes. Here is what was said about the Cleveland Browns:

Browns Looking to Change Their M.O.

With the Browns having traded their second-round pick for WR Elijah Moore and then using their first draft pick (in the third round) on WR Cedric Tillman, one executive believes that the Browns are trying to be less run-centric and have a diversified group of wide receivers for QB Deshaun Watson to work with:

“I wasn’t high on the receiver they got (Cedric Tillman in the third round), but I can see them saying, ‘We want to diversify the group,’ It feels like they are trying to change their M.O. to be less run-centric, and maybe they said, ‘OK, we gotta get a receiver’ instead of maybe targeting a better player.”

Taking Fliers on Troubled Players

Another executive noted that the Browns seem to like trying to find value in players who have some off-the-field red flags — and Sando pointed out what happened with DT Perrion Winfrey already.

“Beyond the Watson deal, which they took a ton of heat for, they have quietly added pieces that carry some risk but will not be noticed on the surface.”

I wish their had been a little more insight into the Browns’ draft class from executives, but that was it. I guess it makes sense — fans and media were relatively pleased with some of the value that Cleveland was able to acquire, but when you get up to the executive level in the NFL, these are, in a sense, parts of the groups that passed up on these so-called value players, meaning they didn’t have as high of a grade on them as Cleveland did.