The NFL draft has become much less of a spectacle for Cleveland Browns fans after the huge trade for QB Deshaun Watson stripped the team of years of first-round picks. The 2023 NFL draft brought a variety of players for the future and a couple that could help right away including WR Cedric Tillman and DT Siaki Ika.
With training camp around the corner and minicamp in the rearview mirror, this is a good time to be looking ahead to the 2024 NFL draft. Just for a moment.
When thinking NFL draft, The Ohio State Buckeyes should be near the top of every team’s list. The Browns added Dawand Jones and Luke Wypler to their offensive line in this year’s draft, tapping into one of the Buckeyes' strengths.
In next year’s draft, WR Marvin Harrison Jr. is expected to be one of the first players drafted with a chance to be the first receiver selected with the first pick since Keyshawn Johnson in 1996. Ohio State currently has seven players ranked as potential first-round picks next year but Cleveland is without a pick in the opening round once again.
Instead, a defensive line prospect currently in the Buckeyes' second tier of draft hopefuls is who the Browns should have on their radar:
Player to watch: DI Tyleik Williams, Ohio State
Browns defensive tackles ranked 31st in the NFL last season with a combined 42.0 overall grade. They weren’t particularly helped by all of the injuries behind them, but they were often a sieve, especially in the run game.
The Browns don’t have a first-round pick in 2024, so someone like Jer’Zhan Newton will likely be off the board. Instead, Cleveland could opt for Williams, who is a crucial piece of the Buckeyes’ defensive line rotation, serving as somewhat of a run-stopping specialist. His 13.2% run stop percentage ranked eighth among qualified FBS defensive tackles last year. He wouldn’t be a flashy pick, but he would certainly help Cleveland in their weakest spot.
Obviously, Cleveland worked to upgrade their defensive tackle position this year with the additions of Dalvin Tomlinson, Trysten Hill, Maurice Hurst and Ika. It is possible by the time next year’s NFL draft rolls around that the Browns defensive line is considered the team’s strength.
At 6’3” and over 310 pounds, Williams might look like a nose tackle but he’s had 30 quarterback pressures in just over 400 total snaps in his two seasons in Columbus.
Fellow Buckeye DT Michael Hall Jr., along with DE J.T. Tuimoloau, will get a ton of attention this college season but Williams has a chance to really burst out. Cleveland fans with Ohio State ties (generally most of us), will enjoy watching this defensive line in the present with an eye on the future.
When you watch college football, especially the Buckeyes, do you find yourself thinking about what those players would look like playing in the NFL right up I-71? I know I do!