Round 3, Pick 81: Dennis Daley, OT, South Carolina
Cleveland’s offensive line was one of the worst in the NFL for eight games last season. Then head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were fired and they became one of the best statistically. The Browns surrendered just five sacks in the final eight games and this led to left tackle Greg Robinson signing a one-year deal to start again in 2019.
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That prove-it deal was given considering that Robinson has yet to prove he can get the job done for a full season. Should he do so, he could be the answer long-term. However, there’s no guarantee that he will so the Browns would be wise to draft as though they still need someone to take the job in 2020.
This leads to the selection of South Carolina’s Dennis Daley. A former junior college transfer, Daley took his share of lumps in his two seasons with the Gamecocks as he struggled with some of the elite defenders in the SEC. However, as his career contiuned, he started to come on strong with his most impressive outing being in their 2018 meeting with the Clemson Tigers. Daley held his own in that one against a line that is littered with first round talent.
Daley will be a work in progress but has incredible upside. After a year or two, he should be a solid starter for Cleveland — whatever side that ends up being one. Going back to the aforementioned Robinson, Daley could end up challenging Chris Hubbard if Robinson becomes the blindside answer. Either way, Daley becomes a cheaper, younger, alternative at one tackle spot soon.