The 2019 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away, and most draft analysts are predicting the Cleveland Browns will be selecting a defensive back early.
When the NFL Draft is just days away, the Cleveland Browns fan base is typically locked in a debate about which players the front office should select with their first round selection.
But this year has been much different for Browns fans. Instead of debating which players the Browns should be selecting in the draft, the Dawg Pound is debating which games during the regular season Cleveland will be playing in prime time.
Without a first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Browns fans have not been as focused into the draft as they usually are. But with the 49th overall selection, the Cleveland Browns still have an opportunity to add a key contributor to the 2019 roster.
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On Thursday, Nick Shook of ClevelandBrowns.com compiled the latest mock drafts from multiple draft analysts. The one key theme of the mock drafts was the Browns selecting a defensive back with their first selection, whether they stick at 49th overall or trade up.
The most common name predicted to land with the Browns was Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne. Layne, a Cleveland native, has seen his stock rise over the past several weeks of the draft process.
Cornerback was a position of focus during last offseason for the Browns as they added four players from free agency and the draft. Denzel Ward proved to be the best addition as he has shown the potential of being a shutdown cornerback.
So far this offseason, cornerback has not been a priority for the front office. Instead of adding talent, the group has seen two players depart: E.J. Gaines and Howard Wilson. The position lacks depth behind Ward, Terrance Mitchell, and T.J. Carrie, so Cleveland selecting a cornerback early in the draft would make plenty of sense.
Other than Layne, two other cornerbacks mentioned in Shook’s compilation were Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye and Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen.
Of the six mock drafts compiled, two featured the Browns selecting a safety with their first selection. The two safeties mentioned were Delaware’s Nasir Adderley and Mississippi’s State’s Jonathan Abram.
Before the additions of Eric Murray and Morgan Burnett, the Browns seemed destined to be selecting a safety with the 49th selection. But now it appears that adding a safety would be planning for the future as Burnett’s heading towards the back end of his career.
It is never easy to predict what Browns general manager John Dorsey is planning, but it seems that many analysts expect him to add a defensive back in the early part of the draft. And with the back-end of the defense needing more depth, it would make sense for the Browns to do just that.