Retooling the Cleveland Browns 4.0: Post free agency mock draft
By Mitch Zoloty
With the 41st pick in the draft, the Browns need to be targeting a linebacker or a safety. It’s highly unlikely that any of the top three linebackers are available at this point, those being Patrick Queen, Kenneth Murray, and Zack Baun.
Still, the Browns should be able to secure one of the top three safeties in the draft, as 41st in the draft seems to be the sweet spot for Antoine Winfield Jr to be drafted. The Browns have recently signed two starting level safeties to their roster in Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo, so one could see them prioritize a linebacker here. However, after 2020, safety is just as big of a need, if not bigger.
Antoine Winfield Jr is someone that I have been very high on throughout this entire draft process, and could easily be a day one starter for the Browns. If the Browns can snag Winfield Jr here with the 41st pick, it would make sense for them to run a primarily 4-2-5 defense next season, considering the lack of starting-caliber linebackers.
The Browns could roll out a secondary with Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams as the two outside cornerbacks, Antoine Winfield Jr as the free safety, and then decide upon Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo who will play strong safety and who will play the stinger position.
Antoine Winfield Jr is the son of Antoine Winfield Sr, who is an Akron native who went to three pro bowls in his 14 year NFL career. Winfield Jr has been around a high level of football his entire life and will likely have no issues adjusting to the NFL lifestyle. He is undersized at 5-foot-9 and 205-pounds, but he still plays at an elite level. During his time at Minnesota, he caused 12 turnovers, including nine interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
Winfield came into his own his last season, getting seven interceptions and forcing two fumbles last season alone. The Browns could benefit from having this type of turnover production in their secondary, and if Xavier McKinney and Grant Delpit are not available, Antoine Winfield Jr would be a home run hit for the franchise.