Cleveland Browns 7-Round Mock Draft
The good news is the Cleveland Browns come into 2021 with way more answers than last season. However, there is some bad news as the team still has a fair number of holes on the roster. Many questions have been answered for the short-term on offense, but all three phases of the defense need help.
Keep in mind the Browns have both free agency and the draft to build talent and expect general manager Andrew Berry to be strategic in how he accomplishes this. Look below at a seven-round mock draft for the Browns.
You’ll notice edge rusher not filled as I see Berry opening the checkbook in free agency to pair a dominant defensive end with Myles Garrett.
Zaven Collins, Linebacker, Tulsa
Round 1, Pick 26
While some fans may go crazy taking a linebacker in the first round, I’m okay with it for two reasons. One, no elite receivers, edge rushers, or cornerbacks will likely be on the board at pick no. 26 which are likely bigger needs. Two, Zaven Collins of Tulsa has proved he can be a dominant linebacker in the NFL from day one.
The big question, will the 6-4, 260-pound future star make it all the way to No. 26? If he does, even Andrew Berry likely won’t be able to pass up the opportunity. After a monster season in 2020, Collins secured his first-round grade with 54 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 4 interceptions in only 8 games.
As the Bronko Nagurski Award winner (best defender in the nation), he certainly fits the mold as a first-round linebacker. While Collins has great instincts and explosion, he does lack some speed and can be aggressive in choosing gaps which could lead to big runs.
Collins would be a strong fit at middle linebacker for the Browns which would leave Jacob Phillips at the strong side where he can better utilize his speed. If the Browns were able to get Jabril Cox or Garret Wallow in the later rounds, guys like Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki could be looking for starting jobs.
It may be a bit much to draft three linebackers in the 2021 draft, but it is a position that needs to be addressed and one that doesn’t have a lot of options in free agency. Look for Berry to spend money at the defensive end in free agency and draft linebackers, cornerbacks, and defensive tackles to fill the rest of the holes.