What 4 picks would be perfect for the Cleveland Browns in the first round?
The Cleveland Browns head into the 2021 season with holes on their roster, but they also know they can compete with what they have after an 11-win regular season and a playoff win for the first time since 1994. Not only that, with the AFC North being the toughest division in the NFL in 2020, the Browns will also be fortunate enough to get a third-place schedule in 2021, which doesn’t happen to many teams who win a playoff game the year previous.
General manager Andrew Berry has shown that he is willing to spend money on big-name free agents, but it is also clear the analytical philosophies from Paul DePodesta are true in his blood as well. The most lacking position on the roster currently is linebacker, and so many believe that is a position where you don’t need elite talent to be successful.
While I do agree with not spending $12-15 million on a player for the position, I am tired of seeing the Browns get picked on because of weakness at the position. While I wouldn’t count on Berry spending big money on the position in free agency this year, you certainly could see a linebacker drafted in the 2021 draft.
While linebacker is a gaping hole, the Browns also need some help at defensive end and the secondary as well. There is no doubt the Browns will likely be active in free agency with a reasonable amount of cap space, but with deals looming for Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward, Berry may not be as aggressive as some may like.
The one position Berry will likely spend money on is edge rusher to help Myles Garrett. After the injury to Olivier Vernon in 2020, Garrett’s numbers slowed down because of so many double teams. He was still extremely efficient rushing the passer but just couldn’t get him to the ground as much with having to go through two people.
With signing a defensive end in free agency, look for the Browns to focus on a linebacker, cornerback, wide receiver, and defensive tackle in the 2021 draft. At pick No. 26 in 2021, the Browns will have a chance at a playmaker, but they’ll have to be diligent in their research. Here are four dream scenarios at pick no. 26 that could happen if teams draft on need, and not so much talent.