Re-picking Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Cleveland Browns
Overall, the Cleveland Browns had a fantastic 2021 NFL Draft. They landed two excellent defenders, both of whom they were considering at pick No. 26, along with a 20-year-old wide receiver with 4.2 speed.
It’s difficult to argue with how they attacked the first two days of the draft, but Day 3 was a relative letdown, not just because it was practically impossible to live up to the first two days, but because of the positions the team chose to select and their overall strategy. Thus, we’ll be going back through and looking at the class they could have had instead.
This doesn’t mean that Andrew Berry and Paul DePodesta were incorrect to take the players they did (they’ve proven to be quite trustworthy in that department).
The players selected in this do-over must have been drafted, and must have been selected before Cleveland’s next pick, aside from Demetric Felton, whom the Browns took with their final selection. Players like Ar’Darius Washington, Trill Williams, and Olaijah Griffin would all have been great fits in the Cleveland secondary, but were signed by other teams after going undrafted, so they will not be included here.
Round 4, Pick 110: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State (4.131)
The Browns took Cincinnati tackle James Hudson with this selection, which was a surprise given their depth on the offensive line and the fact that Hudson tested very poorly at his pro day. The team is clearly intrigued with his violence and apparent fluidity on tape, and it’s likely that legendary offensive line coach Bill Callahan had a ton of sway with this selection, so it will probably end up working out.
That said, there were still players on the board at this point who would have been able to contribute much sooner than Hudson, including Tylan Wallace. He’s not a great athlete, but his tape is phenomenal. He consistently stacks cornerbacks and is a true vertical threat on the outside with exceptional ball skills.
Cleveland took Anthony Schwartz to use as a gadget player and to take the top off the defense in a limited role while he develops, because he is extremely raw. Wallace would have been able to step in and contribute right away, allowing Jarvis Landry to move back to the slot in 11 personnel where he is more effective.
This would also shield the team from having to count on Donovan Peoples-Jones taking a major step forward in year two. He also helps the team plan for difficult decisions in the future in regards to their expensive LSU tandem.
Of course, the Ravens took Wallace 131st overall, so the Browns will be seeing more than their fair share of his ability over the next few years.