Cleveland Browns Round 4 pick: Braxton Jones, Offensive Tackle, Southern Utah
One big weakness that plagued the 2021 Cleveland Browns was injuries on the offensive line. Starting left tackle Jedrick Wills went down early in the season with an ankle injury, and while he continued to play throughout the pain, it definitely plagued him, causing him to leave several games early. Drafting depth for the offensive line, especially at the tackle positions, is key for insurance in case the same thing happens in 2022.
The Browns try to shore up that hole with their first pick in the fourth round by taking offensive tackle Braxton Jones from Southern Utah. While it’s a small school and a player that most have never heard of, Jones is a proven left tackle that has quality starting experience at the collegiate level.
The thing that makes him really appealing to the Browns is the fact that he fits their zone-blocking scheme really well, having played in that kind of blocking scheme in college. His biggest struggle currently is dominating in run blocking, but he makes up for that with his pass blocking. As he hopefully won’t be needed too often his rookie season, he can work on building up strength and improving his craft and could potentially be a solid piece of the Browns offensive line in the future.
Cleveland Browns Round 4 pick: Deangelo Malone, EDGE, Western Kentucky
The Browns defensive line still has holes to fill, especially at the opposite end of the line of Myles Garrett. Jadaveon Clowney filled that spot nicely in 2021 but is now a free agent. Although he has made comments that make it sound like he wants to return to Cleveland in 2022 and beyond, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL.
That is why the Browns must address the pass-rushing position in the 2022 NFL Draft, regardless of if Clowney re-signs with the team or not. Western Kentucky EDGE Deangelo Malone is a solid pick in the middle-to-late fourth round, and while he isn’t a perfect prospect, he can be a developmental role player for the Browns going forward.
The only true downside to Malone is his lean frame, which makes him prone to being knocked back and out of the play. If he finds a hole in the offensive line, his explosive first step often lets him attack it and get through the line, but if the linemen get their hands on him, he often is easily pushed out of the way.