Cleveland Browns Round 5 pick: Matt Hankins, Cornerback, Iowa
The Cleveland Browns keep their eyes on improving their defense in the fifth round, this time taking to add to their defensive backfield with cornerback Matt Hankins out of Iowa. Hankins isn’t a big or physical cornerback, but his motor is always high and he always finds a way to make a play on the ball when it comes his way.
Hankins also provides solid support in run defense and is one of those rare cornerbacks who is willing to give up his body to make a tackle on bigger running backs. He does have a bit of an injury history at Iowa, which could be a concern with the amount of injury-prone defensive backs already on the roster in Cleveland. However, given that he would likely only play a limited role on defense, that may be something that the team is willing to overlook.
Cleveland Browns Round 6 pick: Charlie Kolar, Tight End, Iowa State
Let’s face it, the Browns overpaid for tight end Austin Hooper when they signed him to the massive contract prior to the 2020 season. With a contract as big as his, and a dead cap hit that is way too high to allow him to be cut, the team is likely stuck with him for at least one more season.
However, that doesn’t mean they can’t start looking towards the future at that position. That’s exactly what they do with their pick in the sixth round, taking tight end Charlie Kolar out of Iowa State. Kolar is a nice size, standing at 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds, but lacks the muscle tone to be a tone-setter at the end of the offensive line.
What he lacks in his frame, however, he makes up for with great hands and a willingness to do anything and everything in pass and run blocking situations. He’s able to consistently win contested catches and is a constant threat in the red zone, something the Browns could badly use on offense.
Cleveland Browns Round 7 pick: Velus Jones Jr, Wide Receiver, Tennessee
With their final selection of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Browns keep looking to improve their offensive playmaker positions by drafting a versatile receiver out of Tennessee, Velus Jones Jr. Jones started his college career at USC before transferring to Tennessee for his final two college seasons. He made an immediate impact on special teams in 2020, before breaking out as a pass-catcher in 2021 in a new hurry-up, spread offense.
Jones can make an immediate impact for the Browns by stepping into the punt and kick returner role, a position that the Browns have yet to find a permanent player to fill under head coach Kevin Stefanski. However, he’s a phenomenal player when in space, and that’s something the Browns could look to add to their offense as well.
Adding Jones to the outside could help provide that spark that’s needed to get the Browns offense back to its 2020 version, and perhaps even better.