The Cleveland Browns are projected to take a wide receiver by most in the first round of April’s NFL Draft, but may actually be better off taking an edge rusher first.
If you take a quick glance at the Cleveland Browns roster entering the 2022 offseason, you can see a few holes that need to be filled. The wide receiver position is most notably one that gets the most attention, as the NFL is a pass-first league, and having quality receivers is one of the ways to distance yourself from the rest of the pack.
Cleveland’s lack of explosiveness at the wide receiver position is a large reason why almost every draft expert has the team selecting a top receiver in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Names like Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson, Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, and USC’s Drake London are all guys that have been taken at pick 13 in a variety of mock drafts.
However, there’s a case to be made that there’s an even bigger hole on the Browns roster – defensive end. While Myles Garrett is a stud on his side of the line, the Browns have yet to find a long-term solution on the opposite side of the line to prevent teams from putting all their attention on him.
Jadeveon Clowney was a solid player that performed well this year, but with the salary cap constricting more and more each year as the organization looks to extend players coming off their rookie contracts, it will get harder to pay him the kind of money he looks for on a yearly basis. While he was only paid $7 million in 2021, he usually looks for a salary starting at twice that amount, which would put him well out of the Browns price range.
Cleveland Browns should consider a DE in Round 1
This is exactly why the Cleveland Browns need to take a defensive end in the first round of the NFL Draft. The defensive end class is top-heavy, with many top names projected to be there at 13 for Andrew Berry to select, especially if quarterbacks continue to rise up the board like they inevitably do every year.
If quarterback-needy teams ahead of the Browns take their guy in this draft, that could potentially mean that guys like Kayvon Thibodeaux or George Karlaftis could be available for the team to take.
Another reason to even look at drafting an edge rusher is because of the depth there is at the wide receiver position in the 2022 draft class. The talent that will be available in the second and third rounds won’t be much of a drop-off from the guys available with the 13th overall selection. It will also allow them to address other weaknesses on their team with young talent that doesn’t have as much depth in the draft class.
The Cleveland Browns don’t have to pigeonhole themselves into selecting one single position in the 2022 NFL Draft. While there are a few glaring holes on both sides of the ball, and most draft experts and telling you the Browns have to select a wide receiver, the truth of the matter is the Browns have options.
And one of the best options is to take a defensive end to help out Myles Garrett and the rest of the defense as a whole.