Browns Mock Draft Round 2, No. 44: Nik Bonitto, Edge Rusher, Oklahoma
Nik Bonitto is a very athletic and quick edge rusher and linebacker tweener of a player. He can get into the backfield and cause havoc, but he can also slide back into pass coverage quickly. He can get into the gaps as well and help shut down the run game. He stands at 6-foot-3 but doesn’t have the huge build yet coming in at a slim 245 pounds.
The Browns don’t know yet if Jadeveon Clowney will be returning to the team, as that rumor of his return is still out there. The veteran edge rusher would be great to have back in a Browns uniform, but the Browns have to continue to deepen the defense with talent. That’s why a player like Bonitto would be a great pick here.
Bonitto would be an excellent prospect who could have some immediate impact on the defense from the start of next season. Whatever the team decides to do in free agency with the pick-up of any additional defensive linemen or edge players will have some bearing on this pick.
The Sooner star is entering the draft after his junior season. He had 118 tackles and 19.5 sacks in his career. He’s been projected anywhere from a second to a fourth-round pick. So, having the Browns take him here might surprise some, but his athletic quickness and flexibility to attack the quarterback or take away the edges or plug up the run game are outstanding.
If he were 20 or 30 pounds heavier, he’d likely be drafted in the first round of the draft, but it a great player to land here and try to develop into a starter.