Should the Browns draft Mazi Smith or Siaki Ika in second round?
By Joel W. Cade
The Cleveland Browns desperately need a big fat man in the middle of the defense. The kind of guy who requires two other big fat guys to block him. The bigger, the fatter, the better.
The Cleveland Browns run defense was historically bad in 2022. But 2023 is a new year! The Browns have the opportunity to use the draft to acquire big, cheap, fat guys to plug into the middle of the defensive interior next season.
Most recent mock drafts have the Browns picking defense in the second round. Cleveland’s first pick in the 2023 NFL draft comes in at No. 43.
43 Answers to unasked questions
The Browns need to take the best player available. But at some point, they have to draft for need. The most glaring need is defensive tackle. There are many good defensive tackles in this year’s draft. LSU’s Jaquelin Roy is certainly a standout player. But given that their first pick is in the middle third of the second round, there’s a good chance he won’t be available.
But who can the Browns take at 43 that can actually play defensive tackle?
There are two candidates that may still be around at 43 who could do the job nicely. The first is from a team up north that nobody wants to talk about. The second is from a team from the Big 12 that nobody actually talks about. Both can hold down the fort fort in the middle.
Siaki Ika is a behemoth of a man hailing from Baylor University. He specializes in stopping the run and collapsing the pocket. He regularly occupies two blockers allowing linebackers to run free. What is not to like about Ika?
Mazi Smith of Michigan is a complete defensive tackle. He can play the run using a double gap technique. He employs multiple pass-rush techniques. He’s also impossible to block one on one.
But will either be available at 43? Maybe neither. Maybe both. Let’s turn to the first option now.