Browns mock draft: Mazi Smith headlines 2023 class
By Randy Gurzi
The 2022 NFL Season is officially over as Super Bowl LVII is in the books. Congrats are in order for the winner but the Cleveland Browns and the rest of the NFL are already at work trying to figure out how they can be in the big game one day.
Here, we try and help re-tool their roster with our latest seven-round Browns mock draft. They’re not on the clock until pick No. 42 due to the Deshaun Watson trade but they can still land themselves a quality starter.
7-Round 2023 Browns mock draft
Round 2, Pick 42: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
With their first selection in this mock, the Browns fill the biggest need on their roster. While there will be calls for a defensive end, safety, or wide receiver, those positions all have at least one player who can produce at a high level. That’s not the case for defensive tackle.
Right now, there are no guaranteed starters which is why Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith makes so much sense at No. 42. Smith is a massive human at 6-foot-3 and 337 pounds and he plays with plenty of pure power. He’s also incredibly athletic for such a big man.
There will be those who hate this pick since Smith isn’t necessarily a three-down player but what’s the point of employing pass rushers if teams never get to third down? Smith helps them get into situations where those who can attack the quarterback will be unleashed.
Round 3, Pick 98: Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is going to be a very happy man if the draft does indeed start this way. After adding Mazi Smith to the defensive line, he now gets a new safety in Brandon Joseph from Notre Dame.
Joseph began his career with Northwestern before heading to South Bend and while he didn’t improve his stock greatly, he’s still a ball hawk capable of playing deep coverage. Right now, Cleveland has a lot of safeties that can play in the box, so Joseph gives them exactly what they need.