3 players Browns could trade up for in the second round of NFL Draft

These 3 prospects should be monitored closely by the Browns
Jer'Zhan Newton, Browns Draft
Jer'Zhan Newton, Browns Draft / David Berding/GettyImages
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2. Johnny Newton, DT, Illinois

Jer’Zhan “Johnny” Newton is a fascinating defensive tackle prospect from Illinois who was unable to work out during the NFL Combine. Newton was still recovering from surgery to repair a Jones fracture but his foot is fully healed now — and he recently proved this during drills at his Pro Day.

Several teams showed up to watch Newton’s workout including the Browns. Newton felt good about his performance and believes he displayed his exceptional speed and agility. 

At 6-foot-2 and 304 pounds, Newton has a compact but powerful frame. He's a 3-tech capable of shutting down the run as well as generating pressure on the quarterback. In 2023, he won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award after recording 52 tackles with 7.5 sacks.

Cleveland retained both Maurice Hurst and Shelby Harris this offseason but neither is a long-term answer. Hurst is on a one-year deal and has dealt with a litany of injuries. Harris signed a two-year contract and while he was great for the Browns last season, he's going to be 33 in August.

Newton would provide a younger option who can be a disruptive force next to Dalvin Tomlinson. He's another player who is being mocked in the later portion of Round 1 but should be targeted by the Browns if he somehow falls into the second.