5 positions the Cleveland Browns must address in the 2023 NFL Draft
Browns Position to Address No. 4: Tight End
The Cleveland Browns have their clear No. 1 tight end after locking up former first-round pick David Njoku to a four-year $54.75 million contract last offseason. Further, the team added a familiar face for Watson in Jordan Akins on a two-year $3.9 million deal already this offseason.
The first effect this has on the current Browns roster is likely with the future of Harrison Bryant. Cleveland used a fourth-round selection on the former John Mackey Award winner in 2020 but has failed to prove productive at the next level. It seems very unlikely at this point that he will be earning a second contract with the Browns and could even be traded this offseason.
Now with Njoku signed fairly long-term and Akins coming in to reunite with Watson in 2023, you may wonder why tight end should be a priority in this 2023 NFL Draft. First, this is a very impressive tight end draft class. Particularly compared to recent years, draft experts have stated how impressive the prospects are, top to bottom, in this class. Like at running back, the Browns would be wise to look toward the future and take advantage.
Also, when you look at the contract that the Browns signed Akins to, there is a clear out after this season that would cost Cleveland just $315,000 in dead cap space, according to Spotrac. So if things do not work out this season with Akins, the Browns could be more in need of a tight end than you may think.
Sure, we expect the Browns to deploy more wide receivers moving forward, but Stefanski will surely want to have two reliable tight ends for 12 personnel on early downs and beyond.