Browns land vertical weapon in NFL Stock Exchange's latest mock draft

The Cleveland Browns land a vertical threat and an interior pass rusher in the NFL Stock Exchange podcast's latest three round mock draft by Trevor Sikkema and Conor Rogers.

Devontez Walker, Cleveland Browns
Devontez Walker, Cleveland Browns / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

On the most recent episode of the NFL Stock Exchange podcast, Trevor Sikkema and Connor Rogers did a full three-round NFL Mock Draft. Who did the Pro Football Focus podcast hosts have the Cleveland Browns selecting? Glad you asked, let's break it down.

Before we get into the Browns selections in this mock, it should be noted that the NFL Draft has become a year-round business all unto itself. A huge part of that business is the media that accompanies it. While there are several podcasts and websites dedicated to the draft, you would be hard-pressed to find somebody doing it better than PFF’s Trevor Sikkema and NBC Sports’ Conor Rogers.

The NFL Stock Exchange podcast takes a comprehensive approach to their NFL draft coverage. The NSE podcast explores everything from philosophical and schematic approaches to team building and the thought processes of NFL general managers and front offices. Their in-depth approach is what separates NSE from the majority of the NFL ‘draftverse’.

Adding a big-play vertical threat to the Browns offense

During the duo’s three-round mock draft earlier this week, the hosts addressed some major areas of need for the Browns. With Cleveland's first selection, Sikkema drafted wide receiver Devontez Walker out of the University of North Carolina. Walker would be a home run selection for the Browns.

It has been an uneven draft cycle for Walker. The UNC product entered the cycle as a fringe back of the first-round prospect. However, after a disappointing week of practice down in Mobile at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Walker’s draft stock took a hit. But, after an outstanding combine performance, where Walker notched a 4.36-second 40-yard dash, a 40.5-inch vertical jump, and an 11-foot-2-inch broad jump, the prospect’s name is once again on the rise.

Cleveland’s offense has lacked a true field stretcher since the team moved on from Beshard Perriman after the 2018 season. Walker would provide the Browns with a legitimate vertical threat and a potential No. 2 receiver to go along with Amari Cooper. The selection would also signify the biggest swing that general manager Andrew Berry has taken at a wide receiver in the draft during his tenure.

Providing an interior pass rusher in Round 3

Rogers then elected to take defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr. with the Browns' second selection. One of the least discussed holes on the team's roster is the lack of defensive tackles under contract. With only Dalvin Tomlinson and an unproven Siaki Ika under contract, Berry has to make adding playable talent to the defensive tackle room a top priority.

In Hall, the Browns would be getting a penetrating three-tech defensive tackle with a high upside pass rushing potential. At 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds, Hall has excellent short area quickness and could potentially provide the Browns with rotational pass rushing snaps as early as his rookie year. The transition from college to the NFL is particularly difficult for interior defensive lineman but, given Hall’s skill set, the Browns would be able to bring him along gradually by playing him only on obvious passing downs.

Overall, Walker and Hall would both help bolster their respective positional rooms. There would be a path for Walker to provide more of an immediate impact as a rookie, but Hall would be able to contribute in a rotational role in one phase as the rest of his game rounds out. However, if you were to zoom out and look at the big picture, the Browns would be selecting two eventual starters that posses game effecting potential. Walker and Hall would be an excellent day two haul for Berry and the Browns front office.

More Browns coverage