Browns replace Deshaun Watson in recent 2-round 2025 NFL Mock Draft

The Draft Wire predicts the Browns move on from Deshaun Watson in this 2025 NFL Mock Draft
Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson
Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns didn't have a pick in Round 1 of the past three NFL Drafts. So what will they do in 2025 when they finally pick in the opening round? According to Curtis Popejoy of Draft Wire, they will replace Deshaun Watson — the player they added in exchange for those three picks (as well as other draft compensation).

In his latest two-round mock draft, Popejoy has the Browns taking Carson Beck from Georgia at No. 16 overall. In the second round, he has them turning their attention to the secondary with the selection of Xavier Nwankpa from Iowa.

Beck wouldn't be a bad selection for any team. The UGA quarterback spent the first three seasons of his collegiate career on the bench, finally getting his shot in 2023. As a redshirt junior, he completed 72.4 percent of his attempts for 3,941 yards with 24 touchdowns and just six picks.

Having said that, it's hard to see Cleveland making this move before 2026.

Watson hasn't been what they expected through two years — playing in just 12 games. They knew 2022 would be a lost season due to a lingering suspension but the Browns had high hopes for 2023. A shoulder injury ended that for Watson, but they were 5-1 in the six games he appeared in.

Even with the decent record, this is a huge season for Watson. If he can't prove to the Browns that he's the answer under center, they're going to look around. The problem is, they won't be able to afford to move on financially until 2026. Even then, they'll be hit with a huge amount of dead cap space, but it would at least be feasible.

Ideally, the Browns would love to see Watson be the player he was in Houston but they don't need that to find success. All they need is him to be average and they can win with their defense. If he can do this, they can play out his deal and find a replacement without being set back financially.

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