Browns trade up, follow guardrails in latest 2023 NFL Mock Draft
General manager Andrew Berry and the Cleveland Browns have been very busy thus far in the NFL offseason, exploring every possible avenue to improve their roster. The team has signed numerous free agents and brought in a promising young wide receiver via trade. While the free agent and trade markets never cease, the team's focus will be shifting to the 2023 NFL Draft very shortly.
The draft is coming up in two weeks and while it isn't quite the Super Bowl that it used to be for Browns fans, especially with the team not scheduled to pick until the third round, it will still be a vital tool for the front office to use to round out their roster for 2023 and beyond.
When it comes to Berry and this current Cleveland regime, they typically abide by specific "guardrails" relating to age and athletic testing to hone in on potential prospects that they may select. The front office seems to target prospects on the youngest end of the spectrum and, like most teams, typically targets players that test well athletically.
With Cleveland not scheduled to pick until the 74th overall selection in the third round, I think there's a very good chance that Berry and the Browns move up a bit to target one of these players. They could really go in multiple directions, even with a trade-up, with linebacker, defensive tackle, edge rusher, wide receiver, and more as possibilities.
In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Cleveland Browns trade up into the second round to select a top player at a position of need for the team's future.
Browns Round 2, Pick 59: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
While Jack Campbell isn't the perfect guardrail fit that Trenton Simpson, who the team has met with, is, he is the best true MIKE linebacker prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.
He's still under 23 years old right now but isn't quite as young as Simpson. However, even with a bigger frame (and more impressive tape, in my opinion) Campbell has a RAS of 9.98, the sixth-best score of all linebackers since 1987.
Campbell reminds me a lot of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson, who was one of my favorite targets for the Browns in the 2020 NFL Draft. He may not be quite as effective in coverage, but he is just as rangy and athletic and is even more physical when taking on blockers.
Bringing in a true MIKE linebacker like Campbell could work wonders for the future of Jim Schwartz's defense in Cleveland. It would allow him to learn behind veteran leader Anthony Walker and develop into the true center and leader of the defense. Campbell is a perfect complement to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and is worth trading up for in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.