Redrafting the 2018 NFL Draft: What if Browns had Andrew Berry then?

After recently signing contract extensions, we take a look at how the pivotal 2018 NFL Draft may have played out differently for the Cleveland Browns under Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski.
Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Cleveland Browns / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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The Cleveland Browns recently signed general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski to contract extensions, furthering the hope in Northeast Ohio that the team may finally have consistency, and competency, in the front office.

Having a reliable duo in place now makes you think — how would the team have been built differently if they were in place earlier? I thought it would be a great exercise to look at the very impactful 2018 NFL Draft, led by John Dorsey for the Browns, and see how things could have potentially played out differently with the current regime at the helm.

Berry, Stefanski, and this analytical, Ivy League front office typically value two main things above all else in their draft picks: youth and athleticism. The younger the prospect and the higher the Relative Athletic Score (RAS), the more likely they are to become a Cleveland Brown.

Using these drafting "guardrails" we take a look at an option at each spot that the Browns were on the clock in the 2018 NFL Draft that would have been a more likely target under Berry and company.

We start at the very top of the draft with the first overall pick.

1. Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Browns original pick: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The original pick here was obviously Baker Mayfield, who enjoyed a thrilling rookie season in Cleveland but failed to prove himself as the long-term face of the franchise. Former general manager John Dorsey tabbed "buddy boy" as the first overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, but I find it hard to believe that Berry and Stefanski would have done the same.

MORE: The 10 best quarterbacks in the history of the Cleveland Browns

I think the decision likely would have come down to USC's Sam Darnold and Wyoming's Josh Allen. Both were younger than Mayfield entering the draft and each had their own strengths and weaknesses.

Ultimately, I think this front office would have bet on the size, athleticism, arm strength, and untapped potential of Allen. Sure, hindsight is 20/20 with Allen being the most successful of the guys in consideration atop the first round (Lamar Jackson has arguably been more successful, but I don't think he would've realistically been considered with the first pick), but many thought he could've been the target for the Browns at the time and I have faith that this regime would have made the selection and had a plan in place to get Allen to a similar level to what he is currently playing at for the Bills.

4. Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Browns original pick: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Despite some injury and availability concerns throughout his NFL career to this point, Denzel Ward has proven to be worthy of the top-five selection the Cleveland Browns used on him in the 2018 NFL Draft.

While there were a few other enticing options available with the fourth overall pick such as Bradley Chubb, Quenton Nelson, Roquan Smith, and Mike McGlinchey, Ward brought the hometown flare to Cleveland. The Nordonia Knight and Ohio State Buckeye quickly became a fan favorite and has maintained a Pro Bowl level of play with the Browns and with his age and athleticism entering the draft he would have been right up the alley of Berry, Stefanski, and company as well.