Written by: Jake Leicht
The Cleveland Browns have continued to reshape their roster in the 2019 offseason. They were able to add DT Sheldon Richardson, TE Demetrius Harris, LB Adarius Taylor, OL Eric Kush, S Morgan Burnett, and of course star RB Kareem Hunt during John Dorsey’s second offseason in charge. While most of those signings provide depth to positions of need on the roster, Sheldon Richardson and Morgan Burnett look to be two players that will start immediately for the Browns in 2019. The biggest move of the Browns’ offseason came on March 13th when they were able to acquire star WR Odell Beckham Jr. and stud DE Olivier Vernon from the Giants for OL Kevin Zeitler, DB Jabrill Peppers, 2019 first-round pick and a third-round pick. These transactions have bolstered the Cleveland Browns’ depth charts, but there are still holes that need to be filled via the 2019 NFL Draft.
Draft Picks (8 Total)
2nd Round #49
3rd Round #81
4th Round #120
5th Round #145 (via JAX)
5th Round #156
5th Round #171 (via NE)
6th Round #191
7th Round #223 (via JAX)
Team Needs: CB, S, EDGE, LB, OL, WR, TE
Early Rounds (1-2) — 1 total pick
DeAndre Baker, CB (Georgia)
Justin Layne, CB (Michigan State)
Yodny Cajuste, OT (West Virginia)
Chase Winovich, EDGE (Michigan)
Taylor Rapp, S (Washington)
Jonathan Abrams, CB (Mississippi State)
Julian Love, CB (Notre Dame)
Lonnie Johnson, CB (Kentucky)
Mid Rounds (3-5) — 5 total picks
Jalen Hurd, WR (Baylor)
David Sills V, WR (West Virginia)
Alize Mack, TE (UCLA)
Tytus Howard, OT (Alabama State)
Max Scharping, OT (Northern Illinois)
Khalen Saunders, DT (Western Illinois)
Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE (LA Tech)
Oshane Ximines, EDGE (Old Dominion)
Ben Burr-Kirven, LB (Washington)
Tre Watson, LB (Maryland)
Sean Bunting, CB (Central Michigan)
Amani Hooker, S (Iowa)
Saivion Smith, CB (Alabama)
Isaiah Buggs, DT (Alabama)
Jalen Jelks, EDGE (Oregon)
Lamont Gaillard, OG (Georgia)
Mark McLaurin, S (Mississippi State)
Late Rounds (6-7) — 2 total picks
Gardner Minshew, QB (Washington State)
Karan Higdon, RB (Michigan)
Chuma Edoga, OT (USC)
Josh Oliver, TE (San Jose State)
Preston Williams, WR (Colorado State)
Olamide Zaccheaus, WR (Virginia)
Greg Gains, DL (Washington)
Renell Wren, DL (Arizona State)
Drue Tranquill, LB (Notre Dame)
Cortez Broughton, DL (Cincinnati)
Dakota Allen, LB (Texas Tech)
Jamel Dean, CB (Auburn)
Will Harris, S (Boston College)
Note: This is a prediction of how the Browns will actually draft. The alternate pick is a second way that I could see the draft unfolding.
#49: Julian Love, CB (Notre Dame)
The Browns desperately need to build depth in their secondary. Julian Love fits the mold. Although he is not especially athletic, Love might have the best instincts of any cornerback in the draft. He has the ability to make plays when the ball is thrown his way as well. Cleveland could take Love in the second round and mold him into a starter in training camp. I could also see the Browns trading up for a secondary player towards the end of round one.
Alternate Pick: Taylor Rapp, S (Washington)
#81: Khalen Saunders, DT (Western Illinois)
Although the Browns just signed Sheldon Richardson, their depth along the defensive line is not great. Khalen Saunders is a high-upside defensive tackle that could go in round 2. Cleveland will be looking to bolster their defensive line with talent, so it would not shock me to see them take one early on in the 2019 draft.
Alternate Pick: Sean Bunting, CB (Central Michigan)
#120: Tre Watson, LB (Maryland)
Tre Watson is a linebacker that is not getting enough publicity in this year’s class. Watson can make plays all over the field, and he is athletic enough to play sideline-to-sideline. The Browns need to find a good, young linebacker that can learn from stalwarts like Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert.
Alternate Pick: Isaiah Buggs, DT (Alabama)
#145: Oshane Ximines, EDGE (Old Dominion)
Although Cleveland has two of the better pass rushers in the league, they need to add depth to the position. Oshane Ximines is a prospect that has a large range of potential draft outcomes. At the beginning of the process, he was looked at as a Day 2 edge rusher. Now, other players have seemed to pass him up in the pre-draft process. The Browns could grab the young pass rusher and groom him into a 3rd down weapon.
Alternate Pick: Jalen Hurd, WR (Baylor)
#156: Preston Williams, WR (Colorado State)
It is not secret that John Dorsey loves his reclamation projects. Preston Williams is one of the best wide receivers in the draft class, but his off the field issues are staggering. I could see Dorsey rolling the dice with one of the Browns three fifth round picks.
Alternate Pick: Mark McLaurin, S (Mississippi State)
#171: Max Scharping OT (Northern Illinois)
Since the retirement of HOF tackle Joe Thomas, the Browns have actually covered up the position rather well with veteran Greg Robinson. Scharping would give the Browns a project at left tackle that they could try to groom for the future.
Alternate Pick: Ben Burr-Kirven, LB (Washington)
#191: Josh Oliver, TE (San Jose State)
Cleveland needs a young tight end to take over as their 3rd tight end option. Josh Oliver has potential in the passing game, and the Browns would do well to address the position late in the 2019 draft.
Alternate Pick: Renell Wren, DT (Arizona State)
#223: Gardner Minshew, QB (Washington State)
The Browns do not have many desperate needs, so taking a young quarterback could be an option late in the draft. Minshew is a prospect that could go anywhere from rounds 5 to 7 this year.
Alternate Pick: Dakota Allen, LB (Texas Tech)