Even though the 2023 NFL Draft technically started last night, for the Cleveland Browns, it begins today and continues into the weekend. Cleveland opens things up in the third round, where they will start with the no. 74 pick, which they acquired from the New York Jets when they landed Elijah Moore. Sure, the Browns mainly addressed their more glaring needs during free agency this offseason. Nevertheless, Cleveland still has the potential to round out their defensive depth – especially on the defensive line and at the linebacker position. They could use extra help at offensive skill positions as well. Today, Right Down Euclid will give you insight on who to watch as the remaining rounds of the NFL Draft kick-off for the Browns.
2023 NFL Draft Round 3, Pick 11, (74 overall – via New York Jets)
For the entirety of this guide, let’s assume that Cleveland doesn’t trade any of their eight picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. So, to start things off, here are three names to watch as the Browns (finally) open things up:
- Isaiah McGuire, DE, Missouri
- Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
- Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati
Some of you may raise an eyebrow at the notion of Cleveland adding another wide receiver to the mix after acquiring Elijah Moore from the New York Jets and signing veteran speedster Marquise Goodwin. But, considering how much Cleveland needs extra weapons to empower Kevin Stefanski’s offense, players like Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims and Cincinnati’s Tyler Scott make a ton of sense at pick no. 74.
Mims is a long-striding wideout that’s blindingly quick on the field. He will primarily line up inside, but he has the potential to be moved around to mismatch speed-deficient coverage. Sure, Mims ran a limited route tree at Oklahoma, but he has the athletic qualities to expand on it at the next level. He’s athletic in space and dangerous with the ball in his hands. If selected by the Browns, Mims could also see action on the field as a punt returner in his rookie season. Mims is NFL-ready with a runway to continue developing and should be a legitimate option in the NFL Draft for Cleveland.
If the Browns want to wait for their next rookie receiver to develop, they can lock their sights on Scott at 74. Some scouts have compared Scott to T.Y. Hilton, primarily due to Scott having a similar body type, speed and versatility. The biggest knock against the former Bearcat is that he only has two seasons of starting experience at receiver. Nevertheless, all the physical attributes are there for Scott to be a game changer. His lack of experience doesn’t have him projected to go later in the NFL Draft. If Cleveland can be patient with his development, he could be unique and a staple in their wide receiver room. But, considering the Browns are more ready to win now, it could make sense if Cleveland cools on Scott when it’s time to pick.
If the Browns go with a wide receiver with their first third-round selection, they could take a gander at either Moro Ojomo or Keeanu Benton. Ojomo is a powerful defensive lineman caught somewhere between end and tackle. He plays hard throughout the rep and will find production with his secondary effort, but he might cap out as a solid backup in either an odd or even front. Benton is a powerful interior defensive lineman with size and persistence. However, Benton sometimes needs consistent help, which could hold him back from being a potential NFL starter.
2023 NFL Draft Round 3, Pick 35 (98 overall)
- Moro Ojomo, DL, Texas
- Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin
- Jayden Reed, WR, Michigan State
If the Browns go with a wide receiver with their first third-round selection, they could take a gander at either Moro Ojomo or Keeanu Benton. Ojomo is a powerful defensive lineman caught somewhere between end and tackle. He plays hard throughout the rep and will find production with his secondary effort, but he might cap out as a solid backup in either an odd or even front. Benton is a powerful interior defensive lineman with size and persistence. However, Benton sometimes struggles with consistency, which could hold him back from being a potential NFL starter.
On the flip side, if Cleveland goes with a player like McGuire with their first pick in the NFL Draft, a speedster like Michigan State’s Jayden Reed makes sense at 98. Reed is a utility wideout that can take snaps at multiple receiver positions while offering kickoff and punt return talent. He also operates with good route speed and projects as a big-time, big-play threat long-term. But until he hits that potential ceiling, Reed could support the Browns on special teams during his rookie year.
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2023 NFL Draft Round 4, Picks 9 & 24 (via Minnesota Vikings) (111 & 126 overall)
- Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
- Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pitt
- Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
Cleveland has two picks in the fourth round, and they will have to address the depth behind Nick Chubb and find his possible replacement. Texas running back Roschon Johnson is a power back with a bruising frame that fits the brutal, intelligent, and dependable mold. Johnson isn’t overly creative, lacks the juice to hit quick-closing NFL holes, and may have a limited ceiling. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh running back Israel Abanikanda is a one-scheme runner with early downsize who can be inconsistent with his reads. However, he has plant-and-go agility and can snap off cuts at tight angles to elude short-area traffic when needed, thanks to his incredible top-end speed.
If the Browns don’t want to find a Chubb back-up and eventual replacement, then Oregon’s Noah Sewell is worth a crack. Brother of Detroit Lions star Penei Sewell, the former Ducks linebacker has good power to take on blocks and muddy the middle, but his lack of pursuit speed and quickness prevent him from consistently making the stop. Sewell needs to become more anticipatory and read play development more effectively, as he’s missing the tools necessary to overcome missteps.
2023 NFL Draft Round 5, Picks 6 (via Los Angeles Rams) & 8 (140 & 142 overall)
- Josh Whyle, TE, Cincinnati
- Desjuan Johnson, DT, Toledo
- Jerrod Clark, DT, Coastal Carolina
This is where things get to the real nitty-gritty as Cleveland reaches the very end of the draft. Cincinnati’s Josh Whyle is a smooth, athletic pass-catcher with the competitiveness to battle for playing time in the league. With how Stefanski likes to utilize multiple tight ends, it could bolster the Browns on offense. Desjuan Johnson is an extremely quick defensive tackle, as the first thing that stands out on his tape is his get-off. That can allow him to get penetration and be a disruptor because he’ll catch unsuspecting offensive linemen off guard. Jerrod Clark lacks the build and body type of a true NFL nose, so additional weight limits his natural athleticism inside. But as a former tight end, could have the foot speed to make a difference at times on defense.
2023 NFL Draft Round final rounds
- Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA
- Clayton Tune, QB, Houston
- Bryce Baringer, P, Michigan State
Finally, why not take a look at a possible long-term backup behind Deshaun Watson? Dorian-Thompson Robinson can extend plays and create opportunities for himself outside of the pocket, he’s at his best when he’s throwing on time and utilizing possession throws as his base. Clayton Tune, meanwhile, is a full-field reader who needs plays to stay on time, as he lacks improvisational talent. Without a plus physical or athletic profile to lean on, Tune must learn to speed up his eyes, quiet his feet and improve his post-snap process to beat NFL defenses with timing and accuracy.
If neither of those work then the Browns should take a stab at Bryce Baringer. He has a cannon for an arm and is a power punter able to flip the field with his great, big leg through and through. Unfortunately, he does struggle with accuracy issues behind that leg strength.
Evan Dammarell is a sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be found three to five times weekly on Locked On Cavs, a part of the Locked On Podcast Network.
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