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Even after a somewhat lackluster season last year, the chants of "Super Bowl, Super Browns!" somehow still is echoing through the streets of Cleveland. Typically that chant is a bit of a joke but, this year it might finally be different. The Cleveland Browns traded a boatload of picks to get Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans, throwing caution about Watson's sexual assault history to the wind.
If Watson isn't suspended for too long, and let's be frank he will be suspended, then Cleveland and their fans should feel good about their chances of making a serious playoff run next season. But, before the Browns can get there, there are a few holes Cleveland needs to address on their roster. The Browns have a serious need at wide receiver as well as on the defensive line. Granted, a lot of this can change if Cleveland brings back Jadeveon Clowney and Jarvis Landry in free agency. But, the draft is a pretty safe insurance policy in the event only one or neither of the aforementioned Clowney or Landry return.
Unfortunately, with acquiring Watson, the Browns do not have any first-round picks in this year's draft to grab one of the top defensive ends or wide receivers. That means unless there's a trade, Cleveland will not be making any selections on Thursday night. Instead, the Browns will start selecting on Friday evening and into the weekend. If you need a refresher, here are the picks Cleveland is operating with heading into the draft:
- Round 2, Pick 12 (44 overall)
- Round 3, Pick 14 (78 overall)
- Round 3, Pick 34 (99 overall, compensatory)
- Round 4, Pick 13 (118 overall)
- Round 6, Pick 24 (202 overall, from Dallas)
- Round 7, Pick 2 (223 overall, from Detroit)
- Round 7, Pick 25 (246 overall, from Buffalo)
Today, Right Down Euclid will break down the best options for the Browns at each and every pick. That way as you head into the weekend, you'll know some of the players that should be available and that Cleveland may consider. Welcome to this year's definitive guide to the 2022 NFL Draft for the Browns and their fans.
Options in the second round for Cleveland
Even though the Browns have to wait until Friday to start drafting, they won't have to wait long. They only have one pick in the second round of this year's draft but, thankfully, there should be plenty of options with the 44th overall pick. Here's a quick rundown on some options for Cleveland:
- Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC – Jackson is a tall, lengthy pass rusher with a good bend, agility and overall athleticism. His physical upside makes him worth betting on, but, he has to improve on stringing pass-rush moves together. Too often, Jackson stalls out after his first move didn't work. Thankfully, he could learn behind an already stout Browns defense.
- Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan – Moore is a compact, well-built receiver with massive hands. You know what they say about big hands, right? Well, in football it means you should be able to catch anything and Moore does exactly that with an impressive catch radius. The only downside to him is his lack of size and how he's able to level up in the NFL after playing in a mid-major program. He could be an interesting option with Cleveland to grow alongside Amari Cooper in the slot during his rookie season.
- Logan Hall, DL, Houston – Hall has a tall, well-built frame with long arms and a thick lower half. The former Cougar plays with a good burst, a ferocious style and brings upside to line up all across the defensive front. Unfortunately, Hall plays a bit out of control at times; he’s a tweener who may lack the bulk to play inside and doesn’t have a ton of experience on the edge. Like Jackson, Hall could season with the Browns next season and be something special in the right environment.
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Former Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross's prior spinal surgery may scare him off from teams. But, his potential might be too much for the Browns to pass up on early in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Options in the third round for Cleveland
The Browns have two picks in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft that are only 20 spots apart. Granted, it's not as ideal as having their initial first-rounder and so on. But, there are some options here. Again, we'll give three names with each pick as well as a quick rundown on the prospect.
Names to watch with the 78th overall pick:
- Josh Paschal, DE, Kentucky – Paschal is sturdier than a brick shithouse, possessing a thick, muscular frame as well as a strong, power-generating lower half. Paschal lines up at multiple spots on the defensive front and dominates with heavy hands and a nonstop motor. Unfortunately, Paschal lacks length and is a little stiff as a rusher and he may be viewed as a rotational early-down defender only.
- Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State – Thomas is a well-built defensive lineman with a good first-step burst and the frame to line up all across the formation. Similar to Paschal, Thomas may be viewed as a tweener who faced a lower level of competition in college. But, the high motor and athleticism the former Aztec possesses could make him a solid option for the Browns.
- Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson – Ross is a tall receiver with top-tier size and insane body control. He was utilized all over the field for Clemson, seeing targets deep down the sideline, at the intermediate level and on screens, sweeps and end-around-type plays. Ross is a savvy route runner who does well to sell fakes and keep cornerbacks guessing. His production dropped in 2021 after a year off from football. and his spinal surgery from a few years prior could prompt teams to take him off their boards.
Names to watch with the 99th overall pick:
- Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis – Austin has a small, compact frame with short arms but can be a three-level threat who adds value in the return game. Taller corners simply can’t hang with his quickness and he creates separation early and easily. Austin is a speed merchant with run-after-the-catch talent but is severely undersized which could, unfortunately, limit his overall NFL ability.
- Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State – Kolar is a tall, athletic tight end with great length who wins at the catch point and is dangerous in the red zone. He has the skillset to become quarterback Deshaun Watson's best friend and a tight end heavy team like the Browns could find unique ways to utilize him. But, Kolar is not a true Y tight end and needs to get stronger as a blocker; he lacks explosive twitch as a route runner.
- Myjai Sanders, DT, Cincinnati – Sanders has a slim build but plays with good burst and agility. He possesses blazing foot speed and a flurry of pass rush moves and along with his burst, could be a wrecking ball for the Browns defensively. But, Sanders does need to get stronger at the next level in order to see the field as often as possible. Thankfully, it's safe to assume that'll happen in an NFL strength and conditioning program.
Former Ohio State defensive lineman Haskell Garrett could be an option for the Browns on the final day of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Options in the later rounds for Cleveland
On the final day of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Browns will have several picks. There's a good chance Cleveland trades some of them. But, with the need to fill holes on their roster they also could retain all the rookies they select on Saturday. With that said, here are some names to watch. No run downs this time since this is starting to get a bit wordy.
Names to watch with the 118th overall pick:
- Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
- David Bell, WR, Purdue
- Wandale Robinson, WR, Kentucky
Names to watch with the 202nd overall pick:
- Zachary Carter, DT, Florida
- Haskell Garrett, DL, Ohio State
- Jayden Peevy, DL, Texas A&M
Names to watch with the 223rd overall pick:
- Jesse Luketa, DT, Penn State
- John Ridgeway, DL, Arkansas
- Dontario Drummond, WR, Ole Miss
Names to watch with the 246th overall pick:
- Ryan Stonehouse, Punter, Colorado State
- Dai'Jean Dixon, WR, Nicholls State
- Deven Thompkins, WR, Utah State
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