The Cleveland Browns have made some interesting moves in free agency and that has played a factor in Ryan Wilson’s mock draft.
10. Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
With the 10th pick, Wilson has the Browns taking Andrew Thomas. This is as expected. Cleveland still needs help on the offensive line and Wilson states that in his reasoning for the pick.
“The team signed RT Jack Conklin in free agency. Chris Hubbard could move from RT to RG and Andrew Thomas would be the Browns starting LT on Day 1. Maybe this is the year it all comes together for Cleveland.”
Jack Conklin is the new right tackle, but left tackle is still a giant question mark. Cleveland could obviously opt to go in different directions depending on the first nine picks go. A trade down or defensive option could be in the cards for Cleveland on draft day.
41. Ashtyn Davis S California
The Cleveland Browns realized the safety position was one of need in free agency, resulting in the team signing two of them, Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo. Joseph and Sendejo are not long term or dependable options which is why Wilson has Cleveland drafting a safety in Round 2.
“The Browns need to do some work on each level of the defense, and here they get one of the draft’s most talented safeties to play a key role.”
The reasoning from Ryan Wilson is solid. Cleveland’s defense has holes and drafting Ashtyn Davis could improve a unit devoid of talent.
74. Justin Madubuike DL Texas A & M
This pick is interesting. Justin Madubuike is an intriguing prospect and Cleveland should look into Madubuike if he is available.
The Browns brought Andrew Billings in for depth at defensive tackle, but the talented Madubuike is too good to pass up in Round 3
As noted by Wilson, Cleveland did just sign Andrew Billings, but it was a one-year deal. It is also worth considering the current options on their defensive line. Larry Ogunjobi has been trending downward and Sheldon Richardson’s stay with the Browns has a clear end date. The team needs to prepare for life post-Ogunjobi and post-Richardson. It is better to have too many options on the defensive line than not enough. The latter being the current state of affairs in Cleveland.
97. Shane Lemieux OL Oregon
As noted above with the selection of Andrew Thomas, the Cleveland Browns have issues on their offensive line. If Cleveland selects Thomas that leaves on starting position up for grabs, right guard. Perhaps Shane Lemieux could challenge Wyatt Teller at right guard.
The Browns should use all avenues to upgrade the offensive line, from FA to trading to finding talent throughout the draft, and here they get someone to compete on the interior.
Even if Lemieux cannot beat out Teller, it does not hurt to have a backup capable of filling in on multiple spots on the line. Lemieux moved all around the line at Oregon and could provide the Browns with some flexibility if there is an injury or lackluster performance from a regular starter.