The Cleveland Browns fell far short of expectations in 2021, missing the playoffs in a year many thought they would be a Super Bowl contender.
General manager Andrew Berry and Co. attempted to change this big time earlier in the offseason, pulling off the blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson. He will replace Baker Mayfield under center and gives the Browns a legitimate franchise quarterback on the field.
How will this impact the Cleveland Browns draft plans in 2022? Well, it’s simple. They are without a first-round pick in the annual draft due to the Watson trade. Below, we look at the picks Cleveland boasts in Las Vegas later this week before delving into our final Browns mock draft.
Related: 2022 NFL mock draft
Cleveland Browns 2022 draft picks
- 2nd round: 44th overall
- 3rd round: 78th and 99th overall
- 4th round: 118th overall
- 6th round: 202nd pick
- 7th round: 223rd overall
- 7th round: 246th overall
Cleveland Browns mock draft: Finding playmakers, enhancing defense
Despite not having that first-round selection, Cleveland still has an opportunity to create depth on the roster. It’s going to be a key part of the team’s draft plans.
The good news? This is seen as a deep draft with teams being able to acquire potential starter talent on Day 2 and early on Day 3. The Browns could also potentially add another pick or two by trading the aforementioned Mayfield.
2nd round, 44th overall: Perrion Winfrey, defensive tackle, Oklahoma
Defensive tackle remains one of the glaring needs for Cleveland heading into the draft. Jordan Elliott and Tommy Togiai are slated to start in the team’s 4-3 scheme. This needs to change moving forward if the Browns want to be taken seriously as a legit AFC title contender.
It’s all about providing some pressure on the inside with Myles Garrett doing his thing out on the edge. With Jadeveon Clowney potentially set to return in free agency, that leaves defensive tackle as a hole Cleveland must address.
Enter into the equation the 6-foot-4, 303-pound Winfrey. Last season for Oklahoma, he recorded 11 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks — providing solid pass-rush ability from the inside. He can play multiple positions in the front four and already boasts the athleticism to make an immediate impact. This would be a steal in Round 2.
Related: Top 2022 NFL Draft prospects
3rd round, 78th pick: Calvin Austin lll, wide receiver, Memphis
Even after acquiring Amari Cooper in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland is kicking the tires on multiple veteran receivers. That includes Will Fuller and the possibility of bringing Jarvis Landry back.
Even if Cleveland does sign one of these players, it will need to find some more depth behind Cooper in the wide receiver room. The 5-foot-9 Austin could potentially provide that immediately with initial touches out of the slot. He’s slippery smooth out of his route and can provide Watson with that throwing window on intermediate routes. In his final two seasons with Memphis, Austin recorded 137 receptions for north of 2,200 yards and 19 touchdowns.
3rd round, 99th pick: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
Even if the Browns re-sign Clowney in free agency, they are going to want to get some youngsters to fill out the remainder of the depth chart. Hence, why Berry and Co. acquired Chase Winovich in a trade with the New England Patriots.
Sanders is coming off a down 2021 season with Cincinnati. However, he’s proven to be an extremely productive pass rusher and can fill multiple holes in the Browns’ front. That includes playing with his hands up at linebacker and out on the edge. Back in 2020 with the Bearcats, Sanders recorded 10.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
Rounding out the Cleveland Browns mock draft
- 4th round, 118th overall: Jack Sanborn, linebacker, Wisconsin
- 6th round, 202nd overall: Cole Turner, tight end, Nevada
- 7th round, 223rd overall: Nick Grant, safety, Virginia
- 7th round, 246th overall: Keaontay Ingram, running back, USC
Let us know what you think about our Cleveland Browns mock draft below.