How will the Browns use their picks in the 2018 NFL draft? We're breaking down every pick here.
After going 1-15 in 2016, the Browns found a way to finish with an even worse record in 2017, becoming the second team in NFL history to go 0-16.
In coach Hue Jackson's third year in Cleveland, he went with rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer to lead the offense that went on to score the fewest points in football.
On the other end of the ball though, the Browns were not much better as they finished 31st in scoring defense.
The Browns will have the top pick in the draft for the second consecutive year, and thanks to a draft-day trade from last year, they will also have the Texans' first-round pick, which is No. 4 overall.
Here's a full list of picks the Browns hold in the 2018 draft, which will be updated as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 1 (No. 1 overall):
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Andy Benoit's grade: B-
Those pesky Johnny Manziel comparisons aren’t going away—not until Mayfield wins a few games, at least. The Browns gambled here, passing on multiple quarterbacks with traditional NFL measurables for the one who stands just six feet. Mayfield doesn’t have the Russell Wilson-type athleticism to prosper in sandlot mode the way he did in college. But what the Browns surely noticed is, while those sandlot plays dazzled fans, Mayfield’s best work actually came when he played on time and within structure. He has a good enough arm and a sharp enough football IQ to run a high-level pro offense. His best chance at success is the Drew Brees route, with his game predicated on precision passing, intellect and, to offset the height issue, pocket movement.
Scouting Report: There’s a reason few six-foot quarterbacks make it in the NFL, and the fact that Mayfield is coming from an Air Raid offense (supported by superior talent) is a second strike. Still, he was adept at finding throwing lanes at the collegiate level. He’s an anticipatory passer, which will make up for what’s ordinary arm strength for an NFL starter. And the Johnny Manziel comparisons should probably go away considering Mayfield’s off-the-charts football character, as well as high football IQ. An offensive coordinator might have to get a bit creative (and you wonder how Mayfield will handle a more aggressive media throng at the NFL level if the likes of Lee Corso can get under his skin), but with a strong interior line in a timing-based offense, there’s no reason Mayfield can’t have success in the NFL.
Round 1, Pick 4 (No. 4 overall)
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Andy Benoit's grade: B
Here’s why Ward to the Browns isn’t as shocking as it seems: Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams believes in disguising coverages and blitzing. That’s much, MUCH easier to do when you have a shutdown corner. The Browns were 0-16 last season, but their roster is of 5-11 quality and their defense didn’t have a glaring weakness. The team could afford to take the best player available here. Assuming they liked N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb (why wouldn’t they?), they’ve tacitly declared two things by drafting Ward: 1. Myles Garrett can really carry a pass rush, and 2. You can manufacture a pass rush via blitzing, as long as you have guys who can cover 1-on-1 behind the blitz.
Scouting Report: Ward’s competitiveness and leaping ability allow him to play bigger than his size, and his loose hips and quick feet allow him to mirror quicker receivers underneath. He’ll likely always have issues against big No. 1 receivers, but he can play the slot or outside and has Pro Bowl potential.
Round 2, Pick 1 (No. 33 overall): Austin Corbett, T, Nevada
Andy Benoit's grade: C+
With Joe Thomas retired, the Browns apparently don’t want to gamble on long-armed 2016 third-rounder Shon Coleman developing into Baker Mayfield’s blindside guardian. At 6' 4" and 306 pounds, Corbett doesn’t have the ideal size, which is why many figured he might play guard in the NFL. But with Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler already occupying these spots, the Browns clearly believe their newest lineman can play outside.
Round 2, Pick 3 (No. 35 overall): Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Andy Benoit's grade: D
Chubb projects as a foundational NFL back… but that’s what free-agent pickup Carlos Hyde already was. And with Duke Johnson, a multidimensional receiving threat behind Hyde, the depth at this position was already stellar. This is a head-scratching use of the No. 35 pick, especially from a team that needs help along the defensive line.
Round 3, Pick 3 (No. 67 overall) [Via Indianapolis]: Chad Thomas, DE, Miami
Andy Benoit's grade: B+
D-line was clearly the area most in need of help on Cleveland’s defense, especially in terms of depth. Coordinator Gregg Williams believes you can generate a pass rush via blitzing and disguise, but that doesn’t mean you pass on an edge rusher with upside.
Round 4, Pick 5 (No. 105 overall) [Via New England]: Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
Round 5, Pick 13 (No. 150 overall): Genard Avery, LB, Memphis
Round 6, Pick 1 (No. 175 overall): Damion Ratley, WR, Texas A&M
Round 6, Pick 14 (No. 188 overall): Simeon Thomas, CB, Louisiana