Browns Will Have The Option To Fill Out Depth Issues In Middle Rounds Of The NFL Draft
The Cleveland Browns will need a boost at depth for quite a few positions. The draft is the place to get that done, especially when you have multiple day two picks, including two third rounders.
Trading Duke Johnson netted Cleveland a third round pick from the Houston Texans, which turned out to be a solid trade for both sides, but we’ll have to see what the Browns make out of that pick. The team could use more depth at receiver, tight end, interior line on both sides, as well as linebacker. Basically, it could be best player available for Cleveland in the third round, as it will most likely come at a position they could use depth from.
How the first two rounds go will have a factor in what the Browns decide to do in the middle rounds, but we take a look at a few names to keep an eye on. These players could be potential fits, players that Cleveland very well could take a look at.
Lucas Niang (TCU): Even if the Browns pick a tackle earlier, they still need to build some depth, as right tackle was a known issue as well. Niang is a massive human at 6-foot-7 and nearly 330 pounds. He has some limitations that he would need to work on, however some solid skills are there to work with.
It can very as far as where he will be picked, as an injury limited what he was able to put on tape last season. Needs to fine tune his drop during passing downs, as it can get quite sloppy. For his size he is very athletic and could fit well with what the Browns will run on offense, he can move. On running downs he can get downfield to the second level and beyond as a blocker. A viable option for the team in Northeast Ohio.
Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt): Cleveland needed more blocking help before hiring Stefanski, they’ll need more after. Which, includes a tight end that can block and be involved in the offense. David Njoku is in a make or break year, things are uncertain with him. Besides, he’s always been more of a pass catching threat, not offering a ton of blocking.
In Pinkney, Cleveland would get a capable blocker that would be valuable for the run game of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. 6-foot-4 frame, that needs to add some agility if he wants to improve as a pass catcher. Best on short to immediate routes, could be a check down option for Baker Mayfield, something Mayfield would like to be better at. But, that could be all Cleveland needs from the tight end position if Njoku stays healthy. The tight end from Vandy’ is another mid-round option.
Adam Trautman (Dayton): The good old Cleveland “gets us” meter could be way up on this one. A small college, that is local to Ohio produced the NFL caliber tight end. Trautman is a big guy at 6-foot-5 and 250+ pounds. Built like a power forward, athletic and has some explosiveness. Actually has a basketball background as well.
Very well could see the former Dayton Flyer being the best tight end in this draft. Has the traits to be a TE1, he’s just a raw talent still. Can go up and get jump balls, fight for possession and has shown strong hands. May look like an underrated pick that would pay off.
Jordan Fuller (Ohio State): Fuller was an all-conference caliber player both on the field and off, as he has the books smarts as well. I like the ability Fuller has to roam around the field and make plays, as he shows up everywhere on tape. Solid in the man-to-man matchups when he comes down from his position.
Fuller does bring big hit ability, but it sometimes costs him with being over aggressive, which could result in a missed tackle. Has the ability to clean up plays and help out. Cleveland needs safety depth, Fuller will be there day two.
Tyler Johnson (Minnesota): I was really high on Tyler Johnson this year as he showed some good things for Minnesota. Over 1,300 yards as a wideout and 13 receiving touchdowns. Has the film and the production to back up his case. Cleveland will need some wide receiver depth, Johnson could compete for WR3 if it isn’t addressed in free agency.
6-foot-2, not a giant target but not a small receiver. Solid route runner that can win after the break and gets open. Could very well be a deep threat with good hands. Some concerns of strength, as he’s been noted to get stuffed at the line. Day two prospect to keep a look out for.