Well, since we all know, a tackle at ten is about 95% locked in. We can move on to the rest of the draft and make some educated guesses on what could be next. After taking the tackle at ten, the second round is a different story as the Browns could take that pick multiple directions. Andrew Berry has done an excellent job of shoring up the offense and adding depth to the defense in free agency. Even with all the great moves by Berry, the Browns still have a significant need at linebacker. They could also use some depth at both the safety position and on the defensive line. Here are a few options that could be available at pick 41.
Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com:
“Winfield isn’t as tall or as long as teams like and he’s an average athlete, but he’s an interchangeable safety who can flat out play. Winfield is stout and strong with above average body control and balance. He can bang on tight ends in coverage and support the run near the box. His angles to the ball are efficient against the run or pass. He’s very instinctive and sees plays unfold, but doesn’t have ballhawking twitch to challenge a high number of throws. His tackle net isn’t as wide in the open field, so he must tackle with excellent fundamentals. Winfield isn’t a star but he’s a quality building block with the toughness and intelligence to help fortify the back end.”
Andrew Berry signed two safeties this past offseason, and the Browns still have Sheldrick Redwine, who showed some potential late last season. Would spending a second-round pick on a safety be the way to go? Especially with a much greater need at linebacker? The short answer here is yes. Winfield has the potential to be a star safety for the next 8-10 years. If/when you have the chance to add that to the talent pool, you make that move. Winfield Jr. should be very high on Andrew Berry’s list of potential second-rounders.
Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
Lance Zierlein, NFL,com:
“Sleek, playmaking linebacker with chiseled frame and long arms. Murray’s game is predicated on speed with an ability to fly around from sideline to sideline rolling up tackles. While his twitchy burst allows him to make more plays than the average linebacker, he will overflow to ball-carriers at times. Recognition of play development and ability to take on blocks are both underdeveloped currently, but a move to weak-side linebacker would put him in position to minimize those concerns and maximize his playmaking talent. Murray has hit-or-miss qualities and is more splashy than consistent, but he’s immensely talented with the ability to imprint on games on all three downs.”
Every NFL Draft expert will tell you Isaiah Simmons is going top ten. Patrick Queen is also at the top of the list and will likely go in the first. Murray has all the talent to be a first-rounder, and certainly could be. He just feels like the most likely of the big three to drop into the early second round. Murray is gifted but not on the level of Simmons, and he does not have the instincts that Queen displays. All of this is not to take away from the explosive talent that Murray brings to a team. He just has some work to do on the more technical aspects of playing the position(see above). Should he actually make it to 41, the Browns should rush the card up to add the talented linebacker.
Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
The Draft Network:
“Yetur Gross-Matos features a loaded toolbox of traits and enters the league after compiling 94 tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks across his last two seasons at Penn State. While he is still developing his processing skills, Gross-Matos has every quality needed to become a dynamic pass rusher and run defender at the next level. His blend of burst, length, size, power and fluidity is impressive and his deployment of his traits leads to disruptive moments on tape. Gross-Matos may not be an immediate impact guy, but he should develop steadily across Year One while his Year Two/Three ceiling is exciting. Gross-Matos is best suited for duties as a 4-3 defensive end but I can see the advantage of getting him in some standup opportunities to alleviate some of his ID’ing inconsistency with his hand in the dirt.”
The Browns still have Olivier Vernon and just signed Adrian Clayborn to provide depth. There have also been plenty of rumors floating about regarding Everson Griffen and Jadeveon Clowney heading to Cleveland. At this point, it looks like Clowney is a big maybe, and Griffen and Vernon are short-term solutions. The early rumblings of a trade with the Jaguars for Yannick Ngakoue seem a bit unlikely, also.
Another big issue staring at the Browns in the face is a lot of huge contracts coming down the pipeline. Having a young talented end on a cheap deal for a few years would help keep the most talent possible. Gross-Matos has all the tools to be a great player and would benefit from a line full of talented players, mainly Myles Garrett. With all the focus teams have to put on, Garrett Yetur could be the beneficiary. Berry and company love value, and a stud edge rusher on a cheap contract would qualify.
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