The 2021 NFL Draft is right around the corner. As teams make their final roster moves in preparation, we start to see what holes these teams still might have. That is true in Cleveland, where despite their great offseason and the recent addition of Jadeveon Clowney, the Cleveland Browns still have many needs to fill all over their team. This isn’t to say that these are the only team needs, as the Browns definitely have more than just these spots to fill but we are going to look at the top three.
Cleveland Browns 2021 NFL Draft Need Number One: Linebacker
This has been a need for the Browns for a long time, and while they did address it in some ways this offseason, it’s still a hole that needs to be filled. At pick 26, there will be plenty of great options for the Browns to get a linebacker. Anthony Walker was a good addition for run defense purposes but the Browns could use a rangy coverage linebacker. Baron Browning, Jamin Davis, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah are the best three choices for the Browns.
I could see the team attacking this position but I do wonder what round they actually do it in. The Browns are a hard team to predict this year because while they do have needs, they don’t have a pressing need to immediately take in round one. A linebacker would be my best guess, but maybe that’s because that’s what I would do.
Cleveland Browns 2021 NFL Draft Need Number Two: Defensive Tackle
The Browns recently released Sheldon Richardson to save 13 million dollars in cap space. The move was controversial to many fans but was probably the right choice to make, as that contract did not make sense for Cleveland. That said though, this does leave a hole in the middle of the defensive line. I could see the Browns re-signing Richardson to a smaller contract later in the offseason, but for now, I’d consider this spot a position of need.
The draft has some fun players at this position but none that are really worthy of a first-round selection in the 2021 NFL draft. I think the Browns take a defensive tackle at some point but hopefully not in the first round. Milton Williams, Dayvion Nixon, and Tommy Togiai are great players who would be available for the Browns’ second pick at 58. All three of these players would be of great value in the second round.
Cleveland Browns 2021 NFL Draft Need Number Three: Wide Receiver
I know what you’re thinking. The Browns definitely don’t need a wide receiver…but I would disagree. Odell Beckham has struggled to stay healthy and is still on the trade block. Jarvis Landry is a fine player, but keeping him in the slot could do wonders for this offense. And while I love Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones, the 2021 NFL draft is filled with a lot of talented wide receivers in every round. You can never have too many playmakers.
Not to mention, age is a factor. Landry, Beckham, and Higgins aren’t getting any younger. I wouldn’t consider them old by any means but you have to keep in mind what this team will look like in a few years. If you add these factors together you can make the argument the Browns could take a receiver in this draft. Dyami Brown, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Rashod Bateman are my three favorite players for the Browns’ system. Bateman would have to be the pick at 26, which I think would be fun, but the other two will probably make it to 58.
The Browns are in a great spot heading into the 2021 NFL draft. They have four picks in the top 100, and plenty of talented options, and a smart GM at the helm. They filled a lot of their needs in free agency and they project to have a much-improved defense, the same good offense, and playoff experience that will be huge for this team. They obviously have more needs than the ones listed, but to me, these are the biggest three.
Thanks for reading my article on the Cleveland Browns’ team needs ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. Follow @oth_football for all of your football-related needs!
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