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Browns Wheel and Deal but Still fill Needs

Chicago Bears' second round targets

Day two of the draft saw the Browns wheel and deal moving back in the draft and adding extra picks. The first trade that took place was with the Colts moved the Browns back from 41 to 44 picking up a fifth-round pick this year. Even moving back to 44, the Browns were able to fill a need selecting safety Grant Delpit out of LSU. The drafting of Jedrick Wills and Delpit already provide a potential great draft even before any more picks are made.

The next move the Browns made was to trade back from 74 to 88 with the New Orleans Saints. This trade would garner a third-round pick in 2021 from the Saints and cost the Browns the 244th pick this year. This trade now gives the Browns multiple picks in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds in 2021. With the 88th pick this year, the Browns drafted defensive tackle Jordan Elliott also out of Missouri.

The final Browns pick of the day at 97 would yield Jacob Phillips out od LSU. Over the last couple of years, the Browns seem to be creating the Cleveland Tigers with all the players brought from the school. Andrew Berry would finish day two, adding three players to positions of need a fifth-rounder this year and a third next year. It seems like a pretty big second day for the first time general manager.

What the experts have to say.

Grant Delpit

Walter Football –

The Browns did a nice job of moving down three spots and picking up a fifth-round pick for a player they easily could’ve drafted at No. 41 – or earlier. Grant Delpit was a first-round prospect a year ago, but struggled in 2019. However, we heard that Delpit disappointed because he was protecting himself for the NFL, which is understandable. This made Delpit a nice buy-low target, so the Browns are filling a need with a talented player.

ESPN –

“The Browns’ problems at offensive tackle — hopefully solved by a combination of free agency and with their Round 1 pick — obscured the fact Cleveland also had the No. 22 defense in 2019 by DVOA, and second-level tackling was often a nightmare. Delpit is a big-time playmaker in the secondary who can move around and simply isn’t available in Round 2 if he hadn’t played hurt in 2019. A potential steal in Round 2.” — Chris Sprow

Why Delpit for the Browns?

To put it simply, Delpit was the best player on the board at a position of need. Just like in round one with the selection of Jedrick Wills. In the first two rounds of the draft, the Browns took one of the top three players at their position filling needs on both offense and defense. Even if these guys don’t become superstars, you cannot ask much more from the front office than to pick the best players at the time. Andrew Berry has done that so far.

Jordan Elliott

Browns wheel and deal
Creator: David Eulitt
Credit: Getty Images

Walter Football –

“I’m shocked Jordan Elliott dropped to the middle of Round 3. I’m sure the Browns were shocked as well, but they’ll take it. Cleveland needed to find some help in the interior of the trenches, and it’s getting a legitimate second-round prospect to provide aid in that spot. I had Elliott slotted at No. 62 overall in my final mock draft.”

ESPN –

“Elliott provides more defensive line depth for the Browns to shore up the interior with Larry Ogunjobi entering his contract year. Elliott has the upside of a disruptive defensive tackle, with the active feet and hands to win at the point of attack.” — Matt Bowen

Why the Browns took Elliot.

The Browns made a move to trade back in the third round, even with linebacker Zack Baun on the board. Baun was considered a second-rounder by most experts and played a position of need. Analytics are about value, so the trade back must have created more value than getting a potential starter at linebacker. This one does not make much sense.

The Browns did, however, get another talented player in Jordan Elliott to fill another need at defensive tackle. The Browns are thin at defensive tackle even after signing Andrew Billings during free agency. Also, Billings is only on a one year deal. Larry Ogunjobi, in a contract year, also pushes the need to the forefront. Elliott has the talent to be an NFL starter with the upside to wreak havoc on the line. Berry passed on a talented linebacker to draft a talented defensive tackle. Both fill needs, but Zach Baun has a higher ceiling and potential to make a significant difference this season. This move is one that could hurt Berry in the long run.

Jacob Phillips

Browns wheel and deal
LSU Linebacker Jacob Phillips (No. 6) (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

Walter Football –

“The Browns had a weak linebacking corps that had to be upgraded in the wake of Joe Schobert’s departure. Jacob Phillips will be able to play two downs for the Browns and help stop the run, but I’m not confident in his ability in coverage. Still, this is a fine pick toward the end of Round 3.”

ESPN –

“Joe Schobert signed with Jacksonville and Christian Kirksey with Green Bay after the Browns cut him. So Cleveland had to address a run defense that ranked 30th in the league last season. Look for Phillips to compete for a starting outside linebacker job flanking Mack Wilson and make an immediate impact on special teams.” — Steve Muench

Speed and Discipline

The linebacker is 6’3″ and 229 pounds fast and comes out of linebacker U. He is a very disciplined run stuffer but needs to get a bit stronger to fight through blocks. Jacob is a solid pick at the position of the most significant need for the Browns. Passing on Zach Baun might be a little less of a sting if Phillips can provide strong run-stuffing ability and improve in coverage in the NFL. If this one pans out Berry will be called a genius for getting Elliot and Phillips regardless of who wasn’t taken.

Conclusion

Andrew Berry continued to fill needs while getting quality talent. The only negative so far could end being the passing on Zach Baun. If Jacob Phillips can develop into a solid starter and Elliot lives up to the talent would help. Berry has also executed making moves so that he is taking the top or at least close player value-wise at the position. This allows him to continue taking the best player available and fill needs. Overall, this has been a solid draft so far, and we have one more day. From this point forward, it is all about trying to find talented depth period. Take the best player regardless of position and move on.


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