The Cleveland Browns don't own their first-round pick in this year's draft due to the Deshaun Watson trade at the beginning of last offseason. That deal hasn't panned out as well as the Browns would have liked, but it doesn't matter as much at this point in the year since they had a great run with all the injuries they sustained during this season.
Joe Flacco had this offense believing, and their defense was one of the best units in the league when everyone was healthy. If they have deficiencies, it would be in tackle and wide receiver depth, which has shown due to how many injuries they have had. I will try to fix some of those in this mock draft.
Round 2 Pick 60: Tyler Guyton Tackle Oklahoma
Jedrick Willis JR, Jack Conklin, and Dawaan Jones are all on the IR, which means the Browns have two third-string tackles protecting a 39-year-old Joe Flacco. Refilling the trench depth makes so much sense for this team.
"Is effective when asked to pull, showing the agility, speed, and overall range to get out as a lead blocker, where Guyton locates defenders and shows the ability to adjust and land blocks against linebackers. Guyton is a work in progress with high-end physical traits. He’s extremely light on his feet for a 300-pounder, a natural knee bender who plays with balance and leverage. An agile mover who puts his length to good use, using his hands aggressively and landing solid initial punches. Guyton can move to the second level as a run blocker, with the coordination and balance to hit moving targets." NFLDraftBuzz.com
Tyler Guyton has the potential to be a plus starter in this league. Even with everyone healthy, he can operate as a swing tackle, standing at 6-7 327 pounds. He profiles as the type of tackle that the Browns would select. He has some issues with balance due to his height and some other areas he needs to develop, but there are many things to like about his tape and profile.
Round 3 Pick 92: Brendan Rice WR USC
Let's squash this right here and now Brendan is Jerry Rice's son, but he will not be Jerry Rice reincarnated; that is not to say he won't be a good to very good football player in the league, but to put that type of expectation on him could weigh him down.
Now that is out of the way, Brendan Rice is a big physical, has sub-4.4 speed, and can be a solid to top piece in a passing attack, depending on his development. He is elite on the boundary due to great awareness and body control.
"Rice has all the raw tools that are required for the position. While he needs to polish some technical aspects of his game, his ceiling is high. 2023 will be massive for Rice - with a quality year at USC, he has the potential to get the attention of scouts. Currently, he's not being talked about as a top-level draftable pro player - but come around April 2024 don't be surprised if he's in the mix." NFLDraftBuzz.com
Rice isn't just a deep threat or field stretcher. He has a great ability to create with the ball in his hands due to his speed and vision. His size makes him hard to tackle when he has a head of steam. He could be more fluid with his route running, but his release is sometimes hampered due to his tendency to play around at the line of scrimmage rather than using his raw speed.
End Of Rant
The Browns don't have a first-round pick this year, but that doesn't mean they can't get first-round talent. There are many cases where a player is taken after the first, and they work hard and develop to be a top-of-the-league player.
I think that could be the case for either Guyton or Rice. If I had to pick, which is more likely, I'd say Rice. Either way, if they could hit on these picks, the Browns could be right back in the mix next year.
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