The NFL Scouting Combine is here, and even though the Browns won't pick until 42nd overall in the 2023 draft, they'll still have a full brass of scouts, coaches and executives to check out the top prospects who will be available for the draft in April.
The Browns have their top needs on the defensive line and wide receiver, which is the core focus of this list of players who could be of interest for the Browns and will be worth monitoring throughout the week in Indianapolis.
DT Mazi Smith, Michigan
Perhaps the most commonly mocked player to the Browns so far by draft experts, Smith is one of the top-ranked defensive tackles in the draft class but isn't currently expected to be drafted until Day 2. He was excellent against the run at Michigan, compiling 48 tackles in 14 games his senior season and earning a first-team All-Big Ten selection. He was also the Wolverines' Defensive Player of the Year.
WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
The Browns could be searching for more speed in their receiver room, and Hyatt offers that. His odds of still being available to the Browns at No. 42 appear unlikely, but not impossible in the initial wave of pre-combine mock drafts, which makes him an interesting player to watch as the overall talent of the receiver class comes into better focus in Indy. Hyatt was the best receiver on an explosive Tennessee offense last season and caught 15 touchdowns.
DT Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin
Benton has also been a common mock pick for the Browns and took a big jump his senior season with the Badgers, totaling 36 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 12 games. Similar to Smith, he was also highly-praised for his run-stuffing ability.
DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State
Anudiki-Uzomah was remarkably productive for three seasons at Kansas State, totaling 20.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and 68 tackles. The combine will be important for him, since he's slightly undersized at 6-foot-3 and 252 pounds, but he was ranked as the 38th overall prospect on Daniel Jeremiah's initial top 50 rankings for the 2023 class. Jeremiah also listed Anudike-Uzomah last Friday as a player who could fit in the Browns' defense.
WR Josh Downs, UNC
Downs has early Day 2 potential and could be tagged with Round 1 status with a good week in Indy. He was highly productive with two 1,000-yard seasons his final two years with the Tar Heels, and he also possesses that speed element the Browns could be craving in their offense.
DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson
Bresee is not a guarantee to still be available for the Browns and is predicted by some experts to land in the late first-round. The uncertainty of his draft position, however, will make him an intriguing watch this week, and if he could be a more common mock pick for the Browns if his draft placement begins to project more as an early Round 2 pick. His best season came three years ago as a freshman when he tallied 23 tackles and four sacks, and he finished his career with 51 tackles and nine sacks in 25 games.
DE Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
McDonald has been a popular mock pick to the Browns and could be intriguing because of his heavy load of college experience, which could make him more NFL-ready than other edge rusher prospects. He played 48 games across five seasons with the Cyclones and amassed 34 sacks — including double-digit sack seasons in 2020 and 2021.
DE Tuli Tuipulotu, USC
Tuipulotu stacked together a tremendous breakout year as a senior, totaling 13.5 sacks and showing a strong and well-rounded game. He was also seventh in the nation with 22 tackles for a loss in 2022. He has first-round potential but currently appears likely for an early Day 2 selection.
DT Siaki Ika, Baylor
At 6-foot-4 and 350 pounds, Ika used his gargantuan size to plug run holes for four years at Baylor, amassing 70 tackles and 10.5 tackles for a loss at Baylor. He wasn't nearly productive as a senior as his previous college years, but draft analysts still like his tools and size for any team needing interior help.
WR Jayden Reed, Michigan State
Following the trend of speedy receivers, Reed will also be worth watching after he garnered attention at the Senior Bowl because of his quickness. His best season was his junior year, when he caught 55 passes for 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns. Reed averaged a superb 17.4 yards per catch that season.
Get ready for the Combine this week by checking out photos of current Browns working out at their combines