In a few short hours, the Browns will finally be on the clock in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Browns were without a pick in Round 1, but they have three selections lined up for Day 2 — the first at 44th overall, and two more at No. 78 and No. 99 overall in Round 3.
Now that we have a better idea of who could be available when the Browns are on the clock, we're doing one final round of mock draft picks. Here's how the crew thinks the night will shake out:
44. EDGE David Ojabo (Michigan) - The more I think about it, the more I think there's a good chance Ojabo will still be on the board at No. 44 and present the Browns with a perfect long-term fit on the other side of Myles Garrett. This edge rusher class is a deep one, and Ojabo was supposed to be ranked near the top of it before he tore his Achilles at his pro day. Now, he could miss most or all his rookie season, but the Browns would still be happy to draft a player who recorded 11 sacks last season and has plenty of room to keep growing — Ojabo has only been playing football for five years. His ceiling will be high when he's fully healthy, and the Browns will have two stud edge rushers locked in for years if they can grab him.
78. WR Alec Pierce (Cincinnati) - Pierce has the right size (6-foot-3, 211 pounds), speed (4.41 40-yard dash) and athleticism (he also ran track and played volleyball and basketball in high school) to eventually become a starter in the league. He was the No. 1 receiver last season on a Cincinnati team that became the first Group of 5 school to crack the College Football Playoff, and he mostly played well against the top opponents the Bearcats faced in the regular season, including a 144-yard performance against Notre Dame. He's expected to be one of the best receivers available in Round 3 and can bring a lot of skills to improve the Browns' pass game.
99. TE Jeremy Ruckert (Ohio State) - I really do think the Browns will spend one of their first three picks on a tight end. Austin Hooper was the second-most targeted player last season, and the Browns would benefit from finding another tight end, in addition to David Njoku and Harrison Bryant, who could split that target load next season. Ruckert showcased a reliable set of hands with the Buckeyes and can be that guy — he only had three drops mixed with his 54 career receptions and is capable of being used even more as a pass-catcher in the league.
44. DT Perrion Winfrey (Oklahoma) – It sounds like my dreams of Drake Jackson being available at this spot in the draft are fleeting, so I'm going with a player who has made the most of his months leading into the Draft. Winfrey fits a big need for a Browns defensive line that doesn't have many tackles on the roster at the moment. He'll get a big, early opportunity and benefit from having an All-Pro like Myles Garrett lined up next to him.
78. EDGE Myjai Sanders (Cincinnati) – Sanders would give the Browns a pass rusher with a super high upside who could potentially come in and help right away in the kind of role Takkarist McKinley played last year.
99. WR Wan'Dale Robinson (Kentucky) – Just 21 years old, Robinson has a lot of good football ahead of him, and he'd help fill a need in the slot. The Nebraska transfer set Kentucky records in 2021 with 104 catches and 1,334 yards.
44. EDGE - David Ojabo (Michigan) - Round 1 is in the books and the top talent left on the board in my opinion is still available for the Browns. Andrew Berry has made a yearly tradition of snagging a first round talent in the second round with Grant Delpit in 2020 and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in 2021, and I think that continues with Ojabo, who would likely have gone in the Top 15 if not for his injury. I am still very confident about the Browns resigning Jadeveon Clowney, so this pick would make all the sense in the world. Not many teams have the roster set up to be able to have a second round pick redshirt, but the Browns do and they will reap the rewards for years to come.
78. WR Alec Pierce (Cincinnati) - With the impact player and succession planning secured on the edge, the Browns turn their attention to acquiring more weapons in the passing game and select Alec Pierce from Cincinnati. Pierce has great size, speed and athleticism profiles and has been compared to Jordy Nelson. He is 6'3" and runs a 4.4 40-yard dash with a 40-inch vertical, so he can win vertically and in contested catch situations. He has the traits to develop into a true No. 1 X-receiver and would bring a great size, speed combo to the Browns receiving corps.
99. DT DeMarvin Leal (Texas A&M) - Perion Winfrey could be a consideration here, but is off the board in my scenario. The Browns turn to Leal who was first team All SEC and All American in 2021 notching 8.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He is more of a pass rushing interior defensive tackle who could see work early in his career as a sub package interior rusher in the Browns Cheetah fronts (three defensive ends) or a big defensive end in run situations. I think the Browns will always emphasize interior pass rush over run stopping early in drafts and Leal gets the nod here allowing the Browns to get three quality players and fill their three biggest needs by the end of Day 2.