Browns Mailbag

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Browns Mailbag: Is everything on the table at No. 10?

We've made it. We've finally made it.

Happy Draft Eve. The anticipation makes it almost as good as Draft Day, doesn't it?

We're riding the wave of that excitement while answering five of your questions on this lovely Wednesday in Northeast Ohio.

Hey Andrew, my favorite uni combination is still the white on white, which is a big time classic look from back in the 60s. That combination wasn't shown in the primary release photos, so I need you to tell me that we will still be seeing them in the future. -- Chris P., Hemet, California

Yes, that will be an available combination. How could we not? We had that look featured in our main image upon release and you can check out a few shots of it in our photo gallery of the new uniforms.

We need a stronger D. Get Malik Harrison from the Buckeyes!! What are the chances? -- Jon S., Marysville

Well, I hope you enjoyed my latest seven-round mock draft, which has the Browns taking Harrison in the fourth round. Does that mean it's going to happen? Of course not. But Harrison is an intriguing player for a Browns team that boasts one of the league's youngest linebacker rooms. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein compares Harrison to Seahawks veteran K.J. Wright and sees him as a potential future starter on the inside for a team that utilizes a 4-3 defense. Harrison is strongest against the run, and that's an area where the Browns need to improve, especially when you consider the division in which they play. In his latest seven-round mock draft, The Athletic's Dane Brugler projects Harrison to be selected late in the third round.

What right guards do you think Andrew Berry and Paul DePodesta have targeted on their draft board, and what round do you think they will select one to hopefully start for the Browns this year? -- Gary B., Butler, Pennsylvania

Some of the best guard prospects in this year's draft include Netani Muti (Fresno State), Jonah Jackson (Ohio State), Damien Lewis (LSU), Cesar Ruiz (Michigan) and Tyler Biadasz (Wisconsin). They're all very good, are projected as late-first or second-rounders and likely will become starters wherever they land. Here's the thing, though. The Browns aren't in a position where they have to draft their future starter at right guard.

There are a handful of options on the current roster led by Wyatt Teller, who started the bulk of the games during the second half of the season. His progress throughout the year was noticeable and he earned the respect of his teammates, who watched him work behind the scenes to pick up Cleveland's offense after landing with the Browns in a late preseason trade from Buffalo. There's also Drew Forbes, the former sixth-round pick who shined near the end of preseason last year before suffering a knee injury. He's certainly in the mix to compete at that spot, too.

Check out photos of the top wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft

Any chance the Browns trade (maybe 3rd rounder) for Trent Williams on draft day and then slide up in the first round to grab LB Isaiah Simmons? What, in your opinion, would that take to do? -- Craig H., Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania

I'm not in the business of predicting what kind of trades the Browns could make on Draft Day, or really any other time because that's the kind of information I'm simply not privy to. So I can't answer the first part of your question. What I can do, however, is throw out an idea of what it would take to move up to ensure landing a player like Simmons or anyone else who is projected to land somewhere in the top 10. 

Let's toss three potential moves out there, depending on how the board might fall.

The first: Moving from 10 to 7, where the Panthers sit. Back in 2016, the Bears traded up from 11 to 9 to land DE Leonard Floyd. All it took was a fourth-round pick to pull it off. 

The second: Moving from 10 to 5, where the Dolphins sit with their first of three first-round picks. A similar type of move was made in 2018, when the Bills went from 12 to 7 to land QB Josh Allen. That essentially required the Bills to part with two second-round picks.

The third: Moving from 10 to 3, where the Lions sit and where many believe the draft "truly starts" after the expected selections of QB Joe Burrow and DE Chase Young. Let's go back to 2014 for this comparison, as the Browns traded down from No. 4 to No. 9 with the Bills, who selected WR Sammy Watkins. The Bills parted with their 2015 first-round pick and 2015 fourth-rounder to make it happen.

If we stay at pick No. 10 in the first round, should we consider selecting anyone (such as WRs Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb) other than the top four offensive tackles (Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, Andrew Thomas, and Jedrick Wills) and all-around defensive dynamo Isaiah Simmons? -- Nick D., Wayne, West Virginia

That line of thinking has been made pretty clear in recent conference calls by Andrew Berry and Paul DePodesta. The Browns did a lot of work this past month shoring up the roster and addressing a number of areas of perceived weakness. Though there isn't a clear starter at left tackle at the moment, the Browns aren't in a position where they HAVE to select a player from that position at No. 10. On the flip side, Cleveland isn't in a position to feel like it's set with what it's got anywhere on the field, meaning it won't pass up a talented player who ranks as the best player available just because there are a couple of other good players on the roster who play the same position.

"Our outlook with the draft has really been to scout and evaluate as if you have an expansion roster. That is really the case every year," Berry said. "We do not really go into a fall or spring and just say, 'Hey, look, we are just going to hone in on these specific positions.' Again, the draft is more about maximizing the amount of talent and the long-term talent on your team as opposed to filling needs. Very few rookies come in and hit the ground running and play at a Pro Bowl-caliber level in their first year. I think that is the wrong focus."

Berry said he and his group have worked through a number of different scenarios in the days leading up to the draft. If the board falls one way, they'll act one way. If it goes another, they'll do something different. That's how it's supposed to work when you aren't drafting specifically to fill a need.

"I really don't anticipate us being pigeon-holed into any specific direction or any specific side of the ball," Berry said. "We are going to go into it more with the approach of maximizing the overall talent that we can add to the roster [as opposed to having to fill needs]."

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