With the first wave of free agency over and the week of media discussions at the NFL Annual Meetings complete, we're taking another dive into the Mailbag to answer your questions with one month until the next big date on the league calendar: the draft.
This week, we're talking about what talent the Browns could still find in the draft, the importance of one of the re-signings the Browns made in their linebackers room and the speed in the wide receivers room.
With approximately 70 players already signed for a 53-man roster, how much of a chance is there that they will find a rookie in Round 3-7 that will be any better than players they have now? Do you think they will bundle draft picks this year for higher draft picks in 2024? - Ken P., Dorset, OH
The Browns parting ways with their first- and second-round picks in this year's draft suggests they didn't want to use the draft to find answers for their biggest roster needs. That's a totally acceptable strategy for a team that is undoubtedly in "win now" mode.
With no pick until No. 74, it seems unlikely — although not impossible — that the Browns will draft a player who is a Week 1 starter. It is certainly likely, though, that they'll draft players who are better than some the Browns currently have and can compete for 53-man roster spots.
The Browns still could look for depth help across their defensive line, safety, linebacker and offensive line, and they'll likely look to patch those areas (and more) through their eight draft picks. Some intriguing players to know for pick No. 74 include Florida State S Jammie Robinson (No. 74 overall prospect per PFF), Ohio State DE Zach Harrison (No. 74 overall prospect per The Athletic's Dane Brugler and No. 73 on NFL.com's Eric Edholm’s list) and Gervon Dexter (No. 74 on CBS draft rankings).
The Browns, of course, will do a lot of waiting until they make that choice, but as last year's fruitful third-round selection of CB M.J. Emerson Jr. suggests, there should still be plenty of good players available in that range.
As for a trade, it wouldn't be surprising to see them move picks. They probably don't have enough room on the roster for eight rookies, and if the front office sees that, too, it would be wise to trade one or more of those picks to acquire better picks in future years.
What does the re-signing of LB Anthony Walker say about the value of his leadership and steady playmaking ability? - Nick D., Glendale, AZ
The Browns seem to value Walker's leadership just as much as his tackling ability, and it's not hard to see why.
The defense struggled to adjust at times without Walker last season after he was injured in Week 3. They lacked a steady tackler in the middle of the defense, and they missed Walker's keen ability to communicate and position others in the unit. Walker's absence was certainly a big reason why the defense was inconsistent, and the Twitter reactions from his teammates after news of his re-signing showed just how beloved Walker is within the locker room.
Kevin Stefanski was ecstatic about his return, too. Here's what he said about him Monday at the Annual Meetings:
"I love the guy. Love everything about him. Love what he brings to our team. He was playing really good football before he was injured last season, unfortunately, but he's a good football player. He's awesome in the locker room. He's a son of a coach. When he's done playing 10 years from now, I'm going to try to convince him to coach. He's just rock solid."
Now that we have added a couple new speedsters to our WR room, who are our fastest WRs on the roster in terms of their recorded 40-yard dash times? - Nick D., Glendale, AZ
It should be no surprise to anyone who knows his background that Anthony Schwartz holds the fastest 40-yard dash time in the wide receiver room. He was a world-class sprinter before the NFL and held the World Youth record for the fastest time in the 100-meter between 2017 and 2022. He ran a blisteringly quick 4.26 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
After him, the list goes:
Marquise Goodwin - 4.27 (Combine)
Elijah Moore - 4.34 (Combine)
Jakeem Grant - 4.34 (Pro Day, although some people believed Grant may have also ran a 4.1 40-yard dash)
Amari Cooper - 4.42 (Combine)
Isaiah Weston - 4.42 (Combine)
Marquez Stevenson - 4.46 (Pro Day)
Mike Harley - 4.46 (Pro Day)
Donovan Peoples-Jones - 4.48 (Combine)
Michael Woods II - 4.55 (Combine)
David Bell - 4.65 (Combine)
Daylen Baldwin - 4.65 (Combine)