Well, this is different.
We're back for yet another season of an endless array of mock drafts, but the feeling is much different than recent years. Just three years since they held the No. 1 and No. 4 pick in the 2018 draft and four years since they held the No. 1 pick that netted All-Pro DE Myles Garrett, the Browns sit at No. 26 for the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Though the Browns have had multiple years when they didn't make a first-round pick because of trades, it's worth noting this is the latest slot for Cleveland's first-round pick — regardless of whether the Browns were the team making the pick — since 1995, when it also held the 26th selection.
Here's what we've learned with our first scan of the mock drafts we know and love: The later you pick, the more opinions seem to differ on what you'll do with it.
For the first time in 2021 ... unleash the mocks!
Of Note: Robinson began his career at Alabama before making the move to Orlando. Kiper likes the kind of versatility Robinson could bring to a Browns secondary that was hampered by significant injuries throughout 2020.
Of Note: Collins won the Nagurski Award, given to college football's top defensive player, after racking up 11.5 tackles for loss and four interceptions.
Of Note: Jeremiah compares Collins to Leighton Vander Esch, who starred at Boise State before landing with the Cowboys in the first round.
Of Note: Barmore was named the Defensive MVP of the 2021 national championship after racking up five tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack against Ohio State.
Of Note: Reuter projects the Browns to trade up to No. 21 to snag Bolton, whom Reuter compares to Steelers LB Devin Bush.
Of Note: Iyer says Collins "explodes as an athlete" and would be a nice complement to Garrett on the D-line and Denzel Ward in the secondary.
Of Note: Phillips, a transfer from UCLA, led the Hurricanes with eight sacks in 2020.
Of Note: Nixon was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was the only player in college football to be a finalist for the Outland Trophy (best lineman) and Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player).
Of Note: Renner writers Oweh on the opposite side of the line from Garrett would give the Browns "one of the freakiest athletic tandems in NFL history."
Of Note: Horn, a three-year starter for the Gamecocks, is the son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn.
Of Note: Owusu-Koromoah graded out particularly high in pass coverage last season, according to PFF's metrics.
Of Note: Collins would be just the second first-round pick from Tulsa in the common draft era, joining T Steve August (1977).