The 2019 NFL Draft is coming up, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The Cleveland Browns will be the 29th team evaluated.
The Cleveland Browns made a huge improvement last years, going 7-8-1 after combining for one win over the previous two seasons. After firing head coach Hue Jackson and replacing him with Gregg Williams, they went 5-3 in the second half. The Browns moved Freddie Kitchens from offensive coordinator to their full-time head coach moving forward.
Cleveland’s offense was 21st in the league, scoring 24.5 points per game. They finished the year 25th in passing yards, but did improve over the second half as rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield became more comfortable in the NFL. Mayfield had 3725 passing yards on a 63.8% completion percentage as well as 27 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. He became more accurate as well as productive as the year went on. After Kitchens took over, Baker had 2254 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions in the last eight games. The rushing offense was bottom five in the NFL, ranked 28th. However, it is in a good situation now. Nick Chubb broke out after taking the primary running back job, with 823 rushing yards in ten games. In addition, the Cleveland Browns signed Pro-Bowl running back Kareem Hunt, who will come back late in the year after serving an eight-game suspension.
The receiving corps is now one of the best in football. They traded for superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to add to their core of Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway and tight end David Njoku. On the other hand, the offensive line has some unproven players, especially after trading right guard Kevin Zeitler. The Browns don’t know what they will get up front next season.
The Cleveland Browns defense, just like the offense, was ranked 21st in the league, allowing 24.5 points per game. In the offseason, they traded for Pro-Bowl defensive end Olivier Vernon, who will beef up the pass rush. Their secondary is solid with Denzel Ward and EJ Gaines in place at cornerback and Damarious Randall at free safety. However, they traded young strong safety Jabrill Peppers and need to replace him.
The linebackers are not bad with Joe Schobert in the middle as well as Christian Kirksey and Genard Avery on the outside. However, it wouldn’t hurt to add at that position in case the young players don’t pan out.
2019 NFL Draft Picks
The Browns have eight draft picks in this year’s draft.
Second round (one pick): No. 49
Third round (one pick): No. 80
Fourth round (one pick): No. 119
Fifth round (three picks): No. 144, No. 155, No. 170
Sixth round (one pick): No. 189
Seventh round (one pick): No. 221
Safety– The Browns need to replace Jabrill Peppers after trading him to the Giants.
Defensive Line- They have a vicious starting front four, but need some depth pieces for the rotation at defensive end and tackle.
Offensive Tackle- Greg Robinson was a reliable left tackle last year, but after his inconsistent career, they can’t trust him to keep playing well.
Linebacker- Not a huge need currently, but wouldn’t hurt to add and keep developing at the position.
2019 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 49: Darnell Savage, Safety, Maryland
Savage isn’t the prototypical strong safety at just over 5’10” and under 200 pounds, but showed in college to be a great run stopper in the box. He is also extremely fast and athletic, so he also has the ability to play deep. Savage would be a great pick for Cleveland after losing another versatile safety in Peppers.
Pick No. 80: Oshane Ximines, EDGE, Old Dominion
Ximines was a dominant pass rusher at a lower-tier school, but has the technique and pass-rushing instincts to make it in the NFL. Since he can play either defensive end or outside linebacker, the Cleveland Browns can use him in different ways. They can have him as part of the defensive line rotation or develop him to be an eventual starter at linebacker.
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