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Zion Johnson
Cleveland Browns

Browns Mock Draft 2022: Post-Deshaun Watson Trade

  • Ryan Fowler
  • March 21, 2022
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Cleveland faithful, welcome to your window of success. While the road to the top of the AFC will come with trials and tribulations, and there remains much to sort out off the field with newly acquired signal-caller Deshaun Watson, the Browns are in a position to win, and win now. An organization one year removed from an 11-win campaign and a division title, using our Mock Draft Machine, I looked at which prospects Cleveland could, and should, target when the draft rolls around.

Here is my seven-round mock, including scheme fit, on each prospect:

ROUND 2 (NO. 44 OVERALL): ZION JOHNSON, IOL, BOSTON COLLEGE

After cutting ties with J.C. Tretter, adding a talent like Zion Johnson would be a home run for general manager Andrew Berry here some 13 picks into the second round. While it would be a surprise to many—including myself—if Johnson slips out of the backend of the first round, the insertion of Johnson as the nucleus of a dominant Cleveland front five could be the icing on the cake for what could be one of the top offenses in football. While Berry could very easily add a WR here with Amari Cooper representing the lone headliner on the perimeter, it starts up front, and Johnson is a foundational piece for the next decade.

ROUND 3 (NO. 78 OVERALL): PHIDARIAN MATHIS, IDL, ALABAMA

Depth is paper-thin within the interior right now for Cleveland and adding beef up front in the form of Phidarian Mathis is much needed. With Myles Garrett on the outside and do-it-all defender Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah at the second level, clogging up space and eating up bodies is something Mathis became accustomed to doing in Tuscaloosa and will help free up 1-on-1 opportunities for others elsewhere.

ROUND 3 (NO. 99 OVERALL): JALEN TOLBERT, WR, SOUTH ALABAMA

Get to know the name of Jalen Tolbert. Often cast aside when discussions of the elite pass-catching options arise, a dominant perimeter threat for the Jaguars and a talent who stood out all week long at the Senior Bowl, Tolbert is a MASSIVE sleeper in this class. After watching the success Will Fuller had with Watson in Houston, the 6-foot-3 versatile threat is a heck of a WR2 option here in the back end of the third round.

ROUND 4 (NO. 107 OVERALL): SAM WILLIAMS, EDGE, OLE MISS

Sam Williams just began playing his best ball, and that’s only a glimpse toward his potential in the future. One year of success in college could drift teams away from Williams and that could work well in Berry’s favor here on Day 3. A twitchy athlete with a powerful lower half and the versatility to slide up and down the defensive line, the former JUCO transfer turned SEC standout is a nice piece to work in opposite Garrett and behind Chase Winovich.

ROUND 4 (NO. 118 OVERALL): JOJO DOMANN, LB, NEBRASKA

You can never have enough athletes on defense and JoJo Domann would offer the Browns another coverage ‘backer with the necessary pop to fill near the LOS as well. Good athletes don’t always translate to good football players, but Domann has remained a standout on film throughout the entire evaluation process and should enjoy a nice helping of snaps from the onset of his career. Working within such a talented group of youth-infused defenders could blossom Domann into an impact linebacker early in his days as a Brown.

ROUND 6 (NO. 202 OVERALL): MICHEAL CLEMONS, EDGE, TEXAS A&M

It was tempting to add a toolsy talent in Virginia Tech’s Amaré Barno here, but the Browns need impact right away at the edge, and adding more pop into the position after adding Williams in the fourth round could be the way Berry approaches the backend of the selection process.

Micheal Clemons touts ideal length to stack and shed blockers and has shown a high level of explosiveness to run the hump and work around the outside as a 5-tech defensive end. His high hips limit his ability to change direction, but as snaps come at the NFL level, he will be able to adjust his game, process offensive concepts, and put himself in position to make plays on the football.

ROUND 7 (NO. 223 OVERALL): THOMAS BOOKER, IDL, STANFORD

I’m a big supporter of Thomas Booker’s game, and after watching him dominate at the East-West Shrine Bowl, many NFL teams should be too. More bodies in trenches are needed and Booker’s ability to slide up and down the line as a 1-tech, 3-tech, and 5-tech during his time as a Cardinal should jigsaw nicely in Cleveland as a rotational defender. At 310 pounds, he also fits the mold defensive coordinator Joe Woods likes in his interior lineman.

ROUND 7 (NO. 231 OVERALL): CHARLESTON RAMBO, WR, MIAMI (FL)

BPA here at the backend of the draft, and Charleston Rambo—an Oklahoma transfer — is the ideal prospect teams take a flier on late in the process. On one hand, he becomes a high-level depth option with some vertical ability, and on the other, he’s a practice squad talent you could cut ties with if all fails. I expect the former, and Rambo has a swagger to his game that could mesh well within Cleveland’s spry roster.