Browns could be targeting ‘starting quality OT’ in 1st round of 2020 NFL draft

February 20, 2020

The Cleveland Browns underperformed in just about every way during the 2019 regular season. Second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield’s expected MVP-caliber season was anything but; he completed less than 60% of his passes and threw 21 interceptions (compared to 22 touchdowns).

It would be unfair to place all of the offense’s blame on Mayfield, however. In fact, it was a pretty obvious storyline all season that Cleveland’s offensive line was one of the worst, if not the worst, in the entire league. Mayfield was under constant pressure. He didn’t stand a chance.

As a result, the Browns will target one of the 2020 NFL draft’s top offensive tackles early on draft weekend, potentially as high as the first round and pick No. 10 overall.

Their need for offensive line help was exacerbated by the arrest of Greg Robinson, who wasn’t necessarily in the team’s plans in free agency anyway. But his looming legal troubles officially closes the door on his return and makes the need for a starter even more pressing.

Robinson appeared in 14 games for the Browns last year and logged 860 snaps, the fourth-most of any offensive lineman on the team. He was also the ninth-highest-graded player on Cleveland’s offense, per Pro Football Focus, which is at least partly indicative of just how poorly the offensive line played.

Assuming the Browns get aggressive in free agency — as ESPN’s Jake Trotter tweeted on Thursday that they will be — they’ll have a chance to flip the offensive line in just one offseason.

A player like Tennessee’s Jack Conklin would be a massive upgrade over Robinson and if paired with a top-10 prospect at the position, would provide Mayfield with the type of bookend talent he needs to return to his rookie-season form.

Three offensive tackles immediately come to mind for the Browns in the first round: Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Iowa’s Tristin Wirfs and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton. There’s a chance two of the three will still be on the board when Cleveland is on the clock; at worst, one will be. And no matter which guy it is, the Browns should waste little time selecting him.

The NFL draft often produces some crazy surprises in the first round, but it feels pretty safe to predict an offensive tackle to the Browns in the first round.

Cris Carter
Is Cris Carter the best supplemental NFL draft pick of all-time?
By: Bryan Perez
July 1, 2020
Racey McMath
Senior Bowl director names underrated LSU player to watch ahead of 2021 NFL Draft
By: Bryan Perez
July 1, 2020
Madden 21
It’s Always Draft SZN: Madden 21 vent session (and more)
By: Bryan Perez
July 1, 2020
View Full Site