Despite the fact they don’t pick until 49, here are the top 50 prospects for the Cleveland Browns in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns had five of the top 64 picks in last year’s draft, so a top 50 list was far more practical. For the 2019 NFL Draft, though, it would seem relatively useless but players on last year’s list were available late and some even after the draft. Genard Avery was drafted 150th overall and he was 47th on the list.
In all, the Browns picked four players off of last year’s list and undoubtedly having so many early picks increased the odds. Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb were all on the top 50 last year. The hope is that the Browns, if they do select anyone off the list, will have as much success as last year’s group did.
This board is based on the evaluating process I use, then determined by overall player rank and what the Browns actually need, so a few players might be rated lower on the list as a result. And it’s entirely possible that some of this list will go undrafted as they did last year, but it’s not about where a player is drafted, but rather how they do in the NFL.
1. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama – Williams was nothing short of a revelation this season and was easily the best player on Alabama. He dominated in pretty much every game he played and hid some of the issues the Crimson Tide defense had.
2. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston – Undersized or not, Oliver is eerily similar to Geno Atkins. Injury as a junior mitigated some of the excitement with Oliver, but his dominance over his career is outstanding. His freshman and sophomore campaigns were on par with Ndamukong Suh in terms of production.
3. Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State – Dillard has elite size and athleticism, has a vast amount of experience in pass protection and is a nasty run blocker. He has everything it takes to be a franchise left tackle.
4. Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky – Allen might be the favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year. His production, desire and polish as a player looks ready to contribute at a remarkably high level early and continue for years. Short of injury, it’s difficult to imagine he isn’t very good for a long time.
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5. Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State – Layne is an ascending prospect with elite age, athleticism and production. Easily the best corner in the draft, he has a world of potential to realize and seems like an ideal fit for what the Browns want to do on defense.
6. Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State – The debate with Sweat is where he is in terms of his development as a refined pass rusher. His production is great and his athleticism is otherworldly, projecting to be a Pro Bowl pass rusher.
7. Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State – Burns might be smaller than ideal for some teams, but he has everything else and he isn’t even 21 years old yet. There are concerns about how he holds up against NFL offensive linemen, but it’s not clear he’s even done growing.
8. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa – Fant might not be as good on tape as his teammate, but his athleticism is incredible. He might not be a safer bet than T.J. Hockenson, but he does have more upside. Fant has the size of a tight end and the athleticism of a wide receiver.
9. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida – It’s remarkable how similar he is to Jabrill Peppers and his profile, combined with what he shows on the field, suggests he is a better prospect than Peppers was with more upside. He’s largely played in the slot, but could be an excellent, full service strong safety.
10. Devin Bush, LB, Michigan – Bush appears to be the prototypical WILL in terms of speed and range. He is a big hitter and, if he can develop into a productive coverage player, he’s got it all. His production isn’t as good as Devin White, but his tape is better.
11. Devin White, LB, LSU – White has the best profile of any linebacker in the class. Elite production combined with elite athleticism, he could be a superstar. The question with White is his ability to take on contact, but he dominates when he can run around.
12. Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia – Outstanding production and elite athleticism as a coverage safety, the only thing that keeps Thornhill from being higher is his age. Former corner that still has corner cover skills, but being in the middle gives him some extra options on how to use him.
13. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa – His production and tape are tremendous, but his athleticism falls a hair short. Could be a player who pushes the boundary in terms of his projected top end. Dominant blocker who is outstanding at catching passes in traffic and through contact.
14. Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois – Freaky athlete for his size, Saunders has the ability to play both defensive tackle positions and provide a pass rush. Needs to get more consistent as a run defender, but his ability to impact the quarterback at his size is rare.
15. Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame – Has all of the earmarks to be an outstanding zone corner. Love is physical and can make plays on the football, was one of the stars of Notre Dame’s defense that powered them to the College Football Playoff.
16. Nasir Adderly, S, Delaware – Rangy free safety that dominated the FCS level, then showed well in the Senior Bowl against top competition.. Adderly is a hitter as well as someone who can make plays on the ball.
17. Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College – A guard good enough to move Joel Bitonio out to tackle. Nasty road grading run blocker who is also fantastic in pass protection.
18. Zach Allen, DL, Boston College – Allen may not be an elite athlete, but he is very good one projecting to the interior. He’s also young and has incredible production who demonstrates tremendous technique.
19. N’Keal Harry, WR Arizona State – A tremendous receiver in terms of size and body control with versatility to play inside or outside. Needs to play to his talent more consistently, but when he’s on, he’s almost impossible to stop.
20. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple – Physical corner with good coverage skills and the ability to locate and make plays on the ball.
21. Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois – Scharping is remarkably strong and agile enough to be a left tackle, but could improve his flexibility and engaging his lower body to maximize his power.
22. Garrett Bradbury, C, N.C. State – Elite athlete and franchise center prospect that would be higher but for the existence of J.C. Tretter.
23. Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas – Another player that needs to move to the interior, has a tremendous profile and length to make the switch. He consistently demonstrates the ability to impact the pocket.
24. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss – Power slot with outstanding production that is bigger, stronger and faster than Jarvis Landry. He was the best player at an Ole Miss program that was loaded with talent.
25. Darnell Savage, S Oklahoma State – A safety and slot defender with physicality and outstanding top end speed. He is someone who flies around and can be an intimidating hitter.
26. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina – An ideal fit for Baker Mayfield, he’s an older version of Antonio Callaway without the off-field questions. Samuel excels at owning space on slants and being able to get behind the defense on deep passes.
27. Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State – Prototypical size and athleticism for the position with flashes of brilliance and a knack for causing turnovers.
28. Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson – Wilkins will make a team better, but unfortunately the prospect isn’t as good as the person.
29. Oli Udoh, OT, Elon – A developmental tackle with prototypical size and athletic traits. Udoh has a lot to learn and is coming from a smaller school but improved quickly a the Senior Bowl.
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30. Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State – Still new to the position, Howard is a nasty blocker with excellent size and explosion. Howard is a high school quarterback turned tight end recruit who grew into being an offensive tackle, embracing the position.
31. Tyler Roemer, OT, San Diego State – Young, athletic tackle that’s light on his feet and needs to learn how to generate more power in his play. Roemer has the tools to be successful, but he also may still be growing in addition to filling out naturally as he gets older.
32. Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Eastern Michigan – Elite athleticism, production and age. Played against the MAC and it’s easier said than done finding roster space.
33. Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame – There are some questions with production, but the reason Tillery isn’t higher is due to uncertainty about his shoulder following surgery to repair a torn labrum.
34. Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington – Fearless competitor and fantastic athlete who racks up a ton of tackles. He could transition to WILL for the long term.
35. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State – Outstanding profile and incredible upside, but remarkably inconsistent on tape, particularly with his hands. Butler might have the biggest peaks and the deepest valleys of any prospect in the class.
36. Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame – An absolute freak of an athlete with pretty good production, Boykin’s tape leaves a lot to be desired and he is a substantial project. His route running at Notre Dame was extremely predictable, but he showed athleticism, made catches in traffic.
37. Andy Isabella, WR, Massachussetts – Short, dense small school receiver that can make plays at all levels of the field. He can play on the outside and put stress on taller corners who struggle to keep up with his speed and change of direction skills.
38. Anthony Nelson, DL, Iowa – Rare combination of length and agility for a base end. Nelson is a better pass rusher than run defender currently.
39. Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State – Home run hitter with his speed and shiftiness, the best back in the class has tremendous talent, but needs to protect the ball better.
40. Stanley Morgan Jr, WR, Nebraska – A complete profile for a receiver that can play all over the field and create yards after the catch.
41. Dillon Mitchell, WR, Oregon – An incredibly young receiver that needs refinement, but has a ton of upside and fits the Browns offense.
42. Saquon Hampton, S, Rutgers – A free safety prospect that also has viability as a slot defender with elite athleticism and production.
43. Michael Dogbe, DT, Temple – The working man’s Ed Oliver, Dogbe is similar in size and motor with a complete profile of his own.
44. Cody Barton, LB, Utah – Outstanding athlete with versatility to play multiple linebacker spots including SAM and produced at a high level this past year.
45. Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota – A remarkable athlete and it shows on tape, isn’t always pretty in terms of technique but has great power and finds a way to make plays.
46. Ben Banogu, EDGE, TCU – Tremendous athlete and has great production, but extremely raw. Has won largely on physical gifts and hustle, is a project.
47. Kahale Warrning, TE, San Diego State – Raw, but talented prospect that checks all the boxes, but is still learning the position and may take a while to fully realize.
48. Foster Moreau, TE, LSU – Terrific athlete with decent production, but it seems like Moreau could have be better utilized in the NFL than in college.
49. Cortez Broughton, DT, Cincinnati – One of the most productive defensive linemen in the country and has plenty of athleticism with the potential to contribute at multiple spots on the defensive line.
50. Germaine Pratt, LB, N.C. State – Good athlete at the linebacker position that doesn’t miss many tackles.