According to multiple sources, the Cleveland Browns will complete a trade for Amari Cooper when the NFL league year starts on Wednesday. Considered a potential landing spot for one of the premier wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft, what should the Browns now do with the 13th overall selection in the NFL’s annual selection event?
The Cleveland Browns trade for Amari Cooper
With the announcement that Cooper was surplus to requirements with the Dallas Cowboys earlier this week, the four-time Pro-Bowl pass catcher had commanded significant trade attention. Reportedly, at least five teams had expressed in landing the fourth overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. On Saturday, it was announced that the Browns had secured his services.
The need was clear for the Browns. Having traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Los Angeles Rams earlier this year, Cleveland is expected to lose Jarvis Landry in free agency. With Rashard Higgins also a potential free agent, the Browns receiving room is barer than Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.
Cooper is a significant addition for the Browns. The former Alabama receiver has registered 1,000+ yard seasons in five of his seven years in the NFL. Despite the emergence of CeeDee Lamb in the Cowboys’ offense, Cooper still tied the team lead with Dalton Schultz by snagging 8 touchdowns.
Furthermore, the former Oakland Raiders and Cowboys receiver will be just 28 years old at the start of the NFL season. Cooper cost Cleveland just a fifth-round pick and a swap of sixth-round picks — equating to a drop of just nine spots — in the 2022 NFL Draft. While it fills a significant need for very little capital, will it change the Browns’ approach in April?
Cooper trade gives Browns options but changes little
While the trade for Cooper addresses their most significant need, it ultimately shouldn’t alter the Browns’ strategy in the 2022 NFL Draft. If there is still one of the premier pass catchers available when Cleveland is on the clock at pick 13, they should still swoop.
However, with needs across the defensive line, there is still the possibility that they could snag a top talent on that side of the ball and wait until later to pick up a pass catcher. With that said, who are some of the potential options at pick 13?
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
In a deeply talented wide receiver class, Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson is the cream of the crop. A catch-point connoisseur, Wilson also possesses nuanced route-running ability. Furthermore, he has the ability to add yardage after the catch.
Considered the slower of the two Ohio State receivers, Wilson impressed at the NFL Combine by outpacing former teammate Chris Olave. Wilson and the Browns are a popular combination in many mock drafts. Wilson, Cooper, and Donovan Peoples-Jones would be quite the trio.
Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
If the Browns opt to add another wide receiver later in the draft instead, they should run the card up to the podium to snag Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II. An ascending defensive end prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft, there are few more defensively dominant and disruptive players in this class. Athletically impressive, he possesses exceptional strength and power and has a pass-rush toolbox that suggests his college production can translate to the NFL.
Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
With needs at both defensive end and defensive tackle, Georgia’s Travon Walker provides a versatile prospect with game-changing potential. Walker is a unique athlete who blurs the lines between what is possible at both positions.
A tall, long defensive lineman, he’s played at both 275 and 290 pounds with no drop-off in his mind-blowing agility and speed. Walker has experience from the outside all the way inside to 1-tech as a truly versatile, destructive defensive prospect.
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