The 2020 NFL season may not have ended the way Cleveland Browns fans had hoped, but it was a magical season nonetheless. Cleveland finally capitalized on the talent of their roster and ended a massive playoff drought in the process. Still, there’s much room for improvement. This Browns 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft seeks to plug some of the holes in their roster to take that next step.
Browns Pre-Senior Bowl 7-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft
- Round 1, Pick 26: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
- Round 2, Pick 40: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (traded picks 59, 89, and a 2022 4th)
- Round 3, Pick 91: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
- Round 4, Pick 103: Charles Snowden, LB, Virginia
- Round 4, Pick 125: Drake Jackson, OC, Kentucky
- Round 5, Pick 155: Amen Ogbongbemiga, LB, Oklahoma State
- Round 6, Pick 188: Isaac Slade-Matautia, LB, Oregon
- Round 7, Pick 222: Tedarrell Slaton, DT, Florida
Browns 2021 NFL Mock Draft pick-by-pick analysis
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Cornerback isn’t necessarily a massive need for the Cleveland Browns. They have Denzel Ward, and Greedy Williams should be back in 2021 after losing the 2020 season to a shoulder injury and nerve damage. That said, you can never have too many corners in today’s NFL, which is why we kick off our Browns 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft at the position.
Cleveland’s pass defense was a mediocre bunch this season, at best. Adding Jaycee Horn to the mix would give the Browns a formidable tandem at the position. Horn is, for my money, the top cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Playing him opposite Ward and having him compete with Williams would make passing on the Browns much more difficult next season.
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
It wouldn’t be a mock draft if we didn’t do some trading! The Browns have a lot of holes to fill, and they need premium talent to do so. To those ends, here we’ve traded with the Denver Broncos to grab the 40th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, giving up picks 59, 89, and a 2022 fourth-round selection. All that to come away with an excellent — but considerably risky — pick in Miami EDGE defender Jaelan Phillips with the second pick in our Browns 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
EDGE is another position where the Browns don’t necessarily need to focus in this draft. Myles Garrett is one of the best in the NFL, and Adrian Clayborn is a solid complement. However, the Browns need to get better from a pass-rush standpoint, and Phillips would help with that, if healthy.
Phillips established himself as one of the premier pass rushers in the nation this season for the Miami Hurricanes, after an up-and-down career at UCLA. When healthy, Phillips can dominate a game. The medical evaluations will be critical for Phillips, but if he gets a clean bill of health, he should be an excellent selection.
Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
On the surface, it may seem like wide receiver isn’t a position of need for the Browns, either. Yet, if you look a little deeper, I think you’ll find the Browns’ receiver group’s state isn’t as rosy as it may first appear. Odell Beckham Jr. will be back for the team next season; Jarvis Landry likely will as well. Beyond that, however, the cupboard is pretty bare in Cleveland.
Even allowing for OBJ and Landry, the Browns are in desperate need of someone who can threaten defenses deep. They could also benefit from getting some quality depth at the position. Taking Oklahoma State product Tylan Wallace accomplishes both goals.
Wallace feasted on Big 12 defenses throughout his career, with a penchant for the deep ball. Pairing him with Baker Mayfield would help open up the Browns’ passing attack and give them an added dimension they currently lack.
Charles Snowden, LB, Virginia
It seems like the consensus within the Browns’ fan base is that the team’s most significant need from the 2021 NFL Draft is at linebacker. So it may disappoint some to see that we waited until the fourth round of our Browns 2021 NFL Mock Draft to address the need. I can understand the frustration, but getting the players we did in the first three rounds was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Even though we waited until the fourth round to address the need at linebacker, we’re still getting an outstanding player. Charles Snowden should come in right away and compete for a starting job. He’ll give the Browns some pass-rush ability from the second level, and with his incredibly long frame, a defender who can leak out into the flat and provide tight coverage on running backs.
Snowden does need some work with his run support game. He’ll also need to add some muscle and strength to his frame. However, for a fourth-round pick, he’s about as reliable as they come.
Drake Jackson, OC, Kentucky
The Cleveland Browns have a solid offensive line. It’s arguably the best unit in the entire NFL. Why, then, is this Browns 2021 NFL Mock Draft bothering with an offensive lineman? While the players they have are quality, depth is a serious issue along the line. We saw it play out this season, with players literally having to introduce themselves shortly before kickoff.
Drake Jackson would give the Browns another decent bench option along the offensive line. He’s a stout interior offensive lineman who works great in a power running scheme. He doesn’t offer positional versatility that would benefit the Browns, but with a couple of years of development, he may be able to add that to his repertoire.
Amen Ogbongbemiga, LB, Oklahoma State
In the fourth round of our Browns 2021 NFL Mock Draft, we got an outside linebacker who can provide some pass rush and outside coverage. However, the Browns need more than just one linebacker. The entire group needs to be revamped. Thus, we’re going back to the well and now addressing the inside linebacker position.
Oklahoma State product Amen Ogbongbemiga is an inside linebacker in every sense of the word. He’s got some decent inside pass rush moves and can provide good pressure up the middle. However, his game is more coming up and thumping in the run game. He won’t be a liability in pass coverage over the middle, but it’s not a strength either. Yet, that’s something we can live with in the middle of Day 3.
Isaac Slade-Matautia, LB, Oregon
Linebackers, linebackers, linebackers! I said we needed to revamp the entire linebacker group, and I wasn’t kidding. With the second-to-last pick of our Browns 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, we’re picking up yet another linebacker, this time traveling out west for Oregon linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia.
Of all the linebackers we’ve selected so far in this mock draft, Slade-Matautia likely provides the most help in terms of coverage. He’s not going to give the pass rush ability that Snowden does, and he’s not as stable in the run game as Ogbongbemiga. However, he will hold up better in the passing game than either of his predecessors here.
He’s a solid depth pick, if nothing else, and should be able to at least challenge for playing time early on.
Tedarrell Slaton, DT Florida
Defensive tackle is another position that’s going to get a boost for the Browns next season. They’ll add 2019 free agent signee Andrew Billings to the equation after he opted out of the 2020 season due to extenuating circumstances. However, they may lose starting defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi to the 2021 free agency period. It’s not an area of immediate need, but the 2021 NFL Draft could bolster the position.
That’s why we close out our Cleveland Browns 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft with Tedarrell Slaton out of Florida. Slaton is a player who had potential but never seemed to put it all together with the Gators. Still, there’s something there to work with, and under the right circumstances — and with the proper coaching — he could blossom into an excellent player.
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