Selecting players for the Cleveland Browns in a 7-Round NFL Mock Draft for the 2022 NFL Draft is not easy. The Browns are at a crossroads as a franchise. They have a quarterback in Baker Mayfield. For a franchise marred with ill-fated decisions at the quarterback position, they’d be wise to finish out Mayfield’s rookie contract with a clean bill of health in 2022.
With that in mind, what is the best strategy around a franchise QB who struggled this past season? Build around him. Make his job that much easier. As such, here is a mock for all seven rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft for the Browns, equipped with other players they could potentially target.
Cleveland Browns 7-Round NFL Mock Draft
Cleveland has eight picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. With one pick in each of the first three rounds, they double up in the fourth and finish the draft with the second pick of the seventh round. Here are some selections, thanks to the PFN Mock Draft Simulator with trades.
Round 1, Pick 13: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Building around Mayfield should be easy in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. With the stacked receiver classes of the past two seasons, it’s likely that no receiver will be taken within the first 10 picks. As such, Cleveland could grab either one of the Ohio State receivers pegged as two of the best in the class.
With the recent injury to Jameson Williams, Chris Olave vaults back into the No. 2 spot among receivers. It’s not to say the Browns won’t be comfortable enough with Williams’ torn ACL he suffered in the national championship come April, but as of now, Olave is the second-best option at WR in this class. And he’ll likely be available here to become Cleveland’s next top wideout.
Round 2, Pick 44: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
The Browns need help all across the defensive line in the 2022 NFL Draft. Here, they can grab one of the higher-rated defensive tackle prospects in the whole class. It’s likely the top edge defenders all go at a premium in Round 1. Thus, defensive tackles take a slide. Perrion Winfrey wins and wins the right way.
He’s a great run defender but perhaps a better pass rusher. Winfrey can get home with an array of pass-rush moves and dominates passing lanes with long arms. He’s also a freak athlete with flashy speed and a quick first step.
Round 3, Pick 78: Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
The edge class in the 2022 NFL Draft is stacked. There is a bevy of talented players to be selected. It’s even possible that all 32 NFL teams come out of the draft with an edge defender in their haul — it’s that stacked. Nik Bonitto is a feared pass rusher and an even better player in space.
Bonitto would add a level of versatility to the edge for the Browns, playing opposite Myles Garrett on all downs. If they grab an edge defender in Round 2, the Browns could also look for a defensive tackle at this spot.
Other alternatives at No. 78: Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State; Logan Hall, DT, Houston; Quay Walker, EDGE/LB, Georgia
Round 4, Pick 104: Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia
As mentioned, the Browns would be wise to build around Mayfield. However, sometimes you have to build your defense up to ensure your offense isn’t on the field all the time. Channing Tindall is a terrific linebacker with great sideline-to-sideline speed. He patrolled the field in all facets and improved in seemingly every game for the national champions this past season.
Other alternatives at No. 104: Darrian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati; Damone Clark, LB, LSU; Chris Hinton, DT, Michigan; Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
Round 4, Pick 115: Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
There’s a bevy of options for the Browns to go for with their second pick of the fourth round. Here, they add to their secondary with the lengthy, rangy, hard-hitting Tariq Woolen. A converted wide receiver, Woolen presents a tremendously high ceiling with just two years of cornerback experience to date.
His presence at the Senior Bowl showcases what makes him so enticing as a prospect as he stands 6’4″ tall and has contested-catch skills that rival some of the receivers in this class. Woolen won’t be ready to start from Day 1, but he can learn the defense on his terms as the Browns won’t have to push him to play immediately.
Round 5, Pick 154: Cameron Jurgens, C, Nebraska
Cleveland’s offensive line is one of the best in the league. If there was one weak spot when they were a healthy, full unit, it had to be at center. Cameron Jurgens offers a replacement for JC Tretter after his contract expires following the 2022 NFL season. Jurgens is solid in all facets, including pass protection, where the Browns had a lapse this past year.
Other alternatives at No. 154: Matthew Bedford, G, Indiana; Chasen Hines, G, LSU; James Empey, C, BYU
Round 6, Pick 193: Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA
Like cornerbacks, you can’t have too many good receivers. As such, the building around Mayfield continues, giving him yet another valued gadget player from UCLA. Kyle Philips is a great receiver with even better routes from the inside. Philips also presents an elite skill set as a return man, making this pick even more valuable.
Other alternatives at No. 193: Jequez Ezzard, WR, Sam Houston State; Jaylon Robinson, WR, UCF; Jerreth Sterns, WR, Western Kentucky
Round 7, Pick 222: Tycen Anderson, S, Toledo
Valuable additions in the final round of the draft are always difficult to find. However, finding players that present mismatches in college and fill areas of need on the depth chart are not. The Browns need another safety in their lineup, and Round 7 is where you may find a ton of those. Tycen Anderson’s presence at the Senior Bowl tells you all you need to know about him.
He’s an off-the-radar prospect now, but after what is expected to be a solid performance in Mobile, he’ll vault up draft boards. Fortunately, there are more than just a few safeties that should be available at the top of Round 7.
Other alternatives at No. 222: Nasir Greer, S, Wake Forest; Bubba Bolden, S, Miami (FL); Chamarri Conner, S, Virginia Tech