The 2022 NFL draft features some of the best receivers and tight ends we’ve seen in recent years. The potential to kickstart any passing offense is intriguing and a lot of fun to talk about. However, one team is in fire need of assembling the NFL’s most feared passing offense. The Cleveland Browns had one of the lowest-rated passing offenses in the NFL. This is the primary reason for the 8-9 record and missing the playoffs. This team can easily take the Cincinnati Bengals’ place next season as the AFC Champion and representative in the Super Bowl.
They must fix the passing offense and a Super Bowl appearance will suddenly become a reality instead of a fantasy. If it sounds like a fantasy even after fixing the passing game, look no further than the Browns in-state rival. Although part of the problem was Baker Mayfield’s torn labrum, the receivers didn’t do their part and often weren’t on the same page as Mayfield. Injuries also limited receiver Jarvis Landry’s production so it’s important to be objective when evaluating Mayfield and Landry. It’s also important to take into account that Mayfield played for three NFL head coaches. Such a scenario tends to limit the effectiveness of a starting quarterback. Here are some options the Browns should consider as the team looks for a fresh new start on offense.
The Browns had a top running game and one of the best defenses so the team is almost ready to win it all. However, without a dynamic passing offense, the achievable suddenly seems like a daunting task. However, the news isn’t bad for the “Dawg Pound” faithful. Here are the top playmakers that could be excellent scene fits for the Browns.
1. Garrett Wilson-Wide Receiver- Ohio State- The Browns need more of a deep threat. Wilson practically invites deep throws. If the Browns decide to stay at pick number 13, which is far from a guarantee, they will almost certainly take Wilson if available.
2. Drake London- Wide Receiver- University of Southern California- London is more of a physical receiver that will win almost any jump ball situation. Given quarterback Baker Mayfield’s fearlessness of throwing into tight windows, London would be perfect in the Browns offense should Mayfield continue to be the starting quarterback as the Browns continue to state Mayfield is the man going forward. In a trade-down scenario to acquire more picks, London would be a deal past pick 20. Will Cleveland be on the phone with Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Tennessee?
3. Romeo Doubs- Wide Receiver- Nevada- Doubs is an impressive red zone threat and we all saw a glimpse of that during Senior Bowl week. Another physically imposing receiver could be exactly what the Browns need.
4. Justyn Ross- Wide Receiver- Clemson- In a trade-down scenario, Ross becomes an intriguing option in the late second round or early third round. Another fast receiver with size, Ross was a big part of the Clemson Tigers prolific offense, especially when Trevor Lawrence was their starting quarterback. The receiver opposite of Tee Higgins was a monster in the Tigers passing game.
5. Alec Pierce- Wide Receiver- Cincinnati- Pierce is another big name to pay attention to. Another physical receiver that can be on the board in Round 3. A 6′ 3″ big-time receiver would be an absolute win for the Browns.
6. Christian Watson- Wide Receiver– North Dakota State- Standing at the same height at London, the 6′ 5″ speedster is just an unfair passing target. Mayfield would love to have this receiver as a downfield threat.
7. Bo Melton- Wide Receiver- Rutgers-Melton isn’t quite as fast as Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill but he’s a speedster. As a potential seventh-round steal, Melton should be on the Browns radar.
1. Jake Ferguson- Tight End- Wisconsin- We’ve all thought it, the Browns need a tight end who just blocks everyone that threatens to tackle the ball carrier. Ferguson is a mean pass and run blocker who plays with a lot of intensity. The Browns need a tight end who can help open up the passing game. How about a “plow the road” tight end?
2. Jeremy Ruckert- Tight End- Ohio State- Ruckert is an outstanding blocker but can really accumulate yards in a hurry. Browns fans love their Ohio State Buckeyes so the versatile Ruckert could be an intriguing option in round three or four.
1. Sam Howell- Quarterback- North Carolina- Let’s say the Browns are absolutely convinced the Mayfield will regress and Berry starts to question his status as the starter. Is it possible the Browns will go against expectations and take a quarterback early? Howell could be available at pick 13. He was very consistent in the Tar Heels passing game and is arguably the top quarterback in this class though the argument could favor Ole’ Miss quarterback.
2. Malik Willis- Quarterback- Liberty- I can hear it already- we’re not drafting a 6’0″ quarterback! Not so fast, the mobile Willis looks is the same type of dual-threat as Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray. This could be a slam dunk pick if Willis is available at pick 44. His accuracy may need some work but he has a cannon arm.
3. Carson Strong- Quarterback-Nevada- If you want a 6’4″ quarterback who won’t have his vision reduced by an offensive lineman, look no further than Nevada’s Strong. This quarterback proved he can throw into tight windows with little difficulty. Starting over with a taller and very dynamic passer could help kickstart the Browns pass offense. Last season, Strong improved his numbers drastically with a 70.2 completion percentage with 4,186 passing yards and 36 touchdowns. If he can put up Aaron Rodgers-type numbers in the NFL, Berry must seriously think about drafting Strong in Round 2.
4. Desmond Ridder- Quarterback- Cincinnati- Another tall quarterback, Ridder is steadily climbing up draft boards as another deep passing threat. Although he may not be as good as Nevada’s Strong, he’s still worried about keeping an eye on as a potential third-round steal especially if the Browns would rather take the first two rounds to invest in Mayfield than make sure to select an adequate backup or perhaps competition.
Stay tuned to NGSC Sports for my NFL Draft coverage. I will give you different players at different positions and see where they make their mark in the NFL.
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