The Browns have nine picks at their disposal in the 2021 NFL Draft. Cleveland hopes they can use that draft capital to become a Super Bowl contender.
Kevin Stefanski’s first season in charge of the Browns was an unqualified success. He managed to solidify Baker Mayfield’s status as the team’s starting quarterback while piloting Cleveland towards a solid playoff berth. The challenge for Stefanski and his staff will elevate the roster from good to great this offseason.
Fortunately, the Browns have nine draft picks to use in that endeavor. Extra selections in both the third and fourth rounds give Cleveland a chance to move up and down the board to land their top targets. It’s highly unlikely the franchise will add nine rookies to their roster in 2021, but this mock will focus on who they might choose with each of their current selections.
Finding another weapon for Mayfield to leverage in the passing game will be one of the team’s priorities, but look for most of the Browns’ draft capital to be aimed at elevating the defense. Cleveland should look to use the No. 26 overall selection to find a playmaker for their front seven.
B.J. Goodson was a serviceable middle linebacker or Cleveland in 2020 but no one would classify him as a playmaker. Adding Bolton to the mix could give the Browns’ front seven a lot more upside in 2021.
The former Missouri star isn’t ready to be a star on all three downs yet, but he showed enough in coverage during his time with the Tigers to ascend to that level in time. His immediate impact in the NFL will come as a physical hitter who isn’t afraid to lay the lumber on opposing ball carriers around the line of scrimmage.
The Browns can benefit from adding that kind of nasty presence to their linebacking corps. Bolton may never be a superstar, but he’s good enough to give Cleveland’s defense an immediate boost.