The Browns need to strengthen their defense in the 2021 NFL Draft. Fortunately, Cleveland has nine selections to make that happen.
Kevin Stefanski had a successful inaugural season with the Browns by getting Baker Mayfield and the team’s offense back on track. His second offseason in Cleveland will focus on getting the defense up to that same level of play.
The Browns need to add talent to all three levels of that unit in the 2021 NFL Draft. The organization won’t spend all nine of its selections on defensive reinforcements, but that should be the team’s focus during the early rounds.
In particular, finding an edge rusher capable of helping Myles Garrett torment opposing quarterbacks should be a priority. It would be a mild surprise if that’s not the position Cleveland focuses on in Round 1. In the following mock, the Browns grab one of the speediest pass-rushers in the draft with the No. 26 overall selection.
Olivier Vernon did a decent job pressing the quarterback opposite Garrett in 2020, but he’s headed for free agency. Even if he returns, the Browns should be shopping for a superior option.
Ojulari isn’t the most well-rounded pass rusher in this class, but he might be the fastest. He wreaked havoc at Georgia with his ability to beat opposing tackles on the perimeter. He has exceptional speed and bend from the defensive end position.
A more versatile prospect like Zaven Collins will also get a ton of consideration here, but Ojulari has a chance to develop into a double-digit sack guy early in his career. That’s too tempting for the Browns to pass up if he’s still on the board at 26.