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Browns get bigger on both lines on third day of draft

Apr. 29—Fortifying the defensive line was the theme of free agency for the Browns, and the same theme played out on the second and third day of the draft.

While they were at it, the Browns added beef to the offensive line when they drafted 6-foot-8 374-pound offensive tackle Dawand Jones from Ohio State with their first of six picks on April 29 — pick 111 overall.

The Browns used their next pick, choice 126 overall, on 6-foot-4, 268-pound defensive end Isaiah McGuire. McGuire is the sixth defensive lineman added to the roster since the start of the new league year on March 15 — four in free agency and two in the draft. They selected 335-pound defensive tackle Siaki Ika on April 28 with the 98th overall pick.

"We certainly got a lot bigger this afternoon, adding Dewand Jones from Ohio State and Isaiah McGuire, defensive lineman from the University of Missouri," Director of player personnel Dan Saganey said. "You can never have enough pass rushers or tackles, so we're very excited to get both where we were able to scoop 'em up in the draft."

The Browns had two picks in the fifth round. They selected quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson from UCLA at 140 and Northwestern cornerback Cam Mitchell at 142. The chose Ohio State center Luke Wypler in the sixth round with the 190th pick and traded their seventh-round choice, pick 229, to the Ravens for a 2024 sixth-round pick.

The final count from the draft — one wide receiver (Cedric Tillman), two offensive linemen, two defensive lineman, a quarterback and a cornerback, but no linebackers.

#Browns general manager Andrew Berry, after not taking a linebacker in the draft, says he is satisfied with the progress the way the injured linebackers are rehabbing. pic.twitter.com/EsLRvbgrQs

— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) April 29, 2023

Jones can play left or right tackle. The Browns starters at those two positions are set with Jedrick Wills on the left side and Jack Conklin on the right.

NFL.com projected Jones to be drafted in the first or second round. He declined to work out or be weighed at the Ohio State pro day last month, perhaps leading him to sliding on draft boards.

"I've just been dealing with a couple injuries and I just didn't want to chance anything and just make it worse in any type of way," Jones said on a conference call. "So I talked to my agent. It kind of hurt me in the process. But I'm just here to work."

As big as Jones is, he is not just a huge roadblock between the defensive lineman and the quarterback. He played basketball in high school and had some scholarship offers to mid-majors. He said playing basketball has helped him become a better football player.

"It's helped me a lot just working on my footwork all the time with basketball," he said. "It just had to translate over to football, whether pass sets or a twist or something like that."

McGuire was a team captain at Missouri in 2022. He started all 12 games, made 39 tackles, had 13 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

The Browns needed a defensive end to replace Jadeveon Clowney. They signed Obo Okoronkwo in free agency. He and McGuire will be in a dogfight to be the starter. The other will be a key rotational player. Whether or not he starts, McGuire can't wait to start working with Myles Garrett.

"I've watched him for years, ever since he was at Texas A&M," McGuire said. "I'm really excited to pick his brain and learn from him as a mentor for this upcoming stage of my life."

Thompson-Robinson, 6-foot-1, threw 27 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions as a senior with the Bruins. He said he worked out with Deshaun Watson at UCLA because Watson, like many players, gravitates to working out in a warm environment during the offseason.

"Deshaun is a very unique and special player in his own right," Thompson-Robinson said. "I think I do have some very similar traits and some very special talents of my own, but I think the one thing that me and Deshawn really have in common is how we play the game from the neck up.

"He's a real smart dude, really, really knows how to study a playbook, break it down. So he's like a coach on the field, and I try to come with the same approach. So I think that's kind of where we're similar."

Mitchell, 5-foot-11, 191 pounds, was a teammate of Browns third-year cornerback Greg Newsome II at Northwestern. He can play outside or over the slot receiver. He is likely in line to play special teams as a rookie because the Browns are set at corner with Newsome, Denzel Ward and Martin Emerson.

"Mitchell provides good toughness and play strength, but has a lack of functional fluidity to stay connected with NFL route runners," the NFL.com pre-draft scouting report says. "His lack of length could be a problem against size. Teams might consider bumping him inside to play the role of a run-defending nickel back.

"Mitchell is certainly fearless and might be better suited to play as a down safety with nickel potential against certain teams. He's been an active tackler on punt and kick cover teams, which bolsters his chances of making a roster."

Mitchell had 119 tackles, two interceptions and 22 pass breakups in four seasons at Northwestern.

Later in the afternoon April 29, the Browns selected Ohio State center Luke Wypler with the 190th overall pick.