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The 2021 NFL season is not even close to being over and the Cleveland Browns are very much in the thick of a legit playoff birth, but we here at Browns Wire take great pride in monitoring the NFL draft year-round and understanding the general landscape and thoughts of the general media is a main priority.
Today we are diving into an interesting mock draft supplied by our good friends over at The Sporting News written by Vinnie Iyer. It is extremely early to be labeling mock drafts as bogus or giving them praise for being ideal, but they are still fun to look at and provide a unique understanding of what others think are the top prospects and how they view the Cleveland roster. Now let’s dive in!
At 20th the Cleveland Browns select Jordan Davis
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
With the 20th selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Jordan Davis, defensive tackle from Georgia. I am honestly a huge fan of this selection. Davis was expected to have a big season this year and has exceeded those expectations to be arguably the top interior defensive lineman in this class.
Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt casually eating 4/5ths of the offensive line. pic.twitter.com/Eq10XkDil5
— Cory (@realcorykinnan) October 28, 2021
Davis is an absolute behemoth standing at 6-6 and 340 pounds of healthy weight. He can line up and take on multiple blockers from the nose position as evidenced above and he has a rare mix of explosiveness and strength that will allow him to thrive at three-tech. What more could you want from a first-round defensive tackle than elite size and athleticism?
Jordan Davis > The rest of the pack, says @BarrettSallee
— 247Sports (@247Sports) October 28, 2021
Davis earned second-team All-American honors last season and as referenced by the tweet above he will likely not only be in the All-American conversation but also potentially in the Heisman conversation. It is rare for a nose tackle to have this large of an impact on a game on a regular basis and finding talent like that at pick number 20 seems like a solid deal.
Does the position fit?
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Vinnie Iyer does a great job of summarizing the interior of the Browns defensive line with this quote from his mock:
“The Browns have two Maliks starting instead, the veteran Jackson, who’s a 31-year-old pending free agent, and McDowell, a young retread second-rounder.”
I believe he meant inside instead of instead, but you get the point. We are all aware that Malik Jackson was a short-term rental, but I do have a more positive outlook on Malik McDowell and I believe if he can continue to keep his head on straight can be a long-term answer on the inside.
— Tyler Johnson (@T_johnson_TJ) August 30, 2021
Andrew Billings was projected to be the starter heading into the season and has been more of a disappointment than anything and has been brought up in trade scenarios repeatedly across various websites and Twitter. With all that said, I do believe he is a solid player that maybe struggling to bounce back after electing not to play last season.
New addition to the #Browns front, Andrew Billings 😳
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) March 19, 2020
Overall I do not believe that defensive tackle is the most pressing need for the Cleveland Browns but continuing to add talent there and the idea of a rare talent like Davis pairing with Myles Garrett is too much to pass up in this scenario.
Who went before? And who is left?
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
As far as other interior defensive linemen, this mock already has DeMarvin Leal from Texas A&M off the board before Davis, but, personally, I think Davis fits what Cleveland would want more anyways. The other defensive tackle that was taken in this mock was Perrion Winfrey from Oklahoma. I was higher on Winfrey than Davis during the pre-season as he has dominated in the Big 12 since arriving from JUCO.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 27, 2021
If we look at other intriguing options at number 20, the first one that I notice is John Metchie III the wide receiver from Alabama who is slated to number 28. Metchie has been the main play-maker in this Crimson Tide passing game since the departure of DeVonta Smith and checks all of the boxes you would want in a number one receiver in the NFL.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 28, 2021
Jahan Dotson, the wide receiver from Penn State is another player that wasn’t off the board just yet and wasn’t even slotted in the first round of this mock. Dotson has dominated in the Big Ten for multiple years despite poor quarterback play and he is an elite returner as well. Dotson has the kind of athleticism that can allow Kevin Stefanski to expand his playbook.