Ever since the 2019 season came to an end, there's been one constant when it's come to the Cleveland Browns' projections in mock drafts.
And considering the team's glaring need at the position and its depth in this year's draft, it would be tough to argue with those who have pegged the Browns to take a left tackle with the No. 10 overall pick in Thursday's NFL Draft.
But between general manager Andrew Berry insisting the team will prioritize talent over need and ESPN's Josina Anderson reporting Cleveland is still considering trading for Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams, it appears those prognostications may ultimately prove wrong. With that in mind, here are five potential prospects the Browns could consider taking should they opt for a position other than offensive tackle with their first-round pick:
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Even if the Browns are intent on using their first-round pick on an offensive lineman, Isaiah Simmons slipping to No. 10 could force them to reevaluate their plans.
A Swiss army knife-like linebacker/safety hybrid, the 6-foot-4, 238-pound Simmons is the type of modern playmaker Cleveland's defense currently lacks. In 15 games in 2019, Simmons tallied 104 tackles, 16.5 of which came for a loss, 8 sacks and 3 interceptions.
In all likelihood, Simmons will be hearing his name called well before the Browns take the podium. But if he doesn't, Berry's strategy of drafting talent over need will truly be put to the test.
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
This spot could also go to either Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs III, but as far as the Browns are concerned, CeeDee Lamb seems like the most intriguing wide receiver prospect. In 13 games last season, Lamb tallied 62 receptions fo 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns.
At 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, the Oklahoma product would instantly provide Cleveland's offense with the type of tall wide receiver prospect it currently lacks. He's also already familiar with Baker Mayfield, who he served as the Sooners' quarterback as he caught 46 receptions for 807 yards and 7 touchdowns as a freshman in 2017.
What's more is that while depth chart initially seemed loaded a season ago, wide receiver is currently a sneaky need in Cleveland. Lamb could not only fill that void, but help raise the overall talent level of the Browns' roster.
Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
While the Browns made some investments in their secondary this offseason with the signings of Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendjeo, both free agents were only added on one-year deals. Drafting Xavier McKinney could not only provide immediate flexibility, but also a long-term solution to the back end of Cleveland's secondary.
Between his ability in both coverage and run support -- as well as blitzing skills -- McKinney has emerged as the top safety prospect in this year's class. In 13 games in 2019, he led Alabama with 95 tackles, 5.5 of which came for a loss and 3 sacks, to go along with 3 interceptions, 5 pass defenses and 4 forced fumbles.
Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
While left tackle may be the Browns' most glaring immediate need, they also shouldn't wait long to address defensive tackle; Larry Ogunjobi and Andrew Billings are each slated to be free agents after 2020, while Sheldon Richardson could also be a potential cap casualty a year from now.
Even if the Browns feel good about their defensive tackle situation this season, Javon Kinlaw could provide an immediate upgrade and long-term fix. After recording 35 tackles and 6 sacks in 2019, the 6-foot-5, 324-pound South Carolina prospect has established a reputation as one of the most physically impressive defensive line prospects in this year's class.
Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Considering Berry's previous experience working in the Browns' front office, many have pinpointed Cleveland as one of the team's in this year's draft most likely to trade down. And while many have assumed that means the Browns grabbing a less-heralded offensive tackle, sliding down could also open up their options at other positions.
Given their need at linebacker, a prospect such as Kenneth Murray would make sense. Having tallied 102 tackles, 17 of which came for a loss, 4 sacks and 4 pass defenses in 2019, the 6-foot-2, 241-pound Oklahoma product could provide Cleveland's linebacking corps with the type of playmaker it has lacked in recent years.