BEREA, Ohio — The 2022 NFL Draft is quickly approaching -- and for the first time since 2019, the Cleveland Browns will not be participating in the first-round festivities. The team traded away its first-round pick last month to the Houston Texans as part of the package that landed quarterback Deshaun Watson.
While Thursday night of the draft may be a snooze fest for Browns fans, Friday night certainly won’t be. The Browns own three picks combined in rounds two and three, with their first pick of the draft coming in at No. 44 overall.
Here are five players that could be available when the Browns are finally on the clock next Friday night.
Jahan Dotson, Wide Receiver, Penn State
It’s no secret that the Browns have a need for a wide receiver. That was the buzz prior to their trade for Watson, and it still remains a likely scenario that they use their first pick of the draft on one. That said, the receiver pool at No. 13 – where the Browns were slated to pick – would have been much deeper than it will be at No. 44. There may be as many as eight wide receivers taken in the first round, and Dotson may be one of them. But if he’s still on the board when the Browns come up, it may be a smart pick.
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George Pickens, Wide Receiver, Georgia
There’s a chance that George Pickens is off the board by time the Browns make their selection in the second round. The wide receiver from Georgia has been a bit of a late riser in the draft process. Part of the reason he could still be there in the second round is due to injury concerns. He tore his ACL in 2021 and only played in four games at the end of the season after he recovered from the injury. He finished the season with just five catches for 107 yards, but did have a 52-yard reception in the College Football Playoff Championship Game against Alabama.
Skyy Moore, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
Skyy Moore is another wide receiver the Browns could have their eyes on in the second round although he has consistently been finding himself near the end of the first round or very early in the second round in most mock drafts. He’s a bit of a smaller receiver listed at 5’10” and 195 pounds, but was very impressive while at Western Michigan, catching 94 passes for 1291 yards and 10 touchdowns this past season.
Drake Jackson, Defensive End, Southern California
If the Browns do decide to select a position other than wide receiver in the second round, they could benefit from it greatly. As mentioned above, as many as eight wide receivers could go in the first round this year, with a couple more being selected between picks 33 and 43. This means that first-round caliber players at other positions could find themselves falling into the second round. Drake Jackson could be one of those players. While he doesn’t have the same potential as a guy like Myles Garrett, he would look awfully nice in a complimentary role to the Browns’ franchise pass rusher.
Logan Hall, Defensive Tackle, Houston
The Browns need help on the interior of the defensive line and Logan Hall may be the best available at that spot when the Browns are making their first draft pick. Since general manager Andrew Berry took over the team’s decision making, the Browns have not invested too much in the defensive tackle position. Maybe this draft is where that changes, unless they’re counting on Jordan Elliot to make a big jump in his third year with the team.
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous Browns story on March 25, 2022.