Saturday, March 6, 2021

Pre-Free Agency Cleveland Browns 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Cleveland Browns Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Cleveland Browns from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

For a more inclusive lists of mock drafts for the Cleveland Browns, check out our 2021 Cleveland Browns Mock Draft Database.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Browns:

EDSFootball - Hanson (3/5)

26. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

The recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Award, the versatile Tulsa defender (6-4, 260) can rush the passer or drop in coverage. Collins had four sacks and four interceptions, two of which were returned for scores, in eight games this past season.

ESPN - McShay (3/4)

26. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

I've now placed Collins with Cleveland in three straight mock drafts, and it just makes sense. If the Browns truly want to contend for a Super Bowl, they need another pass-rusher opposite Myles Garrett, and Collins has a stellar closing burst. And he can cover, as evidenced by his four interceptions last season. I could also see Cleveland looking at safety if Trevon Moehrig is still available.

Jake Trotter on his fit with the Browns: The Browns have utilized first-round picks in recent years to build their young core at quarterback (Baker Mayfield), defensive end (Garrett), cornerback (Denzel Ward) and left tackle (Jedrick Wills Jr.). Grabbing Collins would give Cleveland an anchor at linebacker who could be a starter and playmaking difference-maker from day one.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (3/3)

26. Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)

Rousseau gets to learn from another tall, freaky edge rusher in Myles Garrett.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/1)

26. Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern

The Browns need help at every level of the defense. That means they have options, even at No. 26, and at this all-too-early stage, it's hard to imagine Newsome not being near the top of their list. Even if Greedy Williams comes back from the nerve issue in his shoulder that forced him to miss all of last season, the Browns are still in need of cornerback help. Newsome, who's just 21, is rangy and has the tools to eventually become a top-tier player alongside Denzel Ward, who's in line for a big extension as the Browns go through a defensive remake in the coming months. -- Zac Jackson

Touchdown Wire - Farrar (2/26)

26. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

The Browns proved last season that they're legitimate contenders with talent all over the roster. Where they fall short, however, is at the linebacker position. The combination of Malcolm Smith, Sione Takitaki, B.J. Goodson, and Mack Wilson left the team a bit short at that position, and in the interest of taking Cleveland's defense a step forward, Collins would be a major upgrade.

Why? Because Collins has old-school dimensions for the position (6-foot-4, 260 pounds in an era when the average linebacker weighs at least 30 pounds less) with new-school speed, agility, and versatility. Collins did well throughout his collegiate career in the box, on the defensive line, and even in the slot. Last season, he had 16 total pressures, 29 stops, and he allowed 11 receptions on 15 targets in coverage for 59 yards, 43 yards after the catch, one touchdown, four interceptions for 152 yards and two touchdowns, and an opponent passer rating of 62.2.

There isn't another linebacker in this class (or in most classes these days) with this particular skill set, and Collins profiles well as everything from a thumper in base defense to a sideline-to-sideline defender in nickel or dime. ... - Casserly (2/25)

26. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

The Browns need another cornerback to play opposite Denzel Ward to stop high-flying offenses in today's NFL, and 2019 second-round pick Greedy Williams missed all of last season with a nerve injury in his shoulder. - Meinke (2/25)

26. Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (FL)

Cleveland has to go defense here, right? Like, front seven right? Right?

San Diego Union Tribune (2/24)

26. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

The Browns need to upgrade their pass rush outside of Myles Garrett, but they also need to improve their linebacker corps. Collins has the size (6-4, 260), athleticism and positional flexibility that will cause most defensive coordinators to drool. He received the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded by the Football Writers Association of America to the top defensive player in college football.

Previous update: Cleveland Browns Mock Draft Roundup 5.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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