On March 23, the Browns’ nine 2021 draft picks were confirmed for the NFL draft:
Our 9️⃣ #NFLDraft picks are officially set!
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 23, 2021
Cleveland is continuing to look for defensive backs, and there are some free agents available like former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson.
However, the upcoming draft could be the best opportunity for the Browns to add to their secondary.
Currently, with the No. 26 overall selection, the Browns would not have a strong chance at any of the top cornerbacks in the draft.
With the draft being in Cleveland, it makes sense for the Browns to make a splash on the first day of it.
April 29 will kick off with the Jacksonville Jaguars most likely taking quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The San Francisco 49ers already have traded up to the third selection, while the Miami Dolphins find themselves at sixth.
What could be interesting for the Browns is that the Philadelphia Eagles now have the 12th pick.
If the Browns are looking to move up in the 2021 draft, they should look to trade for a selection around No. 10.
If they do, they can target the best cornerbacks in the draft.
Here are the two players the Browns should consider trading up for in the draft:
1. Jaycee Horn (South Carolina CB)
Jaycee Horn, the son of four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Joe Horn, played three years at South Carolina.
Horn had his sights on the NFL even before the end of the season, as he opted out of the 2020 season in November.
After the Gamecocks fired head coach Will Muschamp, Horn made his choice to end his college football career.
In the seven games of his junior season, Horn finished with two interceptions, six passes defended, and 16 tackles.
The six passes defended ranked ninth in the SEC.
His performance in college football’s best conference might have been the best among all cornerbacks:
Jaycee Horn allowed the lowest completion % in the SEC, which holds more weight to me than any division pic.twitter.com/R2XgLNeRFy
— #BounceBeatBaby (@NFLMaliik) February 19, 2021
His impressive defensive ability at the corner position would be important for the Browns in 2021 and beyond.
If Cleveland moves up in the draft, Horn would be a strong selection.
2. Patrick Surtain II (Alabama CB)
The second of the two players to move up for is also the son of a former NFL player.
However, in this instance, it is like father, like son: Patrick Surtain II is the son of three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtain.
He could become the best cornerback out of this draft class.
Patrick Surtain II = CB1?
6'2", 208 lbs
4.42 – 40 🔥
39" vertical jump
10'11" broad jump
18 reps of 225
Alabama does it differently.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 23, 2021
Surtain’s 2020 season was an impressive one, as he was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a Consensus All-American.
Then, in the Rose Bowl, he was the defensive Most Valuable Player, as Alabama beat Notre Dame, 31-14.
The semifinal victory was followed by the Crimson Tide’s College Football Championship victory against Ohio State.
Surtain has experienced a lot of winning in college, and the Browns would enjoy seeing him bring his success to the pros as well.
Both Surtain and Horn should be selected by around the 10th pick, so if the Browns want to boost their secondary, trading up may be a good idea.
The Browns could take the next step with their defense if they can get one of these two cornerbacks.