First-year general manager Andrew Berry did want anyone to assume that the Cleveland Browns were going to draft an offensive tackle with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
However, Berry was proud to select Alabama junior offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. with Cleveland’s lone first-round draft pick:
#Browns GM Andrew Berry: Incredibly excited to add Jedrick Wills. Last 2 years at Alabama and his makeup, we thought he fit what we needed. Great feet, advanced in pass pro and very physical in the run game. Well-rounded player. Impressed by his organization habits and routine.
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) April 24, 2020
Berry was not the only person happy about the selection of Wills.
Both wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and quarterback Baker Mayfield were impressed:
Bama boy 😤🤬🤬 Lol 😭 guess we koool now ! @JWills73
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) April 24, 2020
Berry complimented a lot of Wills’ skills, and he knows how important of a player he will be for the Browns right away.
How Important is Wills at Left Tackle for the Browns?
The immediate analysis of the Wills selection included how Cleveland has been unable to successfully replace Joe Thomas since his season-ending arm injury in 2017.
The 6’4”, 312-pound Wills should be an important asset for the 2020 Browns.
He will join newcomer Jack Conklin on the offensive line.
The Browns signed the former Tennessee Titans right tackle Conklin to a three-year, $42 million deal with $30 guaranteed.
The 2020 offense will have a new look after Mayfield had a frustrating 2019 season.
Not only did he not improve from his 6-7 rookie season record, but he also was sacked among the most in the league.
Opposing defenses sacked him 40 times (seventh-most among quarterbacks) for 285 yards (sixth).
With all the pressure that defenses had on Mayfield last year, he made some poor decisions on passes.
Just one player threw more interceptions in the NFL in 2019: Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Understandably, Winston has yet to sign a contract with any team.
Wills and Conklin will hope to help to alleviate these problems in the upcoming season.
Therefore, 2020 will be an important make or break year for Mayfield.
Berry’s Plan Moving Forward in the Draft
The Browns, who had the most salary cap room headed into the 2020 draft, have six more selections left.
At the No. 41 overall pick, they have several linebacker options.
Then in the third round, the Browns should be keeping an eye on Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae.
A trade may also come available for Cleveland when Berry and company are contemplating who to select with the No. 74 and No. 97 picks in the draft.
Harris, who led the NFL in interceptions in 2019, had career highs in passes defended and tackles last season.
He, Wills, and Conklin would be a part of a huge offseason for Cleveland.
The Browns’ current win total is projected at 8.5, which puts the Browns at the cusp of the postseason.
Berry needs to find some value picks during this draft, but making a trade or two could make the difference for the 2020 Browns.
Cleveland will need to stay patient though.
As the new general manager, Berry will have to resist the temptation to make the big splash early in his tenure with the Browns.
The Browns will next be on the clock on Friday with the No. 41 overall draft pick in the second round of the 2020 draft.