The Cleveland Browns own the No. 10 overall pick in the 2020 Draft and don’t need to draft a quarterback.
That opens up the possibilities of the positions the team can target with such a high pick.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) February 17, 2020
Right now it seems clear the team needs an upgrade on the offensive line, specifically at tackle or guard.
But do the Browns have to draft a lineman at No. 10 overall?
The Lineman Debate
Joel Bitonio and JC Tretter are the only two sure starters for 2020 currently on the roster.
Chris Hubbard and Greg Robinson held down the tackle spots, respectively, but neither appear to be suitable long-term options.
Robinson is a free agent this offseason while Hubbard carries a dead cap value of $2.4 million.
Just a matter of time before Chris Hubbard is cut too
— TA (@ClevTA) February 17, 2020
Cutting Hubbard would save nearly $5 million, but the team may wait to see what happens in free agency and the draft before moving on.
Letting Robinson walk opens up a clear need at the tackle position.
For the sake of the argument, let’s say the Browns don’t add a starting tackle in free agency.
That should signal to fans that the team is set on taking the best tackle available with the No. 10 overall pick.
Tua to the Lions? Oh my 👀
— ESPN (@espn) February 18, 2020
That would not give the Browns the presumed top player at the position, but there is no guarantee that the first prospect off the board at any position will indeed be the best.
This mock draft does, however, show the Browns could grab top players at other positions.
Other Positions of Need
There seems to be a belief among fans, at least on social media, that the Browns should target a wide receiver early in the draft.
That is a bit odd considering both Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. remain on the roster.
Using a No. 10 overall pick to draft a receiver that would be third on the depth chart is not a wise move.
The Browns can plug in guys like Rashard Higgins and Damion Ratley, or just keep it simple and sign someone in free agency.
This high pick has to be used on someone who will start right away.
Linebacker is a position that could become a huge need if Joe Schobert and/or Christian Kirksey aren’t retained.
The idea of Cleveland letting Joe Schobert walk in free agency is mind-boggling. He's never been fully appreciated for how good of a player he really is.
— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) February 16, 2020
That seemed to be a done deal when John Dorsey was still in charge.
Yet, both players may be looked on more favorably on Andrew Berry.
That is especially true for Schobert, who was drafted when Berry was last in town.
The team did add Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki last season.
That pushes the need at linebacker down a bit if Schobert and Kirksey are brought back.
But if one or both are allowed to walk, the Browns would be wise to target a linebacker at No. 10 overall if that player is seen as a better overall prospect and value pick than the best remaining offensive tackle.
Waiting on Free Agency
What the Browns do in March will determine the strategy for April’s NFL Draft.
At this point in time, the team’s biggest need is offensive tackle.
After that, comes a potential need at linebacker and even in the secondary if additions are made at other positions of need.
The Browns once had an offensive line that was one of the best in football.
Now, the roster has flipped and the skill positions are better, while the line struggles.
Ignoring that need in free agency means the Browns have to address it in the draft.
Hopefully, this new front office doesn’t ignore that simple fact.