The Browns are a tricky organization to project Senior Bowl players to due to the current front office’s apparent age policies. While no player is off the board due to age entirely, they will lean much more towards younger players. For example, a player in the Senior Bowl like Bernhard Raimann (who is 24 years old) would be significantly lower on the Browns’ board, more or less eliminating him for selection. The Browns will still have Senior Bowl targets this year, as long as the value is worth it.
Last year, the Browns selected two Senior Bowl players. They were offensive tackle James Hudson in the 4th round and running back Demetric Felton in the 6th round. Hudson struggled a lot in his first season, but Felton played decently well in limited opportunities. He contributed on special teams as well as occasional snaps on offense both in the slot and at running back. The Browns have a good amount of needs to fill in the draft, and a lot of picks to work with, so don’t be surprised if one of the players from the Senior Bowl is selected by them.
Browns Senior Bowl Targets
The Browns may need another running back to fill in the role of D’Ernest Johnson as a third running back, with Demetric Felton still being used as a hybrid player. If they select a running back, it will almost certainly be on day three of the NFL draft.
Dameon Pierce: Florida, 5090, 220lbs
Brian Robinson Jr: Alabama, 6015, 226lbs
Jerome Ford: Cincinnati, 5106, 209lbs
Dameon Pierce has been the most impressive back at the Senior Bowl during the practices. However, his performance may mean he goes before the Browns would be willing to target a running back. Robinson had a solid career and can be a good third running back. Jerome Ford did really well at Cincinnati after transferring from Alabama, and could also be a quality third back. Ford and Robinson are more likely targets, as they will go much later in the draft.
The Browns desperately need multiple wide receivers. Jarvis Landry will most likely be gone, and that leaves the Browns in need of three receivers. Free agency is a possible avenue to add a player, but they will need one, if not two, receivers. I would expect a receiver to be taken early, as well as one on day three.
Christian Watson: North Dakota State, 6040, 211lbs
Alec Pierce: Cincinnati, 6026, 208lbs
Romeo Doubs: Nevada, 6017, 204lbs
Khalil Shakir: Boise State, 6000, 193lbs
Jalen Tolbert: South Alabama, 6012, 195lbs
Christian Watson has been the most impressive player at the Senior Bowl practices. Alec Pierce provides a traditional X receiver. Jalen Tolbert is a deep threat that disappointed in terms of measurements, with belief pre-Senior Bowl that he could be 6’4″. Doubs has been fantastic in his time with Carson Strong. Shakir is a player with a lot of versatility, earning himself the nickname “Swiss” after the swiss army knife.
The Browns may need to draft an offensive tackle given that Jack Conklin will be out for a while. If they do so, they can look for one of these day two tackles, one of which may fall. The Browns have had great development from late round picks, so if they draft a player on day two or day three they have a solid chance at success. The only internal competition will be James Hudson.
Trevor Penning: Northern Iowa, 6066, 330lbs
Max Mitchell: Louisiana, 6056, 299lbs
Bernhard Raimann: Central Michigan, 6061, 304lbs
Abraham Lucas: Washington State, 6061, 322lbs
Daniel Faalele: Minnesota, 6081, 387lbs
Raimann is the least likely selection due to his age. Mitchell is extremely undersized and needs experience against higher-level competition. Penning was a solid tackle at Northern Iowa. Abraham Lucas has played in multiple systems and has a lot of experience as a pass blocker. Faalele is a massive human being with decent movement skills. All would be solid players to fill in for Conklin if the Browns are not comfortable with James Hudson and his development.
The Browns Senior Bowl targets are going to significantly focus on the defensive line. They need a lot of help on the interior of the defensive line. Tommy Togiai was selected in the fourth round of last years draft, and Jordan Elliott was selected the year before. Other than that, there are no other defensive tackles on the Browns’ roster for next season.
Phidarian Mathis: Alabama, 6037, 313lbs
Perrion Winfrey: Oklahoma, 6036, 303lbs
Devonte Wyatt: Georgia, 6026, 307lbs
Travis Jones: UCONN, 6043, 326lbs
John Ridgeway: Arkansas, 6046, 327lbs
Ridgeway and Jones can be plug-and-play 1-techs. Mathis, who played more of a true nose-tackle for Alabama, can make the transition. Devonte Wyatt was fantastic for the best defense in college football. Perrion Winfrey has played in a 3-front for Oklahoma, but will have to move to a 3-tech.
Perhaps the top Senior Bowl target position for the Browns, Myles Garrett is the only one of the top 3 edge rushers still under contract for the Browns. The Browns will take an edge rusher early. Clowney may be back, as might Takk McKinley, but edge depth is always a plus.
Myjai Sanders: Cincinnati, 6043, 242lbs
Jermaine Johnson: Florida State, 6043, 259lbs
Boye Mafe: Minnesota, 6034, 255lbs
Kingsley Enagbare: South Carolina, 6036, 261lbs
Sam Williams*: Ole Miss, 6040, 265lbs
Arnold Ebiketie: Penn State, 6023, 250lbs
Zach Carter: Florida, 6034, 287lbs
Tyreke Smith: Ohio State, 6030, 245lbs
The top edge rusher at the Senior Bowl practices was Jermaine Johnson. He looks to be a first round pick. On day two, Myjai Sanders and Kingsley Enagbare are two good options, as is possibly Boye Mafe, Arnold Ebiketie, Zach Carter, and possibly Sam Williams. Tyreke Smith is a possible day three selection as well.
The Browns are possibly losing safety Ronnie Harrison, and will need a replacement. Richard LeCounte didn’t significantly contribute as a rookie. Grant Delpit will return for his third season (second healthy) as will John Johnson III. Versatile safeties will be important for the defense.
Leon O’Neal Jr.: Texas A&M, 6002, 211lbs
Jalen Pitre: Baylor, 5106, 196lbs
Verone McKinley*: Oregon, 5110, 194lbs
Verone McKinley had a lot of ball production this year at Oregon. He was a late addition to the Senior Bowl roster. Jalen Pitre has been a standout at the practices. Leon O’Neal Jr is one of my personal favorites at safety. He can be an instant replacement for Ronnie Harrison, and is good coming up towards the line in shallow zones.
For More Senior Bowl Content Check Out These Articles:
- Senior Bowl Day Three Winners and Losers, American Team
- Senior Bow Day Three Winners and Losers, National Team