The Cleveland Browns have made quite some noise in free agency. One of the consequences of their free agency dealings, however, was that the Browns won’t pick until the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Still, they have the potential to turn a lot of heads with whomever they’d pick. Here we’ll look at the three best players for the Cleveland Browns to target with their 2023 NFL Draft third-round pick.
Similar to 2022, the Browns will not be participating in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. Recall that their first-round pick was traded to the Houston Texans in the Deshaun Watson deal. As such, the Texans now hold both the Browns’ 2023 and 2024 first-round picks. They also opted out of the second round last year. This time around, they will not be able to trade out of the second round since they have already made a move to acquire Elijah Moore. This resulted in giving the New York Jets the 42nd overall pick. Consequently, the Browns’ next pick will be at No. 74. However, they still have eight selections in the draft and could find quality players. This is what they did in 2022 with Martin Emerson being selected at No. 68 overall.
That said, the Browns have received praise for who they’ve successfully acquired in the offseason. They re-signed Ethan Pocic on a three-year deal worth $18 million and Sione Takitaki on a one-year deal, worth about $2.5 million. One of the most interesting deals was signing defensive end Obo Okoronkwo from the Houston Texans to a 3-year deal. And then, of course, there are the acquisitions of Dalvin Tomlinson, Juan Thornhill, and the aforementioned Moore. It’s been a pretty eventful offseason for Cleveland fans, and things might continue to be intriguing on draft night.
Now let’s look at the three best players for the Browns to target in the 2023 NFL Draft third-round.
3. Tucker Kraft
Keep in mind that Cleveland has recently signed Jordan Akins to a two-year deal and owes young tight end David Njoku guaranteed money for another year after his impressive breakout season. Still, the Browns may be interested in adding another weapon to their tight end position. That weapon could be South Dakota State’s Tucker Kraft. He can potentially fill that role for this squad. Kraft possesses the versatility to play in various positions, including in the slot and in-line. He also has the willingness to act as an H-back and lead block in the run game. His versatility is enticing. On the other hand, this kind of move might signal the end of Harrison Bryant’s chances of keeping a roster spot.
Tucker Kraft touchdown and the slide in the snow! pic.twitter.com/pGiOnVbTyJ
— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) December 17, 2022
2. Jammie Robinson
By acquiring Juan Thornhill through free agency, the Browns obtained a legitimate post safety capable of covering the ground with range. This is especially in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s predominantly Cover-3/Cover-1 defensive strategy. Nevertheless, with the departure of Ronnie Harrison, the Browns require a multi-talented safety. They need someone who can function both in the box and over the top. Jammie Robinson from Florida State fits this profile.
Robinson performs best closer to the line of scrimmage, where he can use his instincts and quickness to make tackles. Robinson excels at coverage closer to the line of scrimmage. He can use his reactive agility and quickness to run with receivers on crossing routes from that position. Robinson is especially effective when he can play the robber role, in which he does not have coverage responsibilities and may cruise the field trailing the quarterback’s eyes to the receiver in order to make a play. If the Browns pick Robinson, that wouldn’t be too shabby at all.
1. Nick Herbig
Remember that the Browns acquired Obo Okoronkwo through free agency. That move effectively filled the position opposite Myles Garrett. They also still have 2022 third-rounder Alex Wright in the rotation. However, they may seek a specialized pass-rushing talent for sub-packages. Nick Herbig from Wisconsin seems to fit the bill. Recall that Herbig was a productive and versatile player for the Badgers.
At the point of attack in the run game, Herbig has good power and pop in his hands. There are clips of him fighting his way through opposing offensive linemen to get to the football. While facing tight ends in run sequences, he anchors effectively. Because of his length and play power, Herbig is capable of stacking and shedding those block attempts. He surely has the potential to be a valuable asset in third downs and other passing situations. Despite being somewhat in between positions, Herbig is a player worth considering for the Browns.
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