The Cleveland Browns were central players in one of the biggest stories of the offseason after acquiring quarterback Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans and giving up significant draft capital to do so. Cleveland gave up its first and fourth-round selections this year (along with four more future picks) to acquire Watson. The Browns still have seven total picks in this year’s draft but won’t be making their first selection until Round 2 (No. 44 overall). Barring a trade, the Browns won’t have a first-round draft pick until 2025.
Watson, who was handed a five-year, fully guaranteed $230 million contract upon his arrival in Cleveland, still faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions and could be subject to suspension under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. Watson did not play in a single game last season.
Cleveland is coming off a down season after winning its first playoff game in 26 years in 2020. A three-game losing streak late in the season doomed the Browns’ playoff hopes as they finished below .500 for the 13th time in 14 seasons. Another disappointing season, injuries to QB Baker Mayfield, and opportunity factored into the Browns’ decision to acquire Watson. It is only a matter of time until the Browns move on from Mayfield, the QB they drafted first overall just a few years ago. Trading Mayfield before the draft to recoup some of the picks lost in the Watson deal makes the most sense. The trade market may mean the Browns holding onto Mayfield for longer than they would like.
The Browns acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Dallas Cowboys and still have one of the league’s best one-two pairings at running back when Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are healthy. Re-signing wide receiver Jarvis Landry and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney remains a possibility. Finding a pass rusher to take pressure off Myles Garrett and shoring up the secondary should be the priorities entering this draft.
Click here for the entire 2022 NFL Draft order and keep reading to see who the Browns take in the 2022 NFL Draft. Coverage of the latest news from around the NFL is available all year round on PFT’s Peacock channel.
Cleveland Browns 2022 NFL Draft Picks:
Round 3: No. 68 (from HOU) – Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
Round 3: No. 78 – Alex Wright, DE, UAB
Round 3: No. 99 – David Bell, WR, Purdue
Round 4: No. 108 (from HOU) – Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
Round 4: No. 124 (from PHI) – Cade York, K, LSU
Round 5: No. 156 (from BAL via MIN) – Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati
Round 6: No. 202 (from DAL) – Michael Woods II, WR, Oklahoma
Round 7: No. 223 (from DET) – Isaiah Thomas, DE, Oklahoma
Round 7: No. 246 (from BUF) – Dawson Deaton, C, Texas Tech
Check out draft picks for other teams in the AFC North