There has been no team with a bigger surge over the past year than the Cleveland Browns. After taking over for the dumpster fire that was the Freddie Kitchens and John Dorsey era, new head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry have the Browns back on the path to success.
How? The use of analytics to affect their draft plans and in-game situational play-calls. It clearly worked as they saw great success out of their 2020 NFL Draft class, and they look to have the same success out of this 2021 NFL Draft class. They are riding the high of the 2020 season and a strong start to the offseason. Can they carry this success into next week?
Looking at last year’s draft for Berry and Browns
A year ago, the Browns opted towards players with a high athletic profile, and players who were younger than 23 before the season. In fact, defensive tackle Jordan Elliott was the oldest, and he turned 23 during the season. It is no shock that the Browns have analytical guardrails they abide by, which leads them to take younger and more athletic players, especially on day three.
First round pick Jedrick Wills was just 20 years young when he became a Brown. Both Jacob Phillips and Grant Delpit were just 21, and Phillips had the production and athletic testing to draw towards his selection.
A year ago, Harrison Bryant, Nick Harris, and Donovan Peoples-Jones found their way to Cleveland on day three of the draft. While Bryant fell below the athletic threshold, he had the production to warrant the selection. With other-worldly athletic upside, Peoples-Jones became a no-brainer in the sixth round.
What could a draft haul with a simplified big board to remove players who do not meet the age and athletic threshold look like? Thanks to Jack Duffin at The Dawgland, we have a board to work off of. Here is a seven-round mock of what a realistic and analytical draft haul could look like for the Browns.