For the first time in 10 years, the Cleveland Browns will have a first round draft pick outside of the top-15. Corey Coleman, who’s not even in the NFL anymore, was taken with the 15th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Browns. The year before, the Browns drafted defensive tackle Danny Shelton with the 12th pick, and offensive lineman Cameron Erving with the 19th pick. Shelton has become a rotation lineman in the NFL, and Erving hasn’t made an impact on any team since his selection. However, with new general manager Andrew Berry, things are looking up for the “Mistake on the Lake.” Here is a list of Browns draft targets at cornerback, which is the biggest position of need.
If Berry and the rest of the front office don’t deter from this list too much, the Browns 2021 NFL Draft will be a successful one.
Browns Draft Targets at CB | 2021 NFL Draft
Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Patrick Surtain II is the best cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft, hands down. If you draft Surtain, you know exactly what you’re getting. Chances are he will be the first defensive player off the board. If the Browns look to trade up, they would have to get all the way up to 10 if they want the Alabama cornerback. Still, it doesn’t hurt to do your homework on the guy. He won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year this past fall, and was a first-team All-American. He has size (6’2), speed (4.46 40) and all the coaching you need in a first-round corner.
NFL Comparison: Byron Jones, CB, MIA
Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Jayvee Horn is another draft prospect that has NFL blood. He is the son of former Saints receiving great Joe Horn. The younger Horn has the highest ceiling of any defensive back in this year’s NFL Draft. He’s 6-1 and runs a 4.39-second 40-yard dash. Horn is a physical corner that can be successful in multiple schemes. The only knock on Horn is his ball production. He only had two interceptions in his time with South Carolina. However, that isn’t a big red flag, as it’s clear that a lot of teams didn’t throw anywhere near him. If Surtain goes 10th to the Cowboys, like most mocks are predicting, then the Browns would have to find a way to get up to pick 11 or 12 to get the smooth cornerback out of South Carolina.
NFL Comparison: Kyle Fuller, CB, DEN
Greg Newsome II, Northwestern
This is another guy who seems to be flying up draft boards. I swear, three months ago Greg Newsome II wasn’t anywhere near the first round of most mock drafts. However, with the need for defensive backs growing in the NFL, Newsome has earned some respect. This past year, playing in one of the best defensive backfields in college football, he only had one interception. Newsome is another cornerback who has low ball production. However, he has all the tools you want in a dominant corner. He stands at 6-1 and weighs just over 190 lbs, so he could add some bulk to his frame. Newsome should also be off the board when the Browns draft at 26.
NFL Comparison: Jaire Alexander, CB, GB
Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
If this article was being posted two months ago, Farley would most likely be the top cornerback on the list. However, he had surgery on his back in late March, causing some teams to back off of him. As of April 12th, he has been told by doctors that he will be ready for the 2021 season. Physically, Farley is the perfect corner most teams are looking for these days. He stands at 6-2 weighing just under 200 lbs. Other than his injury history, the only knock on Farley is his fundamentals. He is such a smooth athlete that he often times gets too comfortable in coverage, and at times loses contact with the man he’s covering. However, coaching at the next level should be able to help him in that area. For the most part, there’s a lot to love about Farley. However, it would not be surprising if the Browns aren’t willing to take on another injured defensive back, while Greedy Williams has still played limited snaps.
NFL Comparison: Marlon Humphrey, CB, BAL
Elijah Molden, Washington
Elijah Molden isn’t necessarily what the Browns front office is looking for in a cornerback. However, that shouldn’t deter them from taking Molden if he gets to them in the third or fourth round. Molden is naturally a slot corner. However, he does have the ability to cover on the outside. The only knock on him when he’s on the outside is his frame. He’s just a shade shorter than 5-10 and weighs in at just over 190 lbs. Throw his height to the side, and you get what could essentially be another Tyrann Mathieu in the second or third round. Football is a sport, like basketball, that seems to be joining the position-less player movement. Molden can play on the inside, the outside, against receivers and on guys out of the backfield. If he falls to the Browns at 89 or 91, they would be foolish to pass on him.
NFL Comparison: Tyrann Mathieu, S, KC
Tyson Campbell, Georgia
It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Tyson Campbell sneaks into the end of the first round. It also wouldn’t surprise me if Campbell is the top Browns draft target on their board after Horn and Surtain. He’s exactly the type of corner the new Browns front office is trying to get. He’s 6-1, 193 lbs and is a long athlete. He moves his hips with fluidity and can change directions in a flash. Two of the knocks against Campbell are that he can get complacent in coverage, and he’s not a very good in run support at corner for his frame. With that being said, it’s very possible that the Browns front office takes the man out of Georgia at 26.
NFL Comparison: William Jackson III, CB, WFT