The Browns watched five defensive ends and six receivers get drafted in the first round Thursday night.
The defensive ends began going off the board at No. 1 with Georgia’s Travon Walker picked by the Jaguars. He was followed by Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson at No. 2 to Detroit, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux No. 5 to the Giants, Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II No. 26 to the Jets and Purdue’s George Karlaftis No. 30 to the Chiefs.
The run on receivers began at No. 8 and was fast and furious.
USC’s Drake London went No. 8 to the Falcons, Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson No. 10 to the Jets, Ohio State’s Chris Olave No. 11 to the Saints, Alabama’s Jameson Williams No. 12 to the Lions, Penn State’s Jahan Dotson No. 16 to the Commanders and Arkansas’ Treylon Burks No. 18 to the Titans. For the first time since the common draft started in 1967, six receivers were selected in the top 20.
While the Browns were certainly interested in many of those players at their most obvious positions of needs, the second round will begin tonight at 7 with plenty of interesting options on the board. The Browns are scheduled to pick at No. 44, so if they don’t trade up or down, they’ll have to sweat out 11 more choices.
The highest-ranked receivers remaining are Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore, Georgia’s George Pickens, South Alabama’s Jalen Tolbert, North Dakota State’s Christian Watson, Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce and Alabama’s John Metchie III.
The top defensive ends are Michigan’s David Ojabo, Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie, Minnesota’s Boye Mafe, USC’s Drake Jackson and Oklahoma’s Nik Bonitto.
Defensive tackle is also a need for the Browns, and Houston’s Logan Hall straddles the line between end and tackle. He’s 6-foot-6, 283 pounds and has position versatility.
Connecticut’s Travis Jones (6-4, 325) and Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey (6-4, 290) are more traditional tackles still on the board.
None of the options should be ruled out, and a lot will depend on what happens in the 11 picks before No. 44.
If Moore and Pickens are gone, general manager Andrew Berry may go end with his first pick of the draft and wait on receiver until No. 78 in the third round. The Browns also have No. 99 in the third round.