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Mock draft: QBs are first three picks, Browns trade down even farther

For the third straight year the Browns will sit out the first round of the draft Thursday night. The three-first rounders were sent to Houston as part of the Deshaun Watson trade in 2022, and the Browns will be back in the first round next April.

The Browns are scheduled to start the draft at No. 54 in the second round, and it’ll be interesting to see if general manager Andrew Berry makes the pick or trades out of the second round for the third year in a row. Berry enters the three-day marathon with six picks — four of them Saturday.

Here’s my best guess for a Browns-less first round and Cleveland’s eventual selections:

TeamPlayerPositionCollege
1. Chicago (via Carolina)Caleb WilliamsQBUSCDynamic thrower and playmaker.
2. WashingtonJayden DanielsQBLSUTrue dual threat threw 40 TDs and rushed for 10 last year.
3. New EnglandDrake MayeQBNorth CarolinaPatriots can’t trade out, so they get their young QB.
4. ArizonaMalik NabersWRLSUCardinals will try to trade down.
5. Minnesota (draft-night trade)J.J. McCarthyQBMichiganVikings trade up for Chargers picks, gamble on McCarthy.
6. N.Y. GiantsMarvin Harrison Jr.WROhio StateMight be the best player in the draft.
7. TennesseeJoe AltTNotre DameBig guy for a big need.
8. AtlantaLaiatu LatuEdgeUCLAOnly defensive player in the top 10.
9. ChicagoRome OdunzeWRWashingtonA target for the new QB.
10. N.Y. JetsBrock BowersTEGeorgiaHelp for Aaron Rodgers.
11. L.A. ChargersOlu FashanuTPenn StateAfter trading down, Chargers go O-line with first pick of Jim Harbaugh era.
12. DenverBo NixQBOregonDesperate for a QB, Sean Payton reaches.
13. Las VegasTaliese FuagaTOregon StateSomeone to protect whoever plays QB.
14. New OrleansJC LathamTAlabamaThis qualifies as a run on tackles.
15. IndianapolisQuinyon MitchellCBToledoA great spot to grab the top corner.
16. SeattleTroy FautanuGWashingtonHe gets to stay in Seattle.
17. JacksonvilleTerrion ArnoldCBAlabamaJaguars need help on outside.
18. CincinnatiByron Murphy IIDTTexasToo good to pass up at this point.
19. L.A. RamsAmarius MimsTGeorgiaRams finally make a first-round pick.
20. PittsburghBrian Thomas Jr.WRLSUSteelers continue to remake their passing game.
21. MiamiDallas TurnerEdgeAlabamaA surprise he’s still available.
22. PhiladelphiaNate WigginsCBClemsonEagles could move up to get one of the top two corners.
23. L.A. Chargers (via Cleveland/Houston)Ladd McConkeyWRGeorgiaThe second pick from the trade with Minnesota.
24. DallasGraham BartonCDukeCowboys invest in interior of O-line.
25. Green BayTyler GuytonTOklahomaGreat draft to need a tackle.
26. Tampa BayChop RobinsonEdgePenn StateA pass rusher for Todd Bowles’ defense.
27. Arizona (via Houston)Jared VerseEdgeFlorida StateTwo picks in first round, two premium positions addressed.
28. BuffaloAdonai MitchellWRTexasSteps into void left by Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis.
29. Las Vegas (draft-nigh trade)Michael Penix Jr.QBWashingtonRaiders trade with Lions to get the natural thrower.
30. BaltimoreKingsley SuamataiaTBYUHas huge upside and fills a need.
31. San FranciscoCooper DeJeanCBIowaTop player on the board.
32. Kansas CityKeon ColemanWRFlorida StateA big target for Patrick Mahomes.

BROWNS’ PICKS

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Second round

No. 54: They trade down about 20 spots to add more picks. When they do select, it’s LSU DT Maason Smith.

Third round

No. 85: Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State

Fourth round (added in the trade mentioned above)

No. TBD: Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice

Fifth round

No. 156 (from Philadelphia via Arizona): Javion Cohen, G, Miami

Sixth round

No. 206 (from Baltimore): Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy

Seventh round

No. 227 (from Tennessee): Anim Dankwah, T, Howard

No. 243: Chigozie Anusiem, CB, Colorado State

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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