Cleveland Browns 2022 Draft Class: A Closer Look

Published on
May 9, 2022

Cleveland Browns 2022 NFL Draft Class: A Closer Look

Did lightning strike twice for Andrew Berry and the Browns?

As we are close to two weeks since the ending of the 2022 NFL Draft, and everyone has had the chance to digest all the picks from their favorite teams as well as teams from all across the league we’re going to take a look at all 9 of the Cleveland Browns draft picks. The Browns selected 4 defensive players, 4 offensive players, and 1 specialist. We are going to start with the specialist first.

Cade York PK, LSU - Round 4 Pick 124

York was the highly sought after place kicker from LSU, and was considered by most as the best kicker coming out of the draft class. Now some would say this pick may have been a reach or that there is no need to draft a kicker in the fourth round, but when you look back at last season for the Browns where they lost 6 games by less than a touchdown. Chase McLaughlin who was by NFL standards a measly 15 for 21 (71.4%) on field goals is just unacceptable when you have the roster and talent the Browns will have this up and coming season. Then during the postseason while watching Cincinnati make their magical run to the Super Bowl their rookie kicker Evan McPhearson went on to hit 5 game winning field goals, which included 2 in the postseason. So when you think special teams and specifically the place kicker or field goal kicker is a useless, or not a necessary pick on day 2 of the draft just remember that when York is hopefully killing in it in the kicking game this upcoming fall.

Martin Emerson CB, Mississippi State - Round 3 Pick 68

Martin Emerson was the Browns first player selected in this draft, and it may have come to a surprise to some people that the Browns went with a DB and more specifically a corner. When you sit down and think about it, look at where the Browns are coming from. Greedy Williams has only appeared in 24 games during his NFL career. Yes I know he has battled numerous injuries during his short stint in the league but with him coming up on the end of his rookie contract it was a smart play to start looking for a young guy to come in and compete for that spot. Emerson will bring length, and physicality especially in the run game which is much needed in the style of defense that the Browns play. While Emerson does lack that typical high end speed that most corners possess he is very good at man to man coverage especially when he is able to jam the receiver at the line of scrimmage. Do I think Emerson will be our next Denzel Ward, or Jalen Ramsey… no, but that’s not what we are asking him to do. He will be able to play boundary corner, and let Greg Newsome and Denzel Ward play to their strengths which is play man to man coverage against the best wideouts in the league no matter if they line up split out or in the slot.

Alex Wright DE, UAB - Round 3 Pick 78

Alex Wright is a lengthy defensive end who possesses elite speed, and has the frame to become an unbelievable 1-2 punch with the Browns All-Pro DE Myles Garrett. While Wright is not the complete package when it comes to a DE he still needs to work on some things. Wright is at his best when he is able to line up outside the offensive tackle and rush the passer 1 on 1. Obviously this is a dream scenario for all defensive lineman but, the Browns might have the flexibility to do just that. With Myles playing on one side who we all know is elite in just about every facet of the game, Wright who will probably be a more of a passing down type of DE will rotate with newly acquired Brown Chase Winovich who is almost the opposite of Wright where he might not be an elite pass rusher, but is one of the best run stopping defensive ends in the NFL. I think this 1-2 punch of Wright and Winovich will be a very nice compliment to Myles Garret will help upgrade the Browns defensive line, and also add needed depth.

Perrion Winfrey DT, Oklahoma - Round 4 Pick 108

I think by now every Browns fan has seen the press conference Winfrey did with the media after being drafted. This man brings the energy to a different level, and you can feel it from him, which besides his play style might be one of the best things about this young man. Winfrey was highly regarded as one of the top defensive tackles coming out of this draft class, and is what I think may have been the biggest steal of this draft. Winfrey is a mammoth of a human being at 6’5 300lbs is an elite run stopper with a very nice burst off the line of scrimmage. He is a traditional defensive tackle who played a lot of his college ball lined up in a 3 technique which is the outside shade of the offensive guard, which gives him a lot of 1 on 1 matchups with the guard and creates numerous amounts of problems for offenses not only in the passing game but running game as well when trying to figure out how to double team him to get him out of his gap responsibility. I believe that the combination of Winfrey and Garrett on one side of the ball in a passing situation will be very difficult to block and will help Myles more than anyone in the long run.

Isaiah Thomas DE, Oklahoma- Round 7 Pick 223

Thomas is a big physical long defensive end who is a good pass rusher but made his name last for getting into the passing windows of opposing quarterbacks. He had 4 passes batted down last year, and had 8 sacks to go along with that. He is kind of in that Alex Wright style of defensive end where he is more of a pass rusher as he struggled in college with teams running at him but flourished when the ball was ran away from him which allowed him to use his speed to be able to chase the ball carrier down from the backside. Thomas will have some work to do to make the 53 man roster as he is is listed at 3rd on the depth chart but hopefully the size and athleticism he has will propel him to make the roster and make an impact this upcoming season.

Davis Bell WR, Purdue- Round 3 Pick 99

David Bell was highly regarded as one the top pass catchers in the big 10 last season not from Ohio State, and may have been one of the biggest steals of this year's draft class. He might not have the glaring speed that you want as top WR in the NFL but what he lacks in speed he makes up for in route running ability and his catch radius. Now he’s not going to be an over the top of the defense threat or anything like that but if lined up in the slot with a bigger LB or a smaller safety is where he’ll make his mine while in the league. Playing alongside newly acquired receiver Amari Cooper, and a now veteran Donavon Peoples-Jones, Bell will not be forced to make huge plays, but will be able to develop underneath those guys while also getting some action on the field. 

Jerome Ford RB, Cincinnati- Round 5 Pick 156

This pick falls into the same category as the Emerson pick. This is a depth pick, and I love it. Ford is going to develop into a 3 down back who may find himself into the running back rotation very soon. With Kareem Hunt on an expiring deal, and D’Ernest Johnson still a question mark, I believe Ford could soon find himself with a very big role on sundays. Obviously every Browns fan would love to keep both Hunt, and Johnson at the end of the year, but I just don’t think that will be possible due to the Browns cap space after next season which is why the Jerome Ford pick is so important. Ford may not be the biggest back, but he’s a very reliable check down back, and when he finds daylight he does have the ability to bust open for those homerun type of runs that Browns fans are familiar with. 

Michael Woods II WR, Oklahoma Round 6 Pick 2022

Michael Woods is a long lengthy receiver who is best when running deep vertical routes. Although he does not have that top end elite speed that most of these types of receivers would have he does track the ball at an elite level, and is pretty good after the catch as well. The only thing that concerns me about this pick is where does he fit? With our top 3 receivers being solidified with Cooper, Peoples-Jones, and Schwartz where does Woods go? He will more than likely be battling with former Bears WR Javon Wims. I think either of these two will make a great asset to the receiver room for the Browns I guess we'll just have to see how camp unfolds to really figure how the top 6 receivers shake out.

Dawson Deaton C, Texas Tech Round 7 Pick 246

Deaton is likely to battle for that backup center position behind newly named starter Nick Harris. Deaton is a better run blocker than pass blocker due to the fact he has shorter arms which allows defenders a slight advantage. What is a positive for Deaton is the fact he played both center and guard in college so his versatility on the offensive line is what could propel him into a roster spot just due to his ability to play 3 positions. 

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