Cleveland Browns early 2021 mock draft: Getting value at linebacker

Nick Bolton, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Nick Bolton, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns
Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland Browns (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns get some much-needed help at linebacker in this early mock draft.

The expectations were high for the Cleveland Browns entering the 2019 season, from promoting Freddie Kitchens to head coach to trading for Odell Beckham Jr. The potential showed in Baker Mayfield‘s rookie season as well and many expected the jump in year two.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be in 2019. The Browns had some early season meltdowns, mixed in with a big win over the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens. Against the Patriots, it became a mess of bad turnovers that led to a 14 point loss. Even as they righted the ship, it included an ugly win over Pittsburgh that ended with Myles Garrett swinging his helmet at Mason Rudolph, resulting in his suspension for the rest of the year.

Three bad losses in a row finished the Browns off as they ended 2019. Failed expectations led to both Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey parting ways with the organization. Changes in the offseason included a shift to an analytics-based approach, and Cleveland hired Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski as the new GM and head coach.

Free agency netted Cleveland two big names in Austin Hooper and Jack Conklin. Conklin should be a major improvement to protect Mayfield, and Hooper adds another weapon into the fold. In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Browns drafted Jedrick Wills in the first round to play left tackle, and Grant Delpit to be the future at free safety.

Expectations are high once again for the 2020 season, so the Cleveland Browns will be under plenty of pressure, especially for Mayfield, Beckham, and the offense. If things don’t break right, the 2021 NFL Draft should bring about change at certain positions. Let’s take a look at an early 2021 mock draft for the Cleveland Browns.