2022 NFL Draft Recap: Cleveland Browns
The 2022 NFL Draft has concluded after months of scrutiny about these prospects, potential landing spots, team and scheme fits, and so on. Now we get to start the entire process all over again now that we have team landing spots for these college prospects.
Today, we tackle the Cleveland Browns and how they fared in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Cleveland's 2022 NFL Draft selections:
- Round 3 (68): Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi St.
- Round 3 (78): Alex Wright, DE, UAB
- Round 3 (99): David Bell, WR, Purdue
- Round 4 (108): Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
- Round 4 (124): Cade York, K, LSU
- Round 5 (156): Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati
- Round 6 (202): Mike Woods, WR, Oklahoma
- Round 7 (223): Isaiah Thomas, EDGE, Oklahoma
- Round 7 (246): Dawson Deaton, C, Texas Tech
The 2022 Fantasy Impact:
Major question marks loomed large over the city of Cleveland this year as the world watched the Browns’ faith in Baker Mayfield crumble in real-time. The organization’s relationship with their 2018 first overall pick ultimately came to an inglorious end when they acquired Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster offseason trade. The move implies a pass-heavier offense coming to Cleveland and provides a fantasy boost to the team’s pass-catchers.
They spent their third-round pick on wide receiver David Bell, who could provide fantasy value as the team’s WR2 behind Amari Cooper. Bell has good size at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds and was an early breakout star in college, earning Freshman All-American and Big Ten Freshman of the Year at Purdue. At 21 years old, he entered the NFL draft as an early declare and was viewed as a 1st round pick until a lackluster performance at the combine sent his stock plummeting. Bell showed consistent ability to separate in college and was a threat to defenses with the ball in his hands. Bell's 4.65 speed may limit his downfield targets, but his yards after catch (YAC) ability make him a dangerous weapon on short and immediate routes. His playstyle is compatible with the Browns’ current WR2, downfield burner Donovan Peoples-Jones, and their production should complement each other as they bring different elements to the offense.
With Watson's off-field issues, it’s unclear which Browns quarterback will start the year, so drafting Bell in seasonal leagues may not be the best use of a roster spot while he gets up to NFL speed catching passes from an unknown quarterback. He’ll be a decent selection in the early second-round of rookie dynasty drafts as long as you’re comfortable sitting on a developmental player in your taxi squad. This wait-and-see strategy will be especially beneficial in 2023 if Deshaun Watson plays and Amari Cooper leaves in free agency when his contract expires after 2022.
The Browns also drafted running back Jerome Ford and wide receiver Mike Woods in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively. Both NFL depth pieces can be left on waivers in seasonal leagues. Ford is a decent rusher with good size and could be an interesting backup on Cleveland’s historically run-heavy offense, but he has a long road to fantasy relevance as long as he's buried on the backfield's depth chart behind Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D’Ernest Johnson.
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