After dealing with a large number of draft picks to acquire quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns may not have had high hopes for their chances of hitting a home run in the 2022 NFL Draft. As things stand, it appears that they may have actually hit two.
After waiting until the third round to make their first pick, the Cleveland Browns chose three players: cornerback Martin Emerson (with the 68th pick), pass rusher Alex Wright (with the 78th pick), and wide receiver David Bell (with the 102nd pick) (99th pick).
Although it is anticipated that all three will play significant rotating roles at their respective positions, the Browns may have gotten more than they bargained for when they drafted Wright — and I mean that in a positive manner.
Myles Garrett, a former All-Pro, and Jadeveon Clowney, a former first-round pick, are both expected to start for Cleveland at defensive end this season.
However, after the explosive combo that finished the previous season with a combined total of 25 sacks, the position is worrisomely empty.
Now that we have the benefit of hindsight, the recruitment of Wright appears to have been precisely what Cleveland required to strengthen its pass rush depth.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Brown’s general manager Andrew Berry said of Wright in late April that “He was truly a favorite across the organization — scouts, coaches, and our research and strategy group.” Berry’s comments were made in reference to Wright.
Alex Wright Among Top 10 Draft Day Steals Before Season
On Friday, September 2, Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report compiled a rating of the top 10 draft day steals in advance of the start of the regular season. On that list, Wright was placed in the seventh position.
Behind its two game-changers, the club did not have sufficient quality depth. Takkarist McKinley, who was also a former first-round pick, Porter Gustin, and Ifeadi Odenigbo failed not to perform up to expectations when they were given opportunities to contribute on the field during the previous season.
In contrast, Alex Wright, a rookie who was selected in the third round, is in an ideal position to progress in the correct direction. In many respects, he already has the appearance of someone who fits the role.
He stands 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 267 pounds. The young man, who is 21 years old, possesses the height and length necessary to transform a powerful couple into an outstanding trio.
When it comes to his body, the rookie edge defender is still working on building an offensive strategy, especially as a pass rusher.
In spite of this, he has shown consistent use of his hands when rushing opposing quarterbacks and has demonstrated the ability to stack and shed in order to establish the edge. His performances in the preseason point to an athlete who is capable of seizing control of a series.
The Browns may have Also Scored a Major Victory With Wide Receiver David Bell
The talent that is already present on the outside of the defensive line will make it difficult for Wright to start during his rookie season.
Despite the fact that he is projected to play a key part on the edge for Cleveland in the year 2022. This is not the case with Brown’s receiver Bell, who was selected in the third round.
According to ESPN, the current depth chart for the team has Bell positioned as a starter alongside the team’s top receiving options Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Bell will be joining a group that had Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, the top two targets in the passing game in 2021, leave in the midst of the previous year and Jarvis Landry leave during the offseason.
Bell will start his career as the primary option for backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who is substituting in for Watson while Watson is suspended.
Wideout Anthony Schwartz has had trouble with drops during the preseason, which has set the stage for Bell to begin his career in this role.