Why Brown’s GM Andrew Berry isn’t slowing down after the 2023 NFL Draft

Why Brown's GM Andrew Berry isn't slowing down after the 2023 NFL Draft

BEREA, Ohio — Browns GM Andrew Berry drafted seven players in the 2023 draft before trading his seventh-round pick for a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Ravens, but he’s not resting on his laurels.

“Although we might catch our breath after the end of tonight and if we sign a bunch of non-callup free agents, it’s really just that we still have work to do on the roster. We will explore every opportunity, trade and veteran market to continue to add depth and competition to all spots. It’s a good point in the off-season and we’re very happy with the guys we’ve signed on in the last three days.”

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The Browns have called up a large group of players, from a possible future starting receiver in Cedric Tillman to a possible mammoth starting offensive tackle in former Buckeye Dawand Jones, but a GM’s job is never done. The Browns could still use a running back, a safety, another edge rusher and more. They also have a surplus in several positions and may be trying to trade players with someone.

“I would say there is a need everywhere,” Berry said. “We’re just trying to add talent and competition.”

Here are our take on some of Berry’s other highlights:

1. He put everyone out of their seventh round misery

Berry traded the No. 229 pick to the Ravens for a 2024 sixth-round pick — giving them back the 2024 sixth-round pick they shipped to Atlanta for Deion Jones last year.

“To be honest, we talked about it in the design room for the second half of today,” Berry said. “It’s like, ‘Man, are we really not going to do a deal?’ We got close to a number, but it just didn’t materialize. Luckily, the one with Baltimore really came out of nowhere. Eric (DeCosta) called briefly. We were actually both joking on the phone when we called. He was like, ‘I keep getting beat up here because we didn’t do any trades. My phone didn’t ring.” It was mutually beneficial, I guess you could say.”

They came close just before Siaki Ika’s selection at 98, but didn’t run out until the end of day three. The truth is that Berry doesn’t love making round seven decisions and jumped at the opportunity to opt out.

2. The Browns have high hopes for former Buckeye Dawand Jones

Jones, the 6-8, 374-pound tackle from Ohio State has a chance to start at one of the tackle spots for the Browns in the next few years. You can hear in their voices how excited they are for him.

“We think he’s a young, talented guy,” Berry said. “A work in progress, like a lot of the guys coming into the league. It’s hard to find someone with such a rare size and also his movement skills. He was very productive at Ohio State and we believe we have the best offensive line coach (Bill Callahan). We know we have the best offensive line coach in the NFL. We can’t let him have the building and allow Bill and Scott (Peters) to get our hands on him because we think he’s a lump of clay that we can really develop here.”

He used several superlatives to describe Jones’ greatness.

“He actually reminded me of that when we were in Philadelphia, like Jordan Mailata, because it’s really like a modern-day Goliath,” Berry said. “You just don’t see people that big. But there aren’t very many people on earth who are his size. He’s a giant among giants in the NFL, too.”

He added: “He’s not just big, he’s like a human orca. I just don’t think you really see people that size and that mobility.

He again declined to answer whether he will pick up Jedrick Wills Jr.’s fifth-year option by Tuesday, but noted, “We’re happy with Jed.”

3. On North West CB Cameron Mitchell

Greg Newsome II didn’t get the receiver he wanted in Michigan State’s Jayden Reed, but he did get one of his longtime close friends from the Chicago and Northwest areas in Mitchell, the Browns’ fifth-round pick.

“We liked his ability to play press reports,” Berry said. “We think he’s very physical, very competitive. We also liked its versatility to play indoors and outdoors. We have a number of guys in our corner group that we coach across the board in that regard because it just gives us more flexibility in our subpackages and we think Cam fills that role too. The other thing I should mention about Cam is that we liked his appeal in the kicking game and also on special teams.

4th Missouri lead Isaiah McGuire in the fourth round is a good start but….

The Browns must continue to add more fringe competition to find some who can disrupt the passer and get sacks. But McGuire, her fourth-round pick from Missouri, offers good competition for Alex Wright in 3rd place.

“Isaiah, I would say it’s two things (I like),” he said. “His natural power, both in the running game and in the passing game. Also, I think he has what I would call “slipperness” as a rusher. We thought these two things combined allowed him to be highly productive and the other is his size and strength. We think there’s probably some inside-outside rush appeal.”

As for the competition, he admitted it’s difficult to make the transition as a rookie but he’ll let it play out on the pitch.

5. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson has the qualities they love

Berry insists the Browns aren’t looking for the same style in all of their QBs, but Thompson-Robinson does have some overlap with Watson.

“Dorian, we love his playmaking skills,” Berry said. “He’s got a strong arm, he’s really dangerous off schedule, he’s had a lot of starts at UCLA and the other thing that stands out is he’s very, very tough and very, very competitive. In terms of style, I think it’s a bit exaggerated. For the most part, we would just be looking for good quarterbacks or a good backup quarterback. The stylistic component is a plus, but we don’t really share the idea that your backup needs to have the same style as your launcher.”

As for Thompson-Robinson, who hopes Watson can learn a few things from him as well, Berry noted that most QBs are very confident in their abilities.

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