North Rumors: Browns, Ravens, M. Williams

Stockpiling draft assets has been a clear strategy for the Browns under their new regime, as Peter King of writes. After trading back several times in the 2016 draft, Cleveland is now armed with nine selections in the first five rounds of this year’s draft (and seven picks in the first four rounds of 2018). Acquiring more capital is all part of the rebuild orchestrated, in part, by chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta.

“We’ve looked ourselves in the mirror and said, ‘Do we think that we are actually superhuman when it comes to picking players?’” said DePodesta. “And we pretty easily answered that with a resounding no. So how are we going to increase our chances? We need to have more picks. So, if we have the same number of picks every year as everyone else, we don’t expect do better than anyone else.”

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams will attend predraft visits with the Ravens, Browns, and Titans, according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. Williams is widely viewed as one of the draft’s top three wideout prospects, along with Washington’s John Ross and Western Michigan’s Corey Davis, and he’s also met with another WR-needy club — the Eagles — earlier this offseason. In January, a scout told Matt Miller of Bleacher Report that Williams favorably compares to Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, and called him the “best player on the field” during the Alabama-Clemson Championship Game.
  • The Ravens have scheduled a meeting with Temple linebacker Haason Reddick, per Jamison Hensley of Reddick is capable of playing either inside or outside ‘backer, meaning he could step in next to C.J. Mosley in the middle of Baltimore’s defense, or help replace Elvis Dumervil on the edge. “Outside linebacker in a 3-4 system is most natural to me,” Reddick said at Temple’s Pro Day. “Because of the type of player I am, how fast I can learn the game, I know that if I’m put at inside linebacker I can be the best at that as well.” Reddick posted 9.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss in 2016.
  • Although they recently inked free agent Latavius Murray, the Vikings may consider drafting a running back later this month, writes Ben Goessling of While Murray signed for three years, Minnesota can cut bait after 2017 with minimal dead money accelerating onto its cap. Fellow running back Jerick McKinnon, meanwhile, is scheduled to become a free agent in 2018. So far, the Vikings have met with Tennessee‘s Alvin Kamara and Oklahoma‘s Joe Mixon.
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