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Which Browns needs could impact 49ers in NFL Draft?

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The Browns pick ahead of the 49ers — twice — so which of their needs overlap with the 49ers?

The Cleveland Browns have the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and, as such, are on the clock. They went winless in 2017, and have made serious changes to their front office, once again, though head coach Hue Jackson is sticking for now.

Because the Browns not only have the top pick, but the No. 4 overall pick thanks to a trade with the Houston Texans, every team picking after them is watching to see what they do.

There are at least seven teams and eight picks before the San Francisco 49ers get around to selecting (potentially more if they lose the coin flip against the Oakland Raiders), and we’re going to go through those teams, looking at their needs and how they can impact the 49ers on draft day.

Cleveland Browns (0-16)

Biggest need: Quarterback

Need that could impact 49ers: Cornerback

Other needs: RB, OT, OLB, WR

The Browns have a long list of needs, but the biggest is, obviously, quarterback. DeShone Kizer showed some decent intangibles at times, but there was a lot more bad than good. It’s hard to imagine the Browns luring one of the top quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins or Drew Brees in free agency, and the NFL Draft is probably the best place for them to get somebody special.

Fortunately for the 49ers, they don’t have a need at quarterback. But they do have a pretty big need at cornerback, which is second on Cleveland’s “needs” list. They are lacking excellent athletes at premium positions, and cornerback is the top concern outside of quarterback. The NFL Draft has some premium players at the position, and I expect the 49ers want to use their top pick on a defensive back. It would be a shame to lose one to Cleveland.

Outside of those needs, the Browns need something at running back, especially if they lose Isaiah Crowell in free agency. Running back is an interesting position, with someone like Saquon Barkley considered a can’t-miss talent by many and Carlos Hyde hitting free agency. I won’t say the 49ers will take Barkley if he’s there, but if he is, then the Browns are a legitimate candidate to take him away.

At tackle, they need someone if Joe Thomas goes elsewhere, but need something opposite him anyway. Cleveland also sorely needs an athletic, rangy linebacker that can kind of be a multi-tool in their defense.

The biggest issue for the Browns, though, is that they’re going to have a hard time convincing the top free agents to go to Cleveland. No player should expect the Browns to be good in 2018, and with the constant shuffle in the front office, no player should expect job security there, either. The Browns have a ton of cap space, but they’ll fill their needs in the NFL Draft.