Being a lifelong Browns fan, draft season has not always treated me the best. I’ve seen us blow first round picks on players who were irrelevant in the league less than two years later. I’m talking about Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden, Justin Gilbert. Up until recently, it seemed that if our first round pick wasn’t in your face obvious (Myles Garrett) the Browns were completely incapable of spotting talent.
Fast-forward to last year, our picks of Mayfield and Ward showed that the new regime in Cleveland might actually have a clue when it came to drafting players with a future in this league. Now well review this year’s draft, where the Browns didn’t have a first round pick for what seems like forever.
Round 1, Pick 17: I know this wasn’t actually our pick, but it’s part of what we traded for OBJ so let’s pretend like we drafted Odell with this pick.
Round 2, Pick 46: Dorsey and company traded up to absolutely steal cornerback Greedy Williams from LSU. Knowing our secondary was one of the weakest units on this solid Browns team I thought it was a no brainer to either spend the pick on a safety or corner. However, I was a little shocked to see Greedy fall to us with this pick. Aside from a bit of speculation on his tackling ability I can see Greedy becoming a staple in the league at corner, bookended with Pro-Bowler Denzel Ward, Williams will make quite a career for himself covering the #2 receivers with the Browns.
Round 3, Pick 80: The Browns continued to be defensive minded with the selection of Sione Takitaki OLB out of BYU. To be honest, I was not familiar with this guy, but after watching some of his highlights, he seems to be a more than competent pick for the Browns. With Jamie Collins departure Takitaki has the ability to have an impact from day one and help solidify the Browns defense.
Round 4, Pick 119: Sheldrick Redwine, what a name. This safety out of the U of Miami seems like just the replacement the Browns were looking for after trading away #22 Jabrill Peppers. Redwine ironically wore 22 at Miami, and had a highlight that mirrored Peppers game-winning sack against the Broncos. What Redwine lacks in overall talent, he seems to make up for in pure swagger. It was another attempt to bolster the secondary in what was a very defensive oriented draft class.
Round 5, Pick 155: More defensive bolstering here. Mack Wilson ILB from Alabama is a very talented player who seemed to be overshadowed by the rest of the Alabama defense, he’ll likely be playing behind Kirksey. This was a good value pick, as many draft analysts had him as a top 5 interior linebacker.
Round 5, Pick 170: A kicker in the 5th round? This was my only knock against the Browns in this draft. Austin Seibert out of Oklahoma was no doubt a great kicker at the collegiate level. However, I don’t agree with taking a kicker when there is still potential talent available. Many analysts had Seibert going undrafted, which means this could have been an acquisition made after the draft. One thing is known for sure, he and Baker will be good buddies.
Round 6, Pick 189: This pick was the Browns first offensive player drafted, I don’t really count the kicker. Drew Forbes, an offensive tackle from Southeastern Missouri State. I like this move by the Browns. Offensive tackle has been a hole on our team ever since beloved Joe Thomas took his talents to retirement. Adding depth to this Browns line I think was the smartest move here, as we don’t really have any other needs in terms of offensive position players. Overall a good move to increase our depth.
Round 7, Pick 221: at this point in the draft, it’s pretty much a toss-up. Aside from a few success stories players are really spotty at this point. Going with Donnie Lewis Jr, a cornerback from Tulane should make for some entertaining training camp battles between Ward and Williams.
Overall this was an excellent draft for the Browns, aside from an errant pick spent on a kicker the Browns drafted talent in all of the right places. We needed to Bolster defense specifically the secondary and that’s exactly what we did. the overall grade I’d give the Browns is an A-.