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Cleveland Browns 2017 Draft Recap

Hello readers,

 

Welcome to the first of many interactions. My name is Austin and I will be discussing the current topics in the National Football League, among other things. Before we get started, I want tell you a little about myself. I started my college career at Owens Community College to pursue a degree in communication and journalism, hoping to one day talk about sports all day. Long story short, I decided to go in another direction and do something more realistic, so a business degree was what I ended up graduating with. I have a beautiful wife and two amazing kids. I could not ask for a better life. Enough about me now, let’s get started.

 

Over the next few weeks I’ll be going over every team and evaluating their draft. First up is the Cleveland Browns. Compared to the other Cleveland teams, the Browns are the laughing stock of the city. The last time the Browns were competing for any type of championship were the Paul Brown and Art Modell days. Sadly for Cleveland both of those men went on to build up new franchises, which ignited a couple rivalries for obvious reasons. Only thing to fear when it comes to the Browns are their passionate fans, other than them it’s almost been a guaranteed “W” on the schedule every year for opposing teams. Despite their lack of winning seasons in recent memory, they are heading in the right direction and this draft class will help them tremendously.

 

-1st Round, Pick #1: Myles Garrett – Defensive End (Texas A&M)

 

  • The pick everyone knew in their heart, but not necessarily in their brain. People were unsure if they would go with Myles or the “franchise” quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky. When it’s all said in done, the Browns selected the player they were suppose to. Hopefully for the fans of Cleveland his development and production goes more smoothly and rapidly than the last defensive end selected #1 overall. No disrespect to Jadeveon Clowney, but it took a few years for him to finally sniff his #1 overall potential in the league. In hindsight, it was okay because the Houston Texans didn’t need him to step in and be the “guy” day one. With the Browns, it’s a different story. Myles will be the defensive knight the organization will find the other chess pieces too.

 

-1st Round, Pick #25: Jabrill Peppers – Safety/Linebacker Hybrid (Michigan)

 

  • Should the Browns have drafted Deshaun Watson at pick number twelve? Maybe, but they valued the quantity of picks rather than the quality of that pick. However things shake up in the future, Jabrill is the biggest boom or bust player in the first round because of the versatility he brings to the table. Offensively or defensively he can be a huge impactful talent, but that is also his unfortunate downfall. Coaches don’t know what to do with the kid. Instead of letting him grow and develop at one position he’s relied on to play multiple, therefore affecting his developmental curve. This has the potential to be the biggest waste of the 2017 draft in round one or it can give the Browns the next best hybrid safety/middle linebacker to play the in the middle of the field and make plays. Excited to see how this one unfolds.

 

-1st Round, Pick #29: David Njoku – Tight End (Miami-FL)

 

  • This pick is an intriguing one. It gives the Browns a well-needed playmaker; However, they could have gotten a better value pick later in the draft when this team has so many needs, especially in this deep class of tight ends. I don’t mind the selection, but wish they would have gotten Reuben Foster to pair up with above mentioned Myles Garrett instead. The most upsetting result to this pick was the release of Gary Barnidge, who broke out in 2015 and was arguably the best player the Browns put on the field that year.

 

 

 

 

-2nd Round, Pick #52: DeShone Kizer – Quarterback (Norte Dame)

 

  • Many thought the next quarterback of the Cleveland Browns would be Mitchell Trubisky. Well, guess what, it’s not. DeShone Kizer is still a couple years away before making an impact for this team, but letting the Toledo hometown kid learn from Hue Jackson is the best thing that can happen for this team and most importantly, DeShone. Unfortunately for the Browns Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler are ahead of him on the depth chart, so he could hit the field prematurely. Just hope they don’t ruin another young kids career throwing him into the fire to soon.

 

-3rd Round, Pick #65: Larry Ogunjobi – Defensive Tackle (North Carolina-Charlotte)

 

  • Could be in play to make an impact early on, but more than likely a change of pace or depth player in the line up. This team is sneakily adding talent on this defense. Let’s be honest, this being the 5th pick for the Browns and it only being in round 3, it could have been worse. When you think of it being more of a 5th round, it’s value gets better on paper.

 

-4th Round, Pick #126: Howard Wilson – Cornerback (Houston)

 

  • Similar to Larry Ogunjobi, this prospect could play his way into a prominent role or be a depth player. Joe Haden is undoubtedly the best corner on this team, but has declined in play the past couple of seasons. It’s time to find a counterpart opposite him and eventual successor for him when the Browns move on or move Joe to safety. Will Howard be that guy? We’ll find out.

EDIT: With the signing of Jason McCourty, Howards chance of making the team as a starter have been reduced, but I still wouldn’t beat against this kid making a name for himself on this roster.

 

-5th round, pick #160: Roderick Johnson – Offensive Tackle (Florida State)

 

  • The first true developmental pick. With the two tackle spots anchored on the depth chart with Joe Thomas and Cam Erving. Roderick can sit, learn and work on his technique with a future hall of famer. Roderick actually replaced Cam on the offensive line after he left for the 2015 draft. Great late round pick for the future after Joe.

 

-6th Round, Pick #185: Caleb Brantley – Defensive Tackle (Florida)

 

  • A questionable character choice by Caleb days before the draft ultimately led to his deserving slide. If you don’t know the story by now, the once Florida Gator star allegedly struck a woman in a bar the night of April 13th and got charged with battery. Before these reports surfaced he was a projected first or second round pick. On the flip side, this draft selection has low risk, high reward written all over it as far as on field production is concerned. If the legal issues get in the way and Caleb is unable to play, it was only a 6th rounder. If off field actions don’t affect him and Caleb finds himself playing this fall he could play a pivotal part on this defense. We’ll see what happens with this one.

EDIT: Caleb’s case has been dismissed by the court. This is great news for the Browns as they got  first round talent in the sixth. Myles and Caleb will pair up to be a nice duo for the Cleveland Browns.

 

-7th Round, Pick #224: Zane Gonzalez – Kicker (Arizona State)

 

  • Widely considered the best place kicker coming out. This well undeniably help the Browns on the scoreboard. Nothing against kickers, because they are people too, but glad to see them being selected in the later rounds again. At least if this pick doesn’t go according to plan they didn’t waste a top pick, a 2nd rounder to be exact. Sorry Roberto Aguayo, but you’re on thin ice buddy and that’s not good considering you’re in Florida. Okay, no more kicker hate.

 

-7th Round, Pick #252: Matt Dayes – Running Back (North Carolina State)

 

  • Watch out Duke Johnson, but there might be a new pass catching back in town. Many might disregard this pick seeing that number seven in front of the round and knowing the Browns have Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson atop the depth chart, but this kid was another name to add to the long list of draft sliders because of a bad performance at the senior bowl, combine and/or pro day. Stay excited for this once projected 3rd to 4th round pick, he just might surprise you.

 

This draft class has a chance to be special and really give the Browns the push they’ve been looking for. Can’t wait to see how some of these players come out to play and battle for roster spots in preseason. Don’t sleep on the Browns this season, they could be in play for at best second place in the AFC North. Well guys, that is it for now. Following up, we’ll talk about the Chicago Bears. Until next time, have a great day.

 

-Austin Thomas

 


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