Some disclosure here: majority of the Browns picks are of guys I’ve either never heard of or barely watched, so I utilized other expertise out on the Twittersphere to figure out the ‘real deal Holyfield’ of each pick and how they would fit with the team. I’m not doing any of that stupid ‘winner/loser’ crap all the mediums do post draft, which mean nothing in grand scheme of things. I am mainly sharing thoughts and other items I found interesting about each pick and hopefully some or most can make it happen with Browns. So here goes — starting with their first pick which didn’t occur until the 2nd round.
- Martin Emerson — CB — Mississippi St — To be honest right away I wasn’t sure what to make of this pick and was pretty irritated the Browns didn’t just go after the needs of their team (WR & Def. tackle). I figured there had to be something about drafting another cornerback in an already crowded room. Lo and behold, the next day, they traded on of their corners, Troy Hill, and now Emerson is more than likely going to see time in certain packages on defense, in addition to special teams play. Since I didn’t know much about this dude, looking him up via highlights, he appears solid, nothing special, but nothing horrible. Could blossom into a decent player. Has really good size at 6'2 and over 200 so he would be the Browns tallest corner and right up there as tallest secondary player. Hoping for the best, despite peculiar pick. If they wanted a corner, probably could have had this guy a round or two later.
- Alex Wright — DE — UAB — Again another dude I never heard of, but when I was checking out expert opinion, the dude checked out, with many calling him ‘underrated’ and ‘explosive’. After watching a few highlights myself, I understood. He’s a big dude and played very well despite being on an average club throughout his career. A lot of untapped potential with him, but per expert analysis I read, he scored very well on speed, quickness, rush ability, and all other metrics that would bode well for a nice long career. Some draft experts had him graded higher so Browns got someone better than the place they drafted them, which is always nice.
- David Bell — WR — Purdue — I know a lot about this guy, due to watching Big 10 football and he torched the Buckeyes this past season, despite Ohio State blowing out Purdue. As matter of fact this guy was best WR in Big 10 and top 5 WR nationally. Even though he was only reliable weapon still made great catches and was an award finalist for top WR in country. Really good pick here as the Browns needed another WR in the room, the position is thin. He looks like another Landry, guy who can get open and make the catches when needed. In other words, he has potential to be a Landry, and per experts his ceiling is Keenan Allen, which is a nice comp. Reliable pass catchers bode very well in the league in general, and will definitely help this team specifically.
- Perrion Winfrey — DT — Oklahoma — Saw this guy play a few times, having watched several Oklahoma games over the past two years. Big time draft pick up by the Browns in a position of need and he’s a hungry energetic guy. His Zoom press conference will go down as legendary in Cleveland sports circles, and this guy has the mouth and motor to make things happen. Now if his play can match his bravado, the Browns will be in really good shape for years to come. Based on what I saw, this dude made plays on consistent basis. I think with Myles on one side, and potentially Clowney on the other, along with other vets, Winfrey is going to have a ball.
- Cade York — Kicker — LSU — -The Browns drafted a kicker! Again! Is the third time the charm? York was considered the best kicker in the draft by far and one of the best kickers in the country the last few years. The Browns have been hit or miss with kickers since Phil Dawson, and hope York is the man. He literally made 80% of kicks 50 yards or longer which is insane. Obviously, the lakeshore winds provide a different dynamic, but with the Bengals taking a rookie kicker last year in Evan McPherson, who kicked game winners throughout the playoffs, the Browns took their chances. I think 3rd time is the charm for the Browns.
- Jerome Ford — RB — Cincinnati — Know this guy vaguely having watched the Bearcats games a bit more than usual this past season. Interesting pick, considering the current RB room, but I think this is just preparing for Kareem Hunt to be gone after this season and possibly D’Ernest Johnson as well. Really after this year, it would have only been Chubb, so this pick made sense long term. I’d be surprised if he had much of any impact this season, unless there are injuries. But he will learn from the best in that group and I think the Browns just had contingency plan for this group so it wasn’t always just Chubb (and Hunt) all the time.
- Michael Woods II — -WR — -Oklahoma — -Know little about this guy and possible the Browns just added him for competition purposes. He was a 6th rounder and teams normally don’t keep those types of picks long term unless players exceeds potential and play. Nice size and speed, so we will see, couldn’t hurt for an already thin corp.
- Isaiah Thomas — -DE — Oklahoma — -Don’t know him as well as Winfrey on the Sooners’ defense, but it was interesting watching Winfrey’s highlights and I found this guy in the middle as well. So there is potential for some playing time in certain packages. Have feeling he may start on special teams and work his way through, which won’t be an issue. Looked quick and strong via highlights, but not much else I could see. Just adding competition and bodies and I’m sure playing with his college teammate will help.
- Dawson Deaton — -Center — -Texas Tech — -Great white dude name btw haha!! Again know very little, the tape showed some nice things, but again 7th round pick so adding body and some competition and see where that goes. He graded well in all the metrics experts look for, but not a lot of centers drafted historically in league. Again probably fighting for roster spot and if he makes it, playing mostly special teams. I would imagine he’s practice squad most likely.
Overall, thought draft was a B. There is just unknowns at least for me, but thought Browns grabbed nice guys like Bell and Winfrey. Wright from UAB was really hyped up so I think there is potential there. Emerson will be under some pressure now that Hill is guy, so hopefully he can plug the gap. Ford might be stuck a bit in that group, but I imagine team would utilize him more for next season, and get this season as a prep year and all, barring injuries of course. I’m still nervous about this WR corps. Yes we got Cooper and DPJ and now Bell. Schwartz needs to step up, we got some practice squad guys from last year who were signed in Bradley and Wims. Jakim Grant is more special teamer, doesn’t look like Felton is playing WR and is now in RB room. No additional TEs which is interesting. I know the Browns nabbed a few undrafted guys, but I doubt few if any will either make the team or have an impact.
Did the Browns get better? Sure they got Watson, Cooper is huge addition, they picked up some nice guys via FA on defense, but this draft was a B and that just makes me a little nervous. Is Watson able to save the day, can Cooper make big differences? Can DPJ and Schwartz really step up? Will the Special teams actually be good this time? Defense shouldn’t be too much of an issue IMO, I think Clowney will resign with team. There could also be other moves made throughout the league. Nothing is over yet. Really think the Browns need to get another FA WR vet, nothing flashy, but someone who can make the plays if Cooper is being shut down. Looking forward to some more moves in the next few months. In 2.5 months training camp starts! GO BROWNS!!