CUMBLETON’S CONCLUSIONS – Cleveland Browns Draft

CUMBLETON’S CONCLUSIONS – Cleveland Browns Draft
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In the last of Ninety-Nine Yards’ AFC North Draft content we turn our attention to the Cleveland Browns Draft Review.

The Browns surprised everyone in 2018 on the backs of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, new head coach Freddie Kitchens and an aggressive defence. They followed this by adding several key players in the off season, including superstar Odel Beckham Junior. The flip side to their off season trades was that they had very little in Draft capital. As the Browns look to make themselves playoff contenders, let’s take a look at who they drafted.

Pick I loved: Round 2, No. 46 overall: Greedy Williams, LSU, CB

Last year the Cleveland Browns were largely criticised for drafting cornerback Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick. He responded with a stellar first year with 53 tackles, 3 interceptions and an impressive 11 passes defensed. Behind him the picture was inconsistent at best. No longer – the Browns drafted a player many thought could go in the first round, LSU’s Greedy Williams.

Williams was the best cover corner in the draft and, at 6′ 2″ and 185 lbs, excels in man coverage. His selection will give the Browns two good corners which will allow them to be flexible on defence. If Williams and Ward can force opposing quarterbacks to hold onto the ball longer then Myles Garrett and co. will see their sack numbers increase.

Pick I’m unsure about: Round 3, No. 80 overall): Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU

Takitaki is a risky pick. He has been involved in multiple off-field incidents. His conduct has led to for separate suspensions which likely saw many teams take him off their draft boards. It should be noted that Takitaki’s behaviour improved after he was forced to miss the 2016 season.

Even when he was on the field he didn’t show the speed or technique to excel in the NFL and this feel like an overdraft. In fact any draft experts expected him to go in the seventh round at best. Jon Dorsey has a record of taking risks on players with a checkered past but this doesn’t feel like a wise pick.

Pick that intrigues me most: Round 5, No. 155 overall: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

I wrote this before the draft:

‘The Browns released Jamie Collins and, Joe Schobert aside, have no stand out players here. Alabama’s Mack Wilson is exceptional in coverage and plays downhill football with controlled aggression.’

Low and behold the Browns drafted Wilson, who may need a year or two to grow but should quickly outplay his drat position. A bigger defender who had six interceptions over two years, he should become a three down starter for the Browns.

The other picks:

Round 4, 119 overall – Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami

Round 5, 170 overall – Austin Seibert, K, Oklahoma

Round 6, 189 overall – Drew Forbes, G, Southeast Missouri St.

Round 7, 221 overall – Donnie Lewis Jr., CB, Tulane

Conclusion

With offensive fire power in place, and the addition of Odel Beckham and suspended Kareem Hunt, the Browns focussed on defence. Williams will offer an upgrade at corner and Wilson could turn out to be a steal. Sheldrick Redwine has a chance to play his way onto the field this year but I’m not sold on Takitaki. The Browns will be an exciting team to watch this season and big contributions from their defensive picks may well put them in the playoffs.

Photos – Greedy Williams- USA Today

Mack Wilson – Montgomery Advisor

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