2017 NFL Draft analysis: Cleveland Browns

By The Sports Xchange
2017 NFL Draft analysis: Cleveland Browns
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with young Browns fans after announcing Texas A&M' Myles Garrett is selected by the Cleveland Browns as the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI | License Photo

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns, already well-stocked for the 2018 draft, added a first-round pick next year belonging to the Texans when they traded down from 12 to 25. The Texans drafted quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Browns took safety Jabrill Peppers with the 25th pick.

"We didn't expect to come away with three (players,) executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said. "We hoped for two but came away with three and positioned ourselves for next year to have a couple of picks in the first round, as well. We're excited about that."


The Browns drafted defensive end Myles Garrett first and then moved back into the first round in a trade with Green Bay to take tight end David Njoku with the 29th pick.


The Browns now have two picks in the first round - their own and Houston's - and three in the second round next season - their own plus picks belonging to Philadelphia and Houston.

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How the Browns drafted:

Round 1/1 -- Myles Garrett, DE, 6-5, 262, Texas A&M

The Browns had one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL last year, but that should change with the addition of Garrett. He is fast, strong, quick off the edge and determined to prove he can play hard all the time, contrary to what doubters say. His goal is to break the rookie sack record of 14.5 set by Jevon Kearse of the Tennessee Titans in 1999.

Round 1/25 - Jabrill Peppers, S, 6-1, 205, Michigan

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The Browns traded down from the 12th pick to 25, got a 2018 first-round pick from Houston and were still able to fill a gaping hole in the secondary by drafting Peppers, who should become an immediate starter at safety. Peppers turned in a diluted urine sample at the Combine, and the league considers that a failed drug test. The Browns are convinced he will be fine and plan to use him as a kick returner and occasionally on offense.


Round 1/29 - David Njoku, TE, 6-4, 245, Miami

The Browns traded back into the first round for Njoku and then cut tight end Gary Barnidge 15 hours later. Njoku was ranked second among tight ends behind O.J. Howard of Alabama. Njoku can run after making the catch as his 17.2-yard per reception average reflects. He'll get every opportunity to start.

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Round 2/52 - DeShone Kizer, QB, 6-4, 233, Notre Dame

The Browns took Kizer after passing on quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in the first round. Browns head coach Hue Jackson began helping Kizer with his footwork and delivery before the draft. Kizer will compete with Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler for a starting job, but don't be surprised if the Browns sign a veteran quarterback before training camp begins.

Round 3/65 - Larry Ogunjobi, DT, 6-3, 305, North Carolina-Charlotte

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Ogunjobi did not start playing football until his sophomore year in high school. Browns vice president of personnel Andrew Berry describes Ogunjobi as "one of the most physically gifted defensive tackles in the entire draft." He will be part of the inside rotation. Ogunjobi is fired up to play alongside rookie Myles Garrett.


Round 4/126 -Howard Wilson, CB, 6-1, 185, Houston

The Browns needed depth at cornerback, so they moved a fifth-round and sixth-round pick to Denver to take Wilson in the fourth round. The scouting report from Dane Brugler of says Wilson is a ballhawk that sometimes makes mistakes trying to create turnovers. He'll compete as a nickel back with the Browns.

Round 5/160 -Roderick Johnson, T, 6-7, 311, Florida State

The Browns moved up in a trade with the Jets for Johnson, who started at left tackle for the Seminoles the last two years. Johnson in 2014 replaced Cameron Erving, who was moved to center with five games left in the season. Scouting reports say he is talented but tends to get lazy.

Round 6/185 - Caleb Brantley, DT, 6-2, 314, Florida

Brantley on April 13 allegedly punched a woman in Gainesville, Fla., knocking her unconscious and knocking out a tooth. He was projected as a second-day pick before the incident. The Browns are conducting their own investigation and might not keep him, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said.


Round 7/224 - Zane Gonzalez, K, 6-1, 160, Arizona State

Gonzalez won the Lou Groza Award as the best kicker in college football after making 23 of 25 field-goal attempts as a senior. He will compete with Cody Parkey for the Browns' kicking job. Parkey was 12 of 12 inside 39 yards but just 7 of 12 between 40 and 49 yards last season.

Round 7/252 - Matthew Dayes, RB, 5-9, 207, North Carolina State

Dayes scored 34 rushing touchdowns in four seasons. He might never be a starter, but the Browns like him as a third-down back and pass protector.

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