BROWNS 2019 Draft Review

Times have changed relatively quickly for the BROWNS organization. The recently hapless team now finds itself to be ranked as a serious Play-Off contender in the AFC North. Some of this change in fortune can be attributed to slippage by teams like the STEELERS and RAVENS, but most of their newfound prowess is due in large part to the work of GM JOHN DORSEY, in reshaping the team’s roster. More than 50% of the current 90-man roster has been added since DORSEY took over the reigns. The biggest single roster move this year came just before the Draft. DORSEY peddled a pile of Draft Picks to the GIANTS in return for potential superstar, and mega diva, ODELL BECKHAM, So when we peruse their Draft Picks below, please keep in mind that OBJ is basically their Round 1 Pick.

Round 2, Pick 46
GREEDY WILLIAMS DC LSU
6’2/185 4.40/40 PP#20
There was little argument that GREEDY was the most athletic, natural DC in this Draft Class. However, there was some serious sloppiness and lack of discipline to his Corner play as a collegian. He’s a big playmaker, and the almighty INT is his Holy Grail. Now, the question becomes whether or not he can be taught by his new NFL coaches to harness his recklessness, and show a better all-around game to fit the level and style of play in the NFL. He has all the physical tools to be a perennial Pro Bowler. WILLIAMS and DENZEL WARD could become the best set of DC’s in the League. I will predict that his Rookie season will be a mixed bag, unlike WARD, who starred immediately as a Rookie. However, he’ll still improve their overall secondary play immediately. By 2020, he could be elite every game. From a talent standpoint the Browns got a first Round talent with a second round pick.

Round 3, Pick 80
SIONE TAKITAKI LB BYU
6’1/233 4.65/40 PP#146
TAKITAKI blossomed during his senior season at BYU. He totaled 118 tackles, and showed serious run stopping skills, as well as the ability to drop into middle-field coverage effectively. TAKITAKI had an excellent post-season at both the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Game. He’s a hard worker, who has a nose for the football. Despite some early career off-field issues, SIONE got his act together, and was even voted a team captain as a senior for the COUGARS. I think his best position will present itself when the team goes into a 2-LB set, and he can cover one half of the field. If you have watched his play, then you know he should be a big contributor right away on Special Teams units. It might be a bit early in Round 3, but I see where they are going here. Word is, that ELIOT WOLF was the guy pounding the table for TAKITAKI.

Round 4, Pick 119
SHELDRICK REDWINE S MIAMI (F)
6’0/196 4.45/40 PP#158
He was converted from DC to S in 2017 for the HURRICANES, and still plays parts of his game with DC eyes. He has the talent to adjust however, and his ball skills will serve him well as he develops as a pro. He is clearly rough around the edges, but shows big time potential. I saw games where he piled up double digit tackles, and was flying to the ball in coverage. He has that “U” edge to him when the game starts. Professional level Special Teams will come naturally to him. Right now, the BROWNS are adequate at the S spots, with ex-PACKERS journeymen BURNETT and RANDALL. REDWINE should provide some athletic depth this season, and could be looking at a starting slot on the 2020 depth chart.

Round 5, Pick 155
MACK WILSON LB ALABAMA
6’1/240 4.69/40 PP#33
YES, count me in as shocked when this guy slid down to the second half of this Draft. I felt like the only things that held him back from greatness in his college career were the talent depth at his slot on the ‘BAMA roster, and some injuries that cost him playing time, as well. Flip-flop he and TAKITAKI, relative to their Pick numbers, and they appeal to me greatly in a LB crew that clearly lacked depth going into the Draft, for the BROWNS. WILSON moves very fluidly in all directions, and has a nose for the ball. He also has very good peripheral vision. At times, in game action, I felt that his coverage/ball skills were better than some S’s who were draftees. In my eyes, the BROWNS LB group looks a lot deeper and more talented than it did two months ago.

Round 5, Pick 170
AUSTIN SEIBERT PK OKLAHOMA
5’9/213 4.90/40 PP#252
IMO, the Placekicker spot on the BROWNS roster was one of their key weak spots. They got by last season with GREG JOSEPH, but his best skill was getting kickoffs to the end zone. Too many of his FG attempts were just plain butt ugly, even when he made them. SEIBERT was a mainstay for the SOONERS. He spent 4 seasons as their PK, with some Punting sprinkled in there as well. He leaves college as the leading scorer in FBS, with 499 career points. He was also an Academic All-American. He is a good enough Punter to provide solid backup depth behind 34-year old COLQUITT. I had him ranked as Draftable, and yes, his leg is plenty strong to make most kickoffs unreturnable. Another questionable roster spot should turn into an asset with this Pick.

Round 6, Pick 189
DREW FORBES OT/OG SE MISSOURI
6’5/308 4.90/40 PP#NR
I was aware of this small school star, but did not get around to watching him on tape. I had hoped that he’d be at the Shrine venue. He has a solid athletic body, and basically now needs pro level coaching and weight room work. He is a good enough natural athlete that he should have a solid shot to compete for an NFL starting spot with time. If OT does not work out, then a move inside to OG just might. Good developmental value this late in the process.

Round 7, Pick 221
DONNIE LEWIS DC TULANE
6’0/190 4.55/40 PP#NR
Initially, I was quite enthusiastic when LEWIS was listed as a Shrine Game participant. In the one TULANE game I had watched near the end of the 2018 college season, I was impressed with his press cover skills. His tackling left a lot to be desired, but his size and ball skills showed that he could have a chance for some pro sub-packages in his future. However, when the Shrine venue rolled around, he never hit the field because of a foot injury. He should have some long range pro potential, and if he shows enough in Training Camp, he might at the least be a Practice Squad candidate in CLEVELAND this year.

Overall, a nice mix of players with pro potential, if not pro-ready skills. Also, some nice work filling in the blanks on the depth chart. I think the first five picks can make their roster, and the final two, the Practice Squad for now. Oh, and don’t forget that guy named BECKHAM being added their roster, instead of having a Round 1 Pick.

Cheers

Pigskin