BEREA, Ohio—Ray Farmer started the final day of the NFL Draft doing what he does best—making: Draft day trades and selecting wide receivers.
Well, at least one of those might be accurate.
Farmer started the fourth- round drafting safety Ibraheim Campbell with their first pick in the fourth round, Farmer then traded the next pick to add three other picks (4th, 6th and 7th rounds). With the first one, Farmer addressed the wide receiver position by taking Vince Mayle from Washington State.
It is the first time since Farmer has been the Browns General Manager that he drafted a wide receiver. Mayle was selected 123rd overall with a pick obtained from the Cardinals.
Mayle was the 17th wide receiver drafted this year and the first pass receiver the Browns have drafted since they selected Travis Benjamin in the fourth-round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
But, first, the safety.
Campbell started all 12 games as a junior in 2013 and again finished among team leaders in tackles (73) and passes defended (9), including a career-best four interceptions to earn All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors. Campbell was sidelined with an injury for a good portion of his senior season in 2014 and started eight games, finishing with 54 tackles and three interceptions, earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors. He earned an invitation to the 2015 Senior Bowl.
Campbell adds depth behind Pro Bowl safeties Donte Whitner and Tashaun Gipson.
“I think I’m able to play strong or free,” Campbell said. “I felt multiple times at the Senior Bowl and at the Combine their coaches were interested, so it wasn’t a surprise.”
Campbell said he feels his versatility helped him.
“When I talked to (secondary) coach (Jeff) Hafley he said they like their safeties to play either side and I think the versatility I showed in college helped me.”
Campbell is excited about to learn from Whitner and Gipson.
“This is one of the best opportunities in the world to play in the National Football League,” Campbell said. “It’s a huge honor to be drafted by the Cleveland Browns.
“I know they have a great secondary and I’m anxious to be a part of it,” Campbell said. “Especially being a rookie, you get to learn from role models and it’s an honor to get to know them and learn from them.”
“A four-year starter, Campbell isn’t a well-known name, but he has been the Landon Collins of the Big Ten since he arrived in Evanston,” Bruglersaid. “He is aggressive downhill and throws his body around with the break down skills and strong hands to be a reliable wrap up tackler. While tough vs. the run, Campbell lacks an extra gear and is often a step too late in coverage, allowing too many big plays through the air. Northwestern hasn’t produced a defensive draft pick since 2010 when Campbell was a senior in high school, but he projects as a mid-round draft pick and box safety, who is ideally suited as a back-up and special teams player.”
Mayle (6–3, 219) caught 106 passes last season for 1,483 yards, including nine touchdowns. Washington State plays a spread offense and Mayle says he got a lot of opportunities.
“I probably get targeted about 15 times a game,” Mayle said. “We throw the ball pretty much every play. Our run game is quick screens to the outside. That is part of our run game. [We ran] a lot of vertical routes and a lot of underneath routes. We have pretty much everything in our offense.”
“I bring a bigger, physical wide receiver who has speed,” Mayle said. “I’m willing to play special teams for as long as I have to. I am just a physical competitor who loves to win and hates losing.”
Mayle said despite the Browns not drafting a receiver earlier, he was aware the Browns were looking at the position.
“I know they were looking for a wide out because of the number of times they visited with me and the interest they showed in me.”
Mayle said he visited the Browns at the team’s facility in Berea as one of the 30 visits teams are allowed.
Mayle started his college career as a basketball player at Shasta College where he averaged eight points per game and once won a dunk contest.
“I started off playing basketball, but one of my coaches told me I would be a better wide out than a point guard, so I took that advice.”
After playing football at Sierra College, Mayle transferred to Sierra College where he started playing football. In his first season at Washington State, Mayle caught 42 passes for 539 yards, including seven touchdowns.
Mayle had a high number of dropped passes in college and was criticized for the number. He was asked about his hands.
“Honestly, I just believe the scouting reports are wrong,” he said. “Who wouldn’t? The lack of focus catches I have been having, I like to get up field and run right away. There are just catches where I want to catch the ball so fast that I take off running right already.”
He was asked what he feels about being drafted in the fourth round after having such a big season last year.
“A humbling experience, it’s something that just let me know that there’s something wrong with my game, something I need to improve. That’s how I feel.”
“H-back/tight end by some scouts, (Mayle) showed more natural receiving traits as a senior and although he’s not quite as gifted as Louisville’s DeVante Parker, Mayle is a lesser talented prospect in a similar mold,” Brugler said. “It’s clear he’s still learning the tricks of the trade and his passion for football needs to be addressed, but Mayle is an easy player to get excited about with his size, athleticism and the upside his talent suggests – projects as a NFL starter in year two.”