BEREA—If the Browns new regime’s vision is to build through the draft with quantity—mission accomplished.
The hope there is much quality to go with the quantity.
After three days, the Browns ended up making five trades, drafting 14 players grabbing eight offensive players and six from the defensive side. They also acquired veteran cornerback Jamar Taylor from the Dolphins for a seventh-round draft pick to give them 15 new players on the roster.The Browns tied the 1997 Miami Dolphins for the most picks in the NFL Draft since the draft went to seven rounds.
In addition to the extra picks acquired in this year’s draft, the Browns added an extra first round pick from the Eagles in 2017 and an extra second round pick from the Titans in 2017, a seventh-round pick from the Colts in 2017 to go along with an extra second round pick from the Eagles in 2018. The Browns traded away a 2017 fourth-round pick to the Eagles and a sixth-or seventh- round pick to the 49ers.
“I think we’ve strengthened our team and we’ve accomplished a lot,” Hue Jackson said.
Sashi Brown agreed.
"Adding a number of young talented player that will be the foundation of what we're trying to build, I'm pleased with what we were able to accomplish."
On offense, the Browns added four wide receivers in top pick Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Jordan Payton and Rashard Higgins. In addition, they drafted Seth DeValve, who played receiver in college but is viewed as a tight end for the Browns. The added receivers is a drastic departure from the previous regime, who drafted just one wide receiver in two years (Vince Mayle, 2015 fourth-round). The moves could be signaling the organization is moving on from suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon, who is eligible to appeal his suspension with the NFL again in August.
The Browns also drafted two offensive tackles, who will likely battle for the starting right tackle job vacated when Mitchell Schwartz left via free agency. Shon Coleman and Spencer Drango will likely compete with Austin Pasztor, Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie for the position.
The Browns also added their developmental quarterback in the third-round in Cody Kessler from USC, who had a 78 percent completion percentage last year in college.
Defensively, the Browns used their second- and third- highest picks to take a pair of pass rushers in Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib. The duo had 28 sacks between them last year in college, compared to the Browns having just 29 sacks as a team in 2015.
The Browns started the third day of the draft picking linebacker Joe Schobert from Wisconsin and ended it by taking another linebacker Scooby Wright from Arizona. They added safety Derrick Kindred in the fourth-round and cornerback Trey Caldwell in the fifth.
Jackson said it doesn’t matter to him where a player is drafted.
“I don’t think you can ever put a limit on any of these guys, regardless of their draft status” Jackson said. “We’re looking forward to letting these guys compete and letting the cream rise to the top.”
The players feel they can be a part of the Browns turnaround.
“The biggest thing is moving forward,” Kessler said. “For us at USC, we had some tough times. There was a year where we were supposed to No. 1 in the country. It was before I played, and we ended up going 7-7 or 7-6, and it was some dark times. We had sanctions. We weren’t producing like we should’ve and all of these other things going on. I took upon myself as a leader to kind of step into that role. Then, the very next year, we’re 3-2 and (former Southern California Head) Coach (Lane) Kiffin had just got let go. It was tough. We could’ve gone downhill and everything could’ve collapsed, but I took upon myself and some of the other guys on this team – (TE) Randall Telfer was there with me, also – we kind of stepped up in front of the guys and ended up winning 10 or 11 games that year.
“It’s obviously tough for me – I haven’t gotten here yet, I haven’t actually gotten around these guys,” he said. “We still have to earn our respect and if you want to be a leader as a quarterback you definitely have to work for it – but I think the tools are all there just being around the coaching staff and watching the guys and Coach Jackson with everything that he preaches. You just feel it. You feel the vibe. You feel the positive energy. I’m pumped. I’m excited to be a part of it and I really do believe this program is going in the right direction just from the short time that I’ve gotten to know this staff, the front office and everybody involved. I think it’s going to be a great journey. I’m excited to kind of get here with the rest of these guys when we’re kind of starting to get going. It’s going to be fun ride.”
Top pick Corey Coleman agreed.
“It’s crazy, man,” Coleman said. “The fans here are amazing. They're really happy. They’re ride or dies who will stick with us all the way so we know what we are going to get with that. The feeling, it is just a loving town. We’re just all – I can speak for everyone – we will do our best to change this organization around.”
Here is the Browns 2016 Draft class:
1. Corey Coleman (Rd. 1, 15th overall) (5-11, 190)WR Baylor
2. Emmanuel Ogbah (Rd. 2, 32nd overall) (6-4, 275) DE Oklahoma State
3. Carl Nassib (Rd. 3, 65th overall) (6-7, 272) DE Penn State
4. Shon Coleman (Rd. 3, 76th overall) (6-6, 313) OT Auburn
5. Cody Kessler (Rd. 3, 93rd overall) (6-1, 215) QB USC
6. Joe Schobert (Rd. 4, 99th overall) (6-2, 236) LB Wisconsin
7. Ricardo Louis (Rd. 4, 114th overall) (6-2, 215) WR Auburn
8. Derrick Kindred (Rd. 4, 129th overall) (5-10, 210) S
9. Seth DeValve (Rd. 4, 138th overall) (6-4, 245) TE Princeton
10. Jordan Payton (Rd. 5, 154th overall) (6-1, 213) WR UCLA
11. Spencer Drango (Rd. 5, 168th overall) (6-6, 320) OT Baylor
12. Rashard Higgins (Rd. 5, 172nd overall) (6-2, 190) WR Colorado State
13. Trey Caldwell (Rd. 5, 173rd overall) (5-9, 188) CB Louisiana-Monroe
14. Scooby Wright (Rd. 7, 250th overall) (6-0, 239)LB Arizona