BEREA, Ohio--The Browns continue to build their defense--but they selected a player with a huge black cloud hanging over him.
They used the first pick in the sixth round on interior defensive tackle Caleb Brantley from Florida.
However, he comes with some baggage.
Brantley is facing a charge stemming from an altercation with a woman at a Gainesville, Fla. bar on April 13 that resulted with Brantley allegedly knocking the woman unconscious, dislodging a tooth. The case is still pending.
According to the police report, Brantley was in an argument with the woman and the woman pushed Brantley. He reacted by punching the woman in the face. She suffered dental injuries. Recently, it was reported that there was a settlement offer but Brantley's attorney, Huntley Johnson, told the Tampa Bay Times that Brantley said no to the offer to settle.
Sashi Brown admitted that Brantley might not even be on the roster due to some off-field issues that are not resolved when the Browns conclude their own internal investigation.
"We made the decision to draft Caleb here, for us late in the draft, as he's a much more talented player," Brown said. "But we're certainly aware of the incident involving Caleb that's been reported on recently. I think that is very concerning for us and continues to be a concern. From our standpoint, we communicated to Caleb how serious a matter this is to us and that he cannot repeat this behavior as he moves forward and more importantly than that, we communicated to Caleb that this is something that we are still investigating and looking into.
"Facts may turn up that prevent us from keeping him on our roster," Brown admitted. "We did feel at this point in the draft, and what we know so far--I'm not going to get into too much of the details--but based on what we know so far of the person, the player and the incident, this was an okay point in the draft to take him. But he is aware of that. We are happy to add a player of that talent level that can add to our team and help us win, but the precondition to that is for us to get comfortable with the incident."
Brantley (6-2, 314) was an All-SEC Second Team pick last year after he had 31 tackles and led the team with 9.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
"He's a powerful interior lineman who can be in the rotation for us," Brown said.
Brantley is the third defensive linemen the Browns have drafted thus far and fourth defensive player. Myles Garrett was drafted with the first overall pick and Larry Ogunjobi in the third-round.
Brantley was projected to be a second-round draft pick by Pro Football Weekly, but the off-field issues caused him to fall. He was listed as the sixth-best defensive tackle by the Pro Football Weekly.