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Chris Pokorny breaks down John Dorsey’s second draft as gene
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MessaggioInviato: Ven Set 27 2019, 10:08:09    Oggetto:  Chris Pokorny breaks down John Dorsey’s second draft as gene
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Browns." />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesHorizontal - WhiteDawgs EDTShareTweetShareShareReviewing the Cleveland Browns’ 2019 NFL DraftChristopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY SportsWe are over a week removed from the 2019 NFL Draft
, where the Cleveland Browns walked away with 7 new players (not including undrafted free agents). Here is a recap, along with my opinions, on how things went down this year:1. The Browns’ 2019 NFL Draft Class: Prior to this year, in the Browns’ previous seven draft classes (from 2012-2018), they had made 13 first-round selections, which was anywhere between one and three picks per year. In 2019, the Browns didn’t have a first-round pick. I’ll touch more on that in a bit, but here is how this year’s draft class panned out:2nd Round (#46): CB Greedy Williams3rd Round (#80): LB Sione Takitaki4th Round (#119): S Sheldrick Redwine5th Round (#155): LB Mack Wilson5th Round (#170): K Austin Seibert6th Round (#189): OT Drew Forbes7th Round (#221): CB Donnie Lewis Jr.The draft class won’t blow your socks off, and grades varied for what the Browns got. One of the things I always find funny is when we look at draft projections vs. where a player is taken. For example, when Takitaki was drafted in the third round, one of the early vibes was, “what the heck — we could have had him in the sixth round!?!” But then when Wilson was drafted, you heard, “he was graded as a second-round prospect!” If the Browns had drafted Wilson in the third round and Takitaki in the fifth round, we probably don’t hear a single complaint about “when” they were drafted.2. No First-Round Pick, But Still Interested: I’ve come to love the NFL Draft as the lead blogger for Dawgs the big board and knowing the variability of the draft, I thought that having 45 slots for our big board would be enough to give us something to work with by the time the second round started.The 45 slots above are color-coded. The red slots mean that the player was drafted on Day 1. The orange slots were available heading in to Day 2, but were drafted before Cleveland went on the clock. Who knows how high GM John Dorsey had CB Greedy Williams ranked on his big board, but he was No. 9 on ours, making it a rarity to still see him available mid-way through round two.CB Greedy WilliamsAround the 40th pick, there was a rumor on Twitter that the Browns and Patriots were both trying to trade up. Going based off the live reactions of Lane Adkins of The OBR, I think the perception was that both teams wanted to get Williams. When the Patriots secured No. 45 overall, Adkins grimaced at first, before breathing a sigh of relief when the Patriots took a different cornerback in Joejuan Williams. Dorsey wasted no more time, trading one of his three fifth-round picks to get his Williams.Pro Football Focus had rave reviews for the selection, particularly the value Cleveland got in getting a first-round prospect at No. 46. The simplest assessment one can give on Williams is that he is highly praised for his coverage skills
, but panned for his tackling.Dorsey’s response to reports that Williams has issues with tackling? “I have no problem with his tackling. He will get you down. Corners are paid to cover. The tackling aspect, just get the guy down.” You can see some film by Cleveland.com’s Jake Burns here.I always love when the NFL captures prospects’ reactions to being drafted, and Williams getting the call, surrounded by his family, can be seen in the second half of this video feature. That came after the initial letdown of being one of the prospects who traveled to Nashville on Day 1, hoping to walk the stage. He headed back home for Day 2.Where does Williams fall on the Browns’ depth chart? Although he is the team’s top pick, he is far from guaranteed playing time: like most rookies, he is going to have to prove himself. Think back to last year: T.J. Carrie and E.J. Gaines were the higher-profile free agent signings for the team, but it was actually Terrance Mitchell who surprised everyone with a great camp to win a starting job. As it stands right now, Denzel Ward and Mitchell are the starters, with Carrie in the slot. It’s up to Williams to show he can unseat Mitchell for a starting role.LB Sione TakitakiThe funny draft day story is that Takitaki didn’t think the Browns were going to draft him since he had limited contact with him, so he went to use the restroom. While on the toilet, he got the call from Cleveland and jumped right up. He’s also a player who turned his life around after being dismissed from his college team for a misdemeanor theft in 2016.Since Takitaki wasn’t projected to be a high draft pick, there wasn’t a lot known about him. Some of the early assessments praised his speed and power. Jake Burns of cleveland.com had a chance to dive into a lot of film on the Browns’ third-round pick, and his versatility stood out: something the Browns stressed repeatedly after making the selection. They feel he can contribute at any of the linebacker spots, so they will try him out everywhere and see where he does best leading into training camp.The selection of Takitaki also represents a commitment to getting players who love producing on special teams. The area he struggled with last year was — like Williams — in the area of missed tackles. 5. Pick-by-Pick, Day 3: On Saturday, the Browns wrapped things up with their final five picks.S Sheldrick RedwineThe Browns finally got their safety in the fourth round with Sheldrick Redwine. With how things were unfolding this offseason, I started leaning more and more toward the fact that the team was not banking on investing their second round pick in a safety, just because they traded away SS Jabrill Peppers this offseason. Taking Redwine here adds a really good special teams player right off the bat, while also creating more competition at safety. But as it turns out, Redwine might be more of a complimentary player in year one as opposed to one looking to steal snaps away from someone.DBN’s Mike Krupka did a film analysis on Redwine, and kudos to him for calling that possibility out several weeks before the draft:Ball skills and encouraging run defense are reasons to be optimistic about Redwine. He also has that versatility role to where he could line up as a third safety or extra defensive back, depending on the package. Once he gets his feet wet in that role, time will tell how soon he can be viewed as a “starter.” Remember that the Browns didn’t just trade Peppers, they also cut SS Derrick Kindred
, so they need a player like Redwine to fill that third safety void.LB Mack WilsonWith the first of their two fifth-round picks, the Browns took linebacker Mack Wilson. I know I keep harping on special teams, but Wilson is another player who shows promise in that area, with hits like this:Wilson was projected to be a second round pick, but fell several rounds. Wilson’s run defense needs improvement, but he has athleticism that is really intriguing to the coaching staff, such as what you see on this end zone interception here:Wilson still needs to be polished before being considered for an everydown role, but Cleveland has lacked depth at linebacker for so long; between Takitaki and Wilson, they now have it.K Austin SeibertWith their other fifth-round pick, the Browns selected kicker Austin Seibert. A lot of fans despised taking a kicker with any draft pick, let alone a fifth rounder, feeling that it’s a waste (that kickers should be undrafted signings, and you might miss out on other gems). For example, many could speculate, “Why take a kicker before a lineman with so much potential like Drew Forbes in the sixth round? Why risk missing on that position player?”I see and acknowledge that line of thinking, but it doesn’t bother me that Cleveland took a kicker in the fifth round. Pro Football Focus noted that Seibert had the top kickoff grade in the nation last year. We know that Greg Joseph settled down for a decent season last year, but absolutely should face competition in 2019. What’s funny about the deal is how Evan Silva points out that Seibert is now the outcome of Cleveland’s decision to finally trade WR Josh Gordon last year.For Seibert, it sounds like the Browns evaluated him more so on his Pro Day performance. He rarely tried field goals beyond 50 yards, and was 1-of-3 on them. He hit less than 50% from the 40-49 yard range, although some of those were attributed to bad snaps. Browns scout Josh Cox said that he was fine from further distances at his Pro Day. “There is a sound that the ball will make when it is coming off their foot if they have a really strong leg. He has a cannon. I’m not worried about it at all.”OT Drew ForbesIn the sixth round, the Browns found Prospect X. What is Prospect X? If you haven’t done so already, check out this article from Sports Illustrated, which is a feature-length piece on Forbes and his honorary status.The thing that everyone says about him is that he is a nasty blocker. He plays to the whistle and has very good athleticism for an offensive lineman. Scout Colton Chapple said that he thinks Forbes is athletic enough to play left tackle, and can kick inside if necessary -- but stressed that decisions like those are up to the coaching staff. Forbes could compete for the team’s starting left tackle job. Yes, they paid Greg Robinson to return for another season, but he isn’t locked in to that role definitively.CB Donnie Lewis Jr.In the seventh round
, the Browns final draft pick was cornerback Donnie Lewis Jr. He suffered a broken foot in January, so will be on the sidelines until training camp. He saw a lot of targets come his way in college, and defended them pretty well while also showing skills to be a ballhawk.Being a seventh-round pick and not available until training camp, Lewis faces more of an uphill battle to make the roster than the rest of the team’s picks. He’ll also begin as the team’s fifth cornerback in a best-case scenario.6. — and from listening to fans on social media and in person every day, they just want the season to get here already! BEREA, Ohio (AP) — The losses are piling up for the Browns — in the standings, and on the sideline.On Wednesday, two defensive starters were added to the stack.Cleveland placed linebacker Christian Kirksey and cornerback E.J. Gaines on injured reserve, ending their seasons with seven games remaining and putting further strain on a unit lacking quality depth and experience.“Those two guys, they really set a precedent for what we wanted to do as a team, as a defense,” said cornerback T.J. Carrie. “And, of course, they’ll still be here sparingly in and out throughout the week, but it’s a lot different when they were on the field fighting with you, blood, sweat and tears with you, through the trenches.“We’re going to definitely miss that. Those are two players that we can’t replace.”One of the team’s captains, Kirksey injured his left hamstring in the second quarter Sunday as the Browns (2-6-1) lost their fourth straight game, 37-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.Gaines sustained his second concussion in three weeks when he took a knee to the helmet while trying to make a tackle in the first quarter.The loss of Kirksey is especially damaging because he’s one of the team’s leaders. The fifth-year pro has played on the weak side and in the middle this season, making 43 tackles and two interceptions.“Kirko is kind of the heart and soul of the defense, heart and soul of the team in the locker room, on the field, just how he goes about his business,” said linebacker Joe Schobert, a 2017 Pro Bowler who returned to practice after missing three games with a hamstring injury. “It’s the next-man-up mentality
, but there’s things that you’re going to miss.”Schobert’s return will help ease the loss of Kirksey, and the Browns are expected to have defensive back Damarious Randall for Sunday’s game against Atlanta after he missed last week’s game with a groin injury.Linebacker Jamie Collins (ankle) and rookie cornerback Denzel Ward (hip) were limited in practice, but interim coach Gregg Williams expects both back on the field Thursday.Randall, who has played cornerback and free safety, felt he was healthy enough to play last week, but Williams kept him out so he would have the versatile defensive back for multiple games. Randall’s absence became magnified when Ward and Gaines went down on the Chiefs’ opening drive, forcing Williams to adjust his game plan against the NFL’s most electrifying offense and play seldom-used reserves Denzel Rice and Tavierre Thomas.“It’s very hard,” Carrie said of losing two key players. “It changes the game plan. It changes a lot of things because you can only give practice reps to so many guys, and so you get guys that come in and they’re athletes, but it’s hard when you don’t know the schematics of the little details that we put in for that game.”And, as luck would have it, the banged-up Browns will have to deal with a talented Atlanta team that has overcome its own injury issues and reeled off three straight wins.Needing seasoned secondary help, the Browns claimed Phillip Gaines off waivers from Buffalo and Jermaine Whitehead from Green Bay. To make roster room, Rice was waived.Gaines spent four years with Kansas City before signing with Buffalo. Whitehead played in 19 games with the Packers from 2016-18.Schobert’s return is vital to Cleveland’s defense as he’s the one responsible for calling out Williams’ pre-snap schemes and getting his teammates organized — an on-field coach.After missing three weeks, getting back on the field will be a welcomed change for Schobert, who had played every defensive snap since the start of the 2017 season until he got hurt on Oct. 21 at Tampa Bay.“It is just different. It is weird,” Schobert said of being inactive. “Especially with a hamstring. You just walk around on the sideline feeling good and watching people on the field thinking you can be out there — wishing you could be out there. You just have to kind of suck it up and take it into your own role however you can help a team in that aspect.“That is what I was doing. Just kind of jumped right into more of a coaching aspect, trying to keep myself involved that way. I think it helped.”NOTES: Rookie LT Desmond Harrison was limited in practice after missing last week’s game with an undisclosed illness. Greg Robinson stepped in and played well in his first start for Cleveland. Williams hasn’t decided who he’ll play against the Falcons. “What we will do is every day is an interview and both of them are taking reps,” he said. “By the end of the week, we will make what is best and it is good — the fact that you have depth. Guys can compete and get ready to roll.” … The Browns signed DB Juston Burris to the active roster off the Jets‘ practice squad. A fourth-round pick in 2016, he appeared in 34 games for New York.
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