Under The Microscope: Cleveland Browns 2016 Draft Class Analysis
Overall Grade: C The failure to land a franchise quarterback is inexcusable. The Browns were in prime position to land one of the top quarterbacks in the 2016 draft class but instead decided to play the football equivalent of ‘Money Ball’ and trade down in order to stockpile picks. While they certainly upgraded the competition around the roster, they are still destined to implode if/when the Robert Griffin experiment implodes. Only time will tell how many impact players emerge from this group.
Round 1-15. Cleveland Browns
Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor – With the cloudy status surrounding Josh Gordon, the Browns didn’t have much going for them at wide out. Coleman will enter camp with the opportunity to emerge as the primary receiver and provides a deep threat element capable of stretching the field.
Round 2-32 (1). Cleveland Browns
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State – While his sacks on film consisted mostly of Ogbah dominating the lesser competition, his production fell off against the tougher opponents. Ogbah brings a dynamic speed element to his game but needs to develop his fundamentals and hand moves when shedding blockers.
Round 3-65 (2). Cleveland Browns
Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State – A former walk-on who never started a game in high school, Nassib is one of the more remarkable stories in this year’s draft. Not only did he lead the nation with 15 ½ sacks but he that mark also set a new Penn State school record. Cleveland desperately wanted to upgrade its pass-rush, using back-to-back selections on two proven disruptors from the collegiate level.
Round 3-76 (13). Cleveland Browns
Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn – When you have 14 draft selections, you can afford to use a pick on a player who will most likely redshirt sue to injury, which is the case for Coleman, who is coming off a knee injury. Coleman is no stranger to adversity having defeated leukemia six years ago. On the field, he possesses a nasty demeanor that teams love.
Round 3-93 (30). Cleveland Browns
Cody Kessler, QB, USC – Possibly the biggest reach pick of the entire draft! While Kessler possesses excellent decision-making ability and a capable arm in the short-to-intermediate game, he lacks overall arm strength velocity. Kessler didn’t necessarily read through his progressions as much as we’d like to see, so new head coach Hue Jackson will have his work cut out trying to mold this signal-caller.
Round 4-99 (1). Cleveland Browns
Joe Schobert, OLB, Wisconsin – Should come in and compete from day one as a possible starter at inside or outside linebacker. Schobert had 33 tackles for loss over the past two seasons but has real opportunity to start inside with his ability to cover. This was a gem of a pick at number 99.
Round 4-114 (16). Cleveland Browns
Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn – Probably not as polished as the two receivers the Browns selected after him, Louis saw his stock rise during the draft season. Blessed with size, speed and dependable hands, Louis can create yards after the catch.
Round 4-129 (31). Cleveland Browns
Derrick Kindred, S, TCU – The door is wide open for Kindred to come into training camp and stake claim as the starting free safety. Expect early playing time and a possible role on special teams units.
Round 4-138 (40). Cleveland Browns
Seth Devalve, WR, Princeton – One of the biggest workout warriors on the NFL pro day circuit, DeValve is an overgrown wide receiver whose frame grew too big for that role and developed into a next level tight end. His frame has plenty of room to grow, he’ll just need to prove that he can stay healthy after struggling with injuries this past season at Princeton.
Round 5-154 (15). Cleveland Browns
Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA – Has dominated at every level he’s played at; Payton finished as the Bruins all-time leading receiver and will be a solid possession receiver who can compete with Brian Hartline.
Round 5-168 (29). Cleveland Browns
Spencer Drango, OT, Baylor – A four-year starter, Drango has experience playing in a spread style of offense while at Baylor and has the athleticism to play multiple positions. He’ll most likely be used as a valuable backup along the offensive line until he works his way into a more permanent position.
Round 5-172 (33). Cleveland Browns
Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State – They don’t call him ‘Hollywood’ for nothing. Higgins may have the most polished route-running skillset of any wide out they drafted and it wouldn’t be surprising if he lead all rookies or the team in receiving!
Round 5-173 (34). Cleveland Browns
Trey Caldwell, CB, Louisiana-Monroe – Will have to earn his way onto the roster playing special teams. Caldwell is an undersized corner who has average game film and performed well at his pro day. He should make for an interesting case study.
Round 7-250 (29). Cleveland Browns
Scooby Wright III, ILB, Arizona – After a poor combine doomed him in, Wright saw his draft stock slide. Add a list of mounting injuries over the past two seasons and he nearly slid out of the draft entirely. This selection could be of real value if Wright can put it all together.