Cleveland Browns: Draft Grades and Recap


During this week’s NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns built up assets to help construct the future of their franchise.

This off-season, the Browns made some hefty moves to build up Baker Mayfield’s weapons on offense. Most notably, the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr. So, heading into this draft, the team had already done enough to warrant hype as favorites to win their division title.

Notwithstanding this, John Dorsey and the front office have managed to deliver a decent haul in this year’s draft to add fuel to that hype fire. Their focus was heavily defense-related, drafting five defensive players, a guard, and a kicker. Looking at their offseason moves and the draft haul, it’s clear that the Browns are off to a great start to the 2019 season.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each pick.

Round 2, Selection 14

Greedy Williams, Cornerback, Lousiana State University


Grade: A

In a number of pre-draft analyses, Williams was either listed as the number one or number two corner in the draft class. He was pegged to go a lot sooner than number 46 overall given the teams that had a need at that position, so the pick is definitely a ‘bang for your buck’ kind of pick. Between his 2017 and 2018 college seasons, he racked up eight interceptions, 70 tackles and 20 passes broken up. His smaller frame can lead to being pushed around on the field a little bit, but he is versatile and performs well in press-man-coverage. Williams will be a welcomed addition to the Browns’ defense and will likely start week 1.

Round 3, Selection 17

Sione Takitaki, Linebacker, Brigham Young University 


Grade: B-

Takitaki had a rough and slow rise in his college career which may have affected his standings on many big boards. He was suspended three times before 2017 for various things, however, he turned himself around and became a team captain and the team-leading tackler. Over the last two seasons, he amassed 197 tackles and eight sacks, demonstrating real professional output. Given the team’s need for depth at linebacker, Takitaki’s addition will fill a need and provide strength at the position.


Round 4, Selection 17                                     

Sheldrick Redwine, Safety, University of Miami

Grade: A-

Safety is one position the Browns’ needed to address this draft given the departure of Jabrill Peppers as part of the Beckham Jr. trade. Redwine will be a strong, versatile option to have on the field. He has played both corner and safety and can play high and low, allowing for plenty of options to utilize his skillset in schemes. With 123 tackles, five interceptions and three sacks since 2017. Redwine’s presence will provide the team with a solid option at either free safety or strong safety.

Round 5, Selection 17

Mack Wilson, Linebacker, University of Alabama

Grade: C+

Wilson was a sought after recruit by colleges, and after ending up in Alabama, his impact was immediately felt. He played on defense, special teams, and offense, before finding his home at the linebacker position. Between the 2017 and 2018 college seasons, he totaled 111 tackles (7.5 for loss), seven pass breakups and two interceptions. As a result, Wilson was voted second-team All-SEC in 2018. He doesn’t have a huge number of explosive plays under his belt and has inconsistent instincts. The Browns’ need depth at linebacker but to be playoff contenders they need players with an ability to make plays. Wilson will need to continue developing before making an impact at this level.

Round 5, Selection 32

Austin  Seibert, Kicker, University of Oklahoma 

Grade: A

The Browns were no stranger to kicking woes last season, cutting Zane Gonzalez and adding an undrafted rookie in Greg Joseph in his place. The need to add competition at the Kicker position has been evident from the get-go of this offseason. When that need wasn’t addressed in free agency, the draft was the next logical step. Joseph and Seibert will now compete for the position. Seibert’s 2018 season looked good while he hit 89.5 percent of his field goals and had an impressive 87-88 PAT record. That equates to a 98.9 percent total on all of his kicks last season.  He is an NFL level kicker and a great pick to compete for the top job in Cleveland this season.

Round 6, Selection 17

Drew Forbes, Guard, Southeast Missouri State

Grade: B-

The Browns needed a little depth on the offensive line to protect their franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield, and they addressed this by drafting Drew Forbes. Forbes spent time in college at Left Tackle but given his size and length, would be best suited to the guard position. That’s exactly what position he’s been drafted as and will be expected to play as. Having played in various positions on the line, it does provide some flexibility in an emergency if he needed to fill in at tackle due to injury. He’s athletic and is effective in the run block, but he has some technique issues that will need development. As a sixth-round pick for a team that needs depth at Guard, Forbes is a good choice.

Round 7, Selection 7

Donnie Lewis, Cornerback, Tulane University

Grade: C

Lewis is a Corner with experience and an appetite for making plays. He was a starter the past four years at Tulane but has struggled with a couple of injuries, one of which affected his pro day performance. Having said that, last season alone he defended 17 passes and had three interceptions (one of which was a pick-six). He is versatile, having played as Safety as well as his normal Corner position, and will provide good depth on the Browns’ roster provided he remains healthy and can continue developing.

The Browns have managed to add talented depth at a few needy positions, which in turn has provided some extra versatility on defense as a result. It’s safe to assume the Browns are happy with their offense for the 2019 season, and with these additions on defense, the Browns look to have a bright future ahead.


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