Although this is a diehard Bengals website, we will be reviewing and grading each team within the AFC North’s 2017 draft results. First up, the Cleveland Browns. If you’d like to review the Bengals draft grades, click here.
Round 1: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M | Proj. Round: 1st
Summary: The Browns defensive line was horrid last year and was nearly as bad as their quarterback situation. Garrett gives them a formidable foe on the defensive line. Garrett will be sure to test the Bengals’ offensive line.
Round 1: Jabrill Peppers, S, TTUN | Proj. Round: 1st – 2nd
Summary: Peppers makes some sense here, but I’m happy that the Browns passed on Rueben Foster in this draft three times. My only issue with Peppers is he doesn’t have a defined position at the next level. I assume they will play him at safety, but they also could’ve taken a corner here.
Round 1: David Njoku, TE, Miami | Proj. Round: 1st – 2nd
Summary: Njoku definitely provides Hue with an athletic offensive weapon. Njoku was considered the second-ranked tight end but was leapfrogged by Evan Ingram. Dynamic tight ends tend are the Achilles heel of the Bengals’ defense and Njoku could potentially exploit the unit in the near future.
Round 2: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame | Proj. Round: 1st – 2nd
Summary: Since the Browns didn’t take a quarterback in the first round, Kizer was a tremendous value pick. We all know about the positive impact Hue had on Dalton’s career. The same could happen for Kizer under Hue.
Round 3: Larry Ogunjobi, DT, Charlotte| Proj. Round: 2nd
Summary: Ogunjobi may be the best low-key pick of the Browns draft. Pairing Ogunjobi with Shelton and Garrett makes me take the Browns defense a bit more seriously.
Round 4: Howard Wilson, CB, Houston | Proj. Round: 4th – 5th
Summary: I’m not mad the Browns waited to take a corner late. They decided to go with William Jackson III’s teammate from Houston. He’s a decent corner, but shouldn’t hurt the Bengals’ passing offense like a shutdown corner would.
Round 5: Roderick Johnson, OT, FSU | Proj. Round: 2nd – 3rd
Summary: Most were surprised Johnson fell this far, but not me. He was overrated by the media during the entire pre-draft process. He is still a project and can afford to sit and develop since the Browns upgraded their offensive line in free agency.
Round 6: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida | Proj. Round: 2nd – 3rd
Summary: The Browns decided to take straight value here. Brantley is in the middle of an off-field issue, but the Browns defensive line was THAT BAD last year. High risk, high reward.
Round 7: Zane Gonzalez, K, Arizona State | Proj. Round: 4th – 6th
Summary: The Browns took the kicker most Bengals’ fans wanted. Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up being a stud and Elliot doesn’t. I personally have faith in Elliot.
Round 7: Matt Dayes, RB, NC State | Proj.Round: 5th
Summary: Most thought the Browns would address the running back position earlier in the draft. Crowell is serviceable, but I’m not sure he’s the main guy.
Conclusion | Overall Browns Draft Grade
As much as it pains me to say it, the Browns had a great draft. I’m not surprised because I truly think Hue is the only person who can turn them around. The Hueprint is in full effect.
Overall Grade: A+