The draft has been over for a month.
Fans outside the AFC North have undoubtedly forgotten who their teams drafted, but here, we stay vigilant. We pore over the rafts of war room and draft details that led to various selections. We analyze remaining team needs and speculate why they exist. We invariably project the best-case scenarios for our team’s picks and their careers, because the AFC North has never missed on a draft pick.
Each day this week, we’ll look at an AFC North team’s draft. Today is about the…
For the first time in my addled memory, the Browns had no picks in the first round, unless you consider their heist of mercurial wideout and über-talent Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants as such. Beckham should provide the counterbalance to fellow wideout Jarvis Landry that the Browns certainly needed, enabling both, along with second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield, to flourish. Here’s to injury-free seasons for all three.
The Browns picked up cornerback Greedy Williams in the second round. Williams has flaws, but was initially graded as a first-round talent, so the Browns obviously chose value over need with his selection, although there’s an old NFL adage about never having too many quality cornerbacks on the roster. Clearly, Williams won’t displace a healthy Denzel Ward, but Ward’s injury absences in 2018 make the acquisition of Williams more credible.
Round 3’s selection of linebacker Sione Takitaki (going to love typing that for a few years) was a bit puzzling due to his troubled BYU campaign, but the Browns have a distinct need for quality linebacker depth and Takitaki is capable of providing it, both inside and outside. His true value may be in his special teams ability.
3. Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami – big hitter at a big hitter’s position, but may have more impact on special teams early
4. Lyndell “Mack” Wilson, LB, Alabama – does everything well, but has yet to show a real strength
5. Austin Seibert, K, Oklahoma – kicker or punter? The Browns will find out soon
6. Drew Forbes, G, Southeast Missouri St. – a bit of a project, Forbes figures to see little playing time while he develops
7. Donnie Lewis Jr., CB, Tulane – a possible sleeper pick, Lewis has to display his considerable skills when healthy – something he hasn’t been for several months
Thursday, we land in Cincinnati.