With rookie camp set to begin tomorrow, the Cleveland Browns have gotten three of their 10 drafted rookies under contract, the team announced on Thursday.
Howard Wilson, a fourth-round pick from Houston, Rod Johnson, a fifth-round selection from Florida State, and Matthew Dayes, a seventh-round pick from North Carolina State, all agreed to terms on their first NFL contracts.
Wilson, a cornerback, was the 126th overall pick in the 2017 draft, and will have a chance to work into the mix in the secondary early in his career. Johnson, pick number 160, is a prototype tackle who needs to refine his game if he wants to stick in the NFL. Dayes, the second to last pick in the draft at 252 overall, will be thrown into the Browns crowded backfield and may have to find a spot on special teams in order to stick on the 53-man roster.
After the NFL saw a slew of players having their careers and eligibility reinstated by the league, many believed that Cleveland Browns wide reciever Josh Gordon would be next. On Thursday, however, the NFL announced that they did not feel Gordon was ready for that step and denied reinstatement for the former second-round selection in the 2012 supplemental draft.
Gordon, who has not played in a regular season game in more than two seasons, was once the brightest star on the Browns roster, but how quickly that star has faded. After having a career year in 2013, where he caught 87 balls for 1646 yards and nine scores in just 14 games, was voted to the Pro Bowl and joined Calvin Johnson as a first team all-pro at his position above players like Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, and AJ Green, Gordon has done nothing but waste his talent. Those three players are headed into next season scheduled to make over $46 million combined, while Gordon, who is still under contract for multiple seasons with the Browns on a rookie deal, will make nothing in the NFL.
For more of my thoughts on Gordon, check out OAB365.
The Cleveland Browns selected Charlotte defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi with the first pick in the third round, 65th overall, in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The senior interior lineman is 6’3″ and 305 pounds and very athletic for a man his size. He had 13.0 career sacks in his career and showed that he can not only get to the passer but also set the edge in the run game. He plays with a low center of gravity and has great hands. He will be thrown into the mix on a deep defensive line squad and could start between Danny Shelton and Myles Garrett.
The son of Nigerian immigrants, Ogunjobi did not start playing football until his sophomore year of high school.
Cleveland does not have anymore picks on day two of the draft, they will not pick again until the 5th round (145 overall).
With the 52nd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer.
Kizer a 6’4″, 233 pound, redshirt sophomore from Toledo, Ohio, was looked at by some as the number one quarterback in the draft at the beginning of the scouting process. He looks the part of a QB with size, strength, and above average arm talent, but he does not come without issues.
His issues are the reason many dropped him to their fourth ranked QB in this draft and that he slid out of the first round to 52nd overall in the second round. He has severe mental lapses. He holds the ball too long at times and takes unnecessary sacks in a clean pocket. He lets his mechanics go to the wayside and throws the ball all over the field and that is why he had an interception in 15 of 23 starts.
Overall, it is really a low risk, high reward draft pick and could pan out nicely. To this point the Browns have done an excellent job in acquiring talent, gaining four very good players and first round pick next year.
The Browns will pick next at 65 overall, the first pick of the third round.
After the Browns moved back into the first round last night to select tight end David Njoku, Gary Barnidge, being the excellent human being and teammate that he is, tweeted out a welcome to the rookie.
Less than 18 hours later, Barnidge sent out another tweet that shows the awful truth of the NFL as he said goodbye to the team that gave him his chance to showcase his talents.
Barnidge, a pro bowl player in 2015, was not as good in 2016 with less than 630 yards recieving. In fairness, nobody was good on the Browns in 2016.
The move isn’t that surprising after the addition of Seth DeValve in the 2016 draft and Njoku in 2017. The Browns as a team are getting younger with only four players above the age of 28 and Barnidge was being pushed out by the rookies, so rather than leave him on the roster as a mentor who wouldn’t see the field much, the team has let him go so that he has time to join someone else and for his sake, hopefully win.
Barnidge was a good player during his time in Cleveland, but was an amazing man in the community off of the field. His twitter page was always full of fan interaction, including chances for movie nights with his teammates and a group of lucky fans.
OAB365 and this writer wish Barnidge the best in the future.
The Cleveland Browns added a third first round pick on Thursday night as they traded the first pick of the second round, 33rd overall, and the first pick of the fourth round, 108 overall, for the Green Bay Packers first round pick, 29th overall.
With the pick the Browns selected athletic tight end David Njoku from the University of Miami. More of receiver than a blocker, Njoku is an athletic freak at 6’4″ and 246 pounds. He has the ability to find the soft spot in the zone and creates great separation. He has improved as a blocker but still struggles while working as an inline tight end.
The Browns next pick will be at 52nd overall.
With the 25th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected S/LB Jabrill Peppers from the University of Michigan.
Peppers, a Heisman trophy finalist in 2016, played nearly every position with the Wolverines, and was the Big 10 defensive player of the year. He will likely play as a in the box strong safety in the Greg Williams led Browns defense in a role similar to that of Mark Barron with the Rams last season.
He is a playmaker with the ball in his hands, but does not have great ball skills in the secondary. Williams will likely use him in a variety of roles, in the box, as a nickel corner, and as a blitzing safety.
On the field, he is an energizing difference maker and can be an immediate difference maker.
The negative on Peppers, other than his choice of college, is that his drug test at the combine, where he did both linebacker and secondary drills, came back as diluted.