Round 1, Pick 1: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Thankfully, Cleveland dished the burden of QB Mitchell Trubisky to the Bears. The Browns stuck to their draft plan and chose the most athletic and NFL ready athlete with the number one pick. Myles Garrett provides incentive for Pro Bowler Jamie Collins to stick with the Browns organization. This tandem, along with Danny Shelton and Emmanual Ogbah makes for a dangerous front seven. It seemed unlikely for Cleveland to play it safe knowing the program’s history with poor draft decisions, but Hue Jackson made it clear that they wouldn’t trade away their number one pick in 2017. For the first time since drafting Joe Haden in 2010 the Browns made an intelligent and secure pick with Garrett. He will immediately impact the development of Cleveland’s defense.
Round 1, Pick 25: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Well, the Browns traded away the 12th overall pick and a chance at quarterback Deshaun Watson. So… after a strong decision picking up Myles Garrett the Browns, once again, fell back to their old ways. At least Cleveland kept the 25th pick and took a risk drafting Jabrill Peppers. Peppers is a dynamic athletic freak. He can play on defense, offense and serve as a special teams weapon. While many analysts question this pick and don’t think he will fit into the Brown’s system, I love it. Peppers will most likely start as a cornerback or free safety. Going into the draft Cleveland knew they had to address their problems in the secondary. Peppers athleticism will almost definitely aid this team of defensive backs. If his defensive talent doesn’t transfer to the NFL he can still serve as a Josh Cribbs-esque player. Cleveland can use him as a punt and kick returner on special teams and a slot receiver or a quarterback in the wildcat.
Round 1, Pick 29: David Njoku, TE, Miami
Picking up David Njoku late in the first round is a steal. Njoku has mastered the tight end position. He can block like an offensive tackle, has hands like Jimmy Graham and averages 11.2 yards after the catch. After losing Tyrell Pryor this offseason Njoku can fit easily into Cleveland’s west-coast style offense and become the Browns leading receiver. Before the draft Njoku was debated to be the top tight end in the draft, but flew under the radar after O.J. Howards performance at the combine. If Cleveland can figure out the QB situation Njoku can serve as a primary offensive weapon. He has the tools and potential to blossom into a top tier tight end in the NFL.
Round 2, Pick 20: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Despite losing a chance at Deshaun Watson in the first round, the Browns were able to provide some competition for Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler at the quarterback position. Ohio native Kizer had some trouble in 2016, but his sophomore season portrayed his potential. His strong athletic frame mimics that of Dak Prescott. There is much uncertainty on who will start for the Browns in 2017, so extra competition provides an intense race. He threw for 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2016.
Round 3, Pick 1: Larry Ogunjobi, DT, North Carolina Charlotte
Round 4, Pick 20: Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
Round 5, Pick 16: Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
Round 6, Pick 6: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
Round 7, Pick 6: Zane Gonzalez, K, Arizona State
Round 7, Pick 34: Matt Dayes, RB, N.C. State