Coming into day 3 of the NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected five players in the first three rounds and had five more picks to make. They stuck to the plan of building up the trenches to be dominate on both sides of the line of scrimmage and finding players that fit the motto “Play Like a Brown”. I expected them to continue that trend on Saturday and I believe they did just that.
They had two picks originally in the fourth round at 115 and 116 overall. With their first pick in the fourth round, they selected Ibraheim Campbell, safety out of Northwestern. Campbell was a four year starter and can play both safety positons but is projected more as a strong safety. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald had high praise of Campbell during the NFL Network’s draft coverage comparing him to former Browns safety Jim Leonhard. Campbell is expected to compete with Jordan Poyer for the third safety spot behind Pro Bowl safeties Tashaun Gipson and Donte Whitner. The Browns moved back seven spots after a trade with the Arizona Cardinals which netted them an extra sixth and seventh round pick. With their second pick in the fourth round, the Browns selected wide receiver Vince Mayle from Washington State. Mayle is 6’2 which is a nice size for a receiver. He’s only played football for two years but has made an impact during that time in Washington State’s pass heavy offense. He still needs development and has a history of dropping passes but he’ll compete with Taylor Gabriel for the 4th wide receiver spot in Cleveland.
In the sixth round, the Browns had three picks and with their first selection, they added Charles Gaines, cornerback from Louisville. A former wide receiver, Gaines has great instincts as a corner and put up some good numbers as a Cardinal batting down 12 passes and had 2 interceptions as well as only allowing 46 percent of the passes completed that were thrown his way. Gaines will join the already deep cornerback group in Cleveland of Joe Haden, Justin Gilbert, Robert Nelson, Tramon Williams, Pierre Desir and K’Wuan Williams. The Browns also drafted two tight ends in the sixth round, Malcom Johnson from Mississippi State and Randall Telfer from the University of Southern California. Johnson is expected to be in the H-Back role playing both tight end and fullback. Telfer is coming off a foot injury in February and Browns general manager Ray Farmer isn’t sure when Telfer will be available so it’s possible Telfer could have be placed on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list and have a “redshirt” season to get healthy. Telfer has been called one of the better blocking tight ends in the draft so look for him to compete with Jim Dray once he’s healthy.
The Browns drafted linebacker Hayes Pullard from the University of Southern California with their first of two selections in the seventh round. He’s an athletic linebacker but lacks the aggressiveness to be a dominate tackler. He’ll come in and likely be mentored by Karlos Dansby and Craig Robertson to help teach him to become a dominate linebacker in the league. With their last pick, the Browns may have got the steal of the draft in Oregon cornerback Ifo Expre-Olomu. Expre-Olomu was graded by some experts as the best corner in the draft class before tearing his ACL in December preparing for the Ducks battle against Florida State in the Rose Bowl. It’s unsure of when he’ll be ready so i’m fully expecting him to be shutdown for the 2015 season to allow him to keep rehabbing his knee and be ready for the 2016 season.
I believe the Browns had a great draft. They addressed some needs but stuck to their core values of what and how they wanted to build this team. I don’t know if they’ll keep all twelves draft picks on the roster but I fully expect each one of these players to give the maximum effort to make the Browns roster. Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine picked these twelve because they believe can “Play Like a Brown” and be the physical, tough, hard working, high character people that Farmer and Pettine want to play Cleveland Browns football.