Once the 2017 NFL Draft finished, NFL teams started to pursue the players that didn’t get drafted. Teams can either sign them to their 90 man active roster or offer them a tryout at their rookie mini-camps.
The Cleveland Browns haven’t officially signed anyone but they have a list of players who have agreed to contract terms or accepted an invite to the rookie mini-camp, which takes place May 5-8.
- B.J. Bello, LB, Illinois State
- Ronnie Moore, WR, Bowling Green
- Jamal Marcus, DE, Akron
- Kenneth Olugbode, LB, Colorado
- Ladell Fleming, DE, Northern Illinois
- Channing Stribling, CB, Michigan
- Najee Murray, CB, Kent State
- J.D. Harmon, DB, Kentucky
- Mitchell Shegos, WR, Notre Dame
- Tim Crawley, WR, San Jose State
- Josh Boutte, OL, LSU
- Freddie Tagaloa, OL, Arizona
- Karter Schult, DE, Northern Iowa
- Alvin Hill, CB, Maryland
- Kai Nacua, S, BYU
- Donte Carey, S, Grand Valley State
- Nicholas Conte, P, Virginia
Here’s my five players I’ll be watching throughout rookie mini-camp through the preseason if the Browns keep them.
Jamal Marcus, DE Akron
The former Ohio State Buckeye spent the last three years with the Akron Zips after transferring there. He had to sit out the 2014 season because of transfer rules. In 2015, he had 30 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Last year, he only played in seven games and had just 16 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
He’s a bit undersized for a defensive end and NFL.com lists him as a linebacker which seems more like his position going forward.
Channing Stribling, CB, Michigan
While scouts focused on Jourdan Lewis and Browns first round pick Jabrill Peppers, Stribling was quietly making noise as a corner for the Wolverines. Five interceptions in his last two seasons with Michigan after being a reserve with little playing time his first two seasons.
He’s got great size for an NFL cornerback at 6’1. He plays physical which must’ve caught defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ eye when watching film on him. He ran a 4.6 at the combine which could be a red flag going forward with the receivers in the NFL being really fast.
The Browns need secondary help so Stribling likely will get a long look by Cleveland during the offseason.
Kai Nacua, S, BYU
He wasn’t invited to the combine and didn’t get drafted but Nacua is a ball hawk and a great athlete who deserves a shot in the pros.
He had 14 interceptions, good for 4th all-time in school history. He returned two of those interceptions for a touchdown.
In 2016, he recorded 48 total tackles (1.5 for a loss) and had six interceptions.
He ran a 4.5 forty time at his pro day and also had a 39 inch vertical, showing off his athleticism.
SB Nation’s Vanquish The Foe says while he may be small (6’2) for NFL standards but with his athletic ability and knack for getting the football, NFL teams are willing to give him a chance.
Najee Murray, CB, Kent State
A first-team All-MAC corner for the Golden Flashes in 2016, Najee Murray got a second chance with Kent State after getting dismissed from Ohio State.
He’s quick with a 4.44 forty time and has great coverage skills despite only being 5’9. He needs work on his technique but the Browns have great defensive coaches in place to work with him.
He’d likely be a nickelback at the NFL level which the Browns already have with Jamar Taylor but they need depth at the corner position.
Mitchell Shegos, WR, Notre Dame College
A four year standout for Notre Dame College, Shegos put up incredible numbers for the Falcons
- 284 receptions
- 3,580 yards
- 34 touchdowns
- Caught at least one pass in 33 consecutive games
- Tied NCAA Division II record with 23 catches in a game.
Watching his tape, he seemed to just blow past defenders despite his 4.4 speed. I realize it’s Division II football but Ashland’s Adam Shaheen was just drafted in the second round. There’s talent on every level of college football, all that matters is if the scouts can find it.
His report suggests his best role would be in an Wes Welker/Julian Edleman type role. The kid has great hands and I hope wide receiver coach Al Saunders sees the talent I seen when watching Shegos’ tape.