Player News - Browns

Date: Team: Pos:

Browns signed Maryland K Brad Craddock.

Craddock (6'0/186) earned the 2014 Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker before suffering a season-ending wrist dislocation nine games into his senior year. He finished his career 57-of-70 (81.4 percent) on field goals with four missed extra points. Craddock has an NFL leg and is a willing tackler in kick coverage, but he needs to improve his kickoffs to become a full-time NFL placekicker. Craddock's competition in Cleveland will be "Travis Coons."
May 5 - 1:09 PM

Browns coach Hue Jackson said Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell "are as good as I've seen in a while."

"Their talent is extreme," he added. This is the second time this week Jackson has talked up his running back duo, but he went a step further with his praise of each back on Tuesday. "Duke has suddenness and quickness and he can go catch the ball with anybody," Jackson said. "He does so many different things that gives your offense a boost." Johnson should serve as the passing-down complement to Crowell, a role Giovani Bernard rode to 1,202 total yards last season.
May 4 - 7:34 PM

Browns coach Hue Jackson said Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson "are as good as I've seen in a while."

Jackson said he was "very happy" with the running backs on the roster earlier this week, but he took it a step further Tuesday. "I really think Isaiah Crowell is a really good running back," Jackson said. "Obviously, Isaiah is very explosive. He's got quick feet, he's fast in the hole, he runs with good pad level." Crowell has struggled to consistently contribute in the pros, but he was a highly-rated prospect with a tantalizing skill set. It sounds like he will be given every chance to earn a workhorse role, and he has the talent to make the carries count.
May 4 - 7:32 PM

Browns coach Hue Jackson said he is "very happy" with the running backs on the roster.

"From top to bottom, I think we have some good candidates here," Jackson continued. Despite drafting 14 players -- four of them receivers -- the Browns did not add a running back, leaving Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson as the clear top dogs on the depth chart. With Crowell as his new Jeremy Hill and Johnson as his new Giovani Bernard, Jackson will try to jump-start a rushing offense which produced just 1,529 yards and five scores last season.
May 3 - 9:35 AM

The Browns will not exercise OLB Barkevious Mingo's fifth-year team option for 2017.

As you were. The 2013 first-round bust has already spent the offseason packing on pounds as he tries for one final revival of his NFL fortunes. Mingo got as low as 227 pounds, but is now in the 260 range. He's hoping to become harder to block. We aren't holding our breath.
May 2 - 2:32 PM

Browns signed Florida State DT Nile Lawrence-Stample.

Lawrence-Stample (6'1/320) was a two-year starter for the Seminoles, rebounding from an injury-plagued junior year to post 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks as a senior en route to first-team All-ACC honors from the conference's coaches. Lawrence-Stample is a thickly-built fire hydrant with run-stuffing potential, but he offers zero in the way of pass rush and didn't dominate on early downs at FSU. Lawrence-Stample was an overrated college player with an NFL backup's ceiling.
May 1 - 12:53 PM

Browns signed Missouri CB Kenya Dennis.

Dennis (5'11/200) started two seasons for the Tigers after transferring from JUCO, tallying seven tackles for loss and two interceptions. He turned heads at Mizzou's Pro Day, running 4.51 with a 36-inch vertical and 10-foot-5 broad jump. Dennis had a nondescript senior college season, but he's worth a flyer based on athletic upside. With the ability to play both corner and safety, Dennis could carve out a career as a versatile reserve.
May 1 - 12:47 PM

Browns signed Oklahoma LB Dominique Alexander.

Alexander (6'0/232) was a surprise early entrant following a solid-not-spectacular three-year stay at OU, spreading 16.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles across 35 starts. Alexander played inside linebacker for the Sooners, but lacks size to stay there in the pros and is likely too athletically deficient (4.76 forty, 8'8" broad jump) to play sideline to sideline outside. Alexander is a physical player whose tape is better than his metrics, but there's a good chance he maxes out on special teams.
May 1 - 12:44 PM

Browns EVP of football operations Sashi Brown claims third-round QB Cody Kessler will get a chance to start.

"It's a competition," Brown said. "We'll let it play out." Although both Brown and coach Hue Jackson are openly smitten with Kessler, consider us deeply skeptical that he'll get a legitimate chance to start as a rookie. Kessler is essentially a prototype game manager. He needs time to get up to NFL speed, and is best suited for clipboard duties in 2016, at least to begin the year. It will be a different story if Robert Griffin III hasn't made major strides on his final days in Washington.
Apr 30 - 8:38 PM

Browns selected Arizona ILB Scooby Wright with the No. 250 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Wright (6'0/239) turned pro after three years at U of A, amassing 42 career tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks and six forced fumbles across 29 starts. Wright earned 2014's Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year before missing all but three games as a 2015 true junior with a torn lateral meniscus and sprained foot. His Combine measurables disappointed, running 4.90 with a 31-inch vertical. In college, Wright overcame his limitations with instincts, quickness and a hair-on-fire playing demeanor. Before earning any defensive snaps in the NFL, Wright will have to pay special-teams dues first.
Apr 30 - 6:33 PM

Browns acquired CB Jamar Taylor and the No. 250 overall pick in the 2016 draft from the Dolphins in exchange for the No. 223 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Taylor was the 54th overall pick in the 2013 draft, but has been a big part of the problem on the back end of Miami's defense the past couple seasons. He's started nine games the past two years, but was Pro Football Focus' fifth-worst cover corner out of 118 qualifiers last season. In Cleveland, he'll get a fresh start and compete for a sub-package and special teams role.
Apr 30 - 5:05 PM

Browns selected Louisiana-Monroe CB Trey Caldwell with the No. 173 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Caldwell is a sub-5-foot-9 corner and likely projects to the slot because of it. His 10 yard split of 1.50 seconds is ridiculous, and resulted in a 4.51 forty. His short shuttle of 4.19 seconds and 3-cone of 6.6 seconds are both very good, too. He played on 81.3 percent of the school's snaps last year. We don't know much about his game outside of that.
Apr 30 - 3:34 PM

Browns selected Colorado State WR Rashard Higgins with the No. 172 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Higgins (6'1/196) dominated the Mountain West before leaving school as a true junior, setting CSU career records for catches (239), receiving yards (3,649), and receiving TDs (31) in only three seasons. He earned first-team All-Mountain West accolades in both 2014 and 2015. Higgins' stock took a hit at the Combine, managing a 4.64 forty and 32-inch vertical. Higgins' athletic shortcomings are an obvious concern, but he may be able to overcome with standout ball skills and glue-like hands. He's sort of a mini Laquon Treadwell. An area of immense need, the Browns have now selected four receivers in the 2016 draft.
Apr 30 - 3:31 PM

Browns selected Baylor OL Spencer Drango with the No. 168 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Drango (6'6/315) made 48 starts at left tackle for Baylor, earning 2015's Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year and first-team All-Big 12 in each of his final three seasons. Despite his decorated college career, Drango is a borderline NFL prospect due to athleticism so poor he might not even able to hack it at guard. Drango does offer NFL-level physical dimensions with adequate arm length (33"), strong weight-room work ethic (30 bench-press reps), and a successful track record in pass protection, allowing zero sacks as a senior. He'll try to make it inside at guard.
Apr 30 - 3:22 PM

Browns selected UCLA WR Jordan Payton with the No. 154 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Payton (6'1/207) made 40 starts for the Bruins, finishing his career as UCLA's all-time leader in receptions (201). He parlayed them into 2,702 yards (13.4 YPR) and 11 touchdowns. Payton helped himself in Indy, running 4.47 with a 34 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. An aggressive and physical wideout, Payton projects as a strong-handed possession target who will likely struggle to beat NFL man coverage. He has some potential to grow into a reliable No. 3 receiver, perhaps in the Jason Avant mold.
Apr 30 - 2:42 PM


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