Player News - Browns

Date: Team: Pos:

Browns signed Michigan CB Channing Stribling.

Stribling (6’1/188) made 18 starts in four years as a Wolverine, breaking out as a senior boundary corner for team highs in pass breakups (17) and interceptions (4) en route to second-team All-Big Ten honors. PFF College charted Stribling with an anemic 22.7 passer rating and one touchdown pass allowed in 2016. Stribling proceeded to bomb the Combine, running 4.60 and posting sub-1st-percentile SPARQ results. Stribling was a non-factor in run defense at Michigan and managed five bench-press reps in Indy. He’s a good college player who doesn’t profile as an NFL corner.
Apr 29 - 8:36 PM

Browns selected North Carolina State RB Matt Dayes with the No. 252 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Dayes (5’9/205) spent the better part of two years as the Wolfpack’s starting running back, graduating with a 550-2,856-34 (5.19 YPC) rushing line and 98 career catches. Dayes rebounded from a year-ending turf toe injury as a junior for his best campaign as senior, rushing for 100-plus yards in 8-of-13 games and earning second-team All-ACC. Dayes’ tape revealed an ordinary runner lacking flash in any area, but he is a tough, smart back who held his own in the passing game. A jack of many trades but master of none, Dayes could carve out an NFL career as a Chester Taylor-type back.
Apr 29 - 6:40 PM

Browns selected Arizona State K Zane Gonzalez with the No. 224 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Gonzalez (6’0/202) graduated from ASU as the D-I record holder in career field goals made (96) and points scored (494) by a kicker. He nailed 92% of his field-goal tries as a senior and went 7-of-9 from 50-plus yards out. Gonzalez also recorded a touchback on 59-of-81 kickoffs (72.8%) in 2016. A better prospect than Bucs 2016 second-round pick Roberto Aguayo, Gonzalez is a legitimate perfectionist who’s been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, perhaps contributing to his success.
Apr 29 - 5:43 PM

Browns selected Florida DL Caleb Brantley with the No. 185 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Brantley (6’3/307) made 22 starts in three seasons at Florida managing 20 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. SEC coaches voted him second-team all-conference in 2016. Although Brantley’s production doesn’t pop off the stat sheet, his tape pops with country strength and an ability to shoot gaps in double teams. Similar to Patriots DT Malcom Brown, Brantley is a scheme-versatile prospect capable of anchoring at nose and pushing the pocket at three technique. Unfortunately, Brantley was charged with battery last week for allegedly knocking a woman unconscious. He was a likely day-two pick before the arrest.
Apr 29 - 3:53 PM

Browns traded up to select Florida State T Roderick Johnson with the No. 160 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Johnson (6’7/299) turned pro after making 31 starts at left tackle in Tallahassee. He earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as both a sophomore and junior, awarded to the ACC’s top offensive lineman. While Johnson’s college accolades look impressive on paper, he is a frustrating player on tape. He struggled in pass protection while excelling in the run game, but doesn’t have the body type of a dominant NFL run blocker. Johnson also tested as a disappointing 26th-percentile athlete at the Seminoles’ Pro Day. Johnson offers freaky-long arms (36") and ample theoretical upside, but he may need a year of hard NFL coaching before realizing it.
Apr 29 - 2:44 PM

Browns traded up to select Houston CB Howard Wilson with the No. 126 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Wilson (6’1/184) turned pro after making just 16 starts in three years at Houston, tallying nine interceptions and earning first-team American Athletic Conference as a 2016 junior. Wilson struggled in the forty (4.57) and jumps in Indy, but ripped up the three-cone drill (6.68) and short shuttle (3.94) and profiles as a quick-twitch playmaker, even if NFL teams will be hesitant to line him up outside. Wilson’s short-area quickness and ball skills make him a compelling prospect.
Apr 29 - 1:09 PM

Browns coach Hue Jackson said second-round QB DeShone Kizer will have an "opportunity to compete" for the starting job along with every other quarterback on the roster.

The coach has said almost the exact same thing all offseason. "Let's let these guys get here and learn our offense," Jackson said, "and go out on the field and let's see how it all turns out." For now, that means Kizer will compete with Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and Brock Osweiler for the starting job, although the latter's future with the organization remains murky. Kizer might have the most upside of any quarterback in this year's class, but he needs some polish. It will not be surprising if Kessler opens the season as the starter.
Apr 29 - 10:02 AM

Browns selected UNC Charlotte DL Larry Ogunjobi with the No. 65 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft.

Ogunjobi (6’3/305) made 46 starts for the 49ers, establishing school records in tackles (217), tackles for loss (49), sacks (13), and QB hurries (33). He was voted first-team All-C-USA by the conference’s coaches as a senior. Ogunjobi’s stock elevated at the Combine with No. 2 SPARQ results among defensive linemen, including a sub-5.00 forty. He also aced the Wonderlic Exam (36). On tape, Ogunjobi was a man amongst boys in Conference USA, frequently de-cleating blockers and earning PFF College’s No. 4 run-defense grade in 2016. Ogunjobi reminds of Grady Jarrett as an unheralded two-way impact player with run-defense and pass-rush ability. The Browns continue to make smart picks.
Apr 28 - 9:38 PM

Browns selected Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer with the No. 52 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

The Browns have found their competition for Cody Kessler. (Sorry, Brock.) Kizer (6’4/233) turned pro as a junior after making 23 starts for the Irish, going 12-11 and completing just 60.7% of his throws with an 8.4 YPA and 47:19 TD-to-INT ratio. A dangerous scrambler, Kizer added 18 rushing TDs. Although he looks like Daunte Culpepper with a big body, power arm, and supreme poise in the pocket amid chaos, Kizer struggled to keep his job over Malik Zaire in the second half of last season, got benched against Stanford, seemingly lost confidence, and often fails to process information quickly on tape. Kizer’s touch and ball placement are additional concerns. While Kizer checks some boxes as a potential franchise quarterback, he's a major project. Kessler should have a major leg up on Week 1 duties.
Apr 28 - 8:42 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Buccaneers, Chargers and Jets have all reached out to the Packers about acquiring the No. 33 overall pick.

Rotoworld draft expert Josh Norris believes the Buccaneers are looking to add a running back while the Chargers and Jets are eyeing a quarterback at the top of the second round. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported earlier that Green Bay would consider Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer at No. 33. It might be a smokescreen, but it's got the Jets and Chargers worried enough to try and trade up. The Bucs are likely targeting Florida State RB Dalvin Cook, who they considered taking at 19 overall before pivoting to Alabama TE O.J. Howard.
Apr 28 - 5:33 PM

According to ESPN's Mike Triplett, quarterback is "in play" for the Saints on Day 2 of the draft.

While Triplett would like to see New Orleans land Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs if he falls to the third round, Miami’s Brad Kaaya, Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer, Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman and Cal’s Davis Webb will all be options to consider at No. 42. The Packers are reportedly interested in Kizer at No. 33, but that could be a smokescreen. The Saints are probably wise to start thinking about life after Drew Brees.
Source: ESPN.com
Apr 28 - 1:26 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer is "in play" for the Packers at No. 33 overall.

Holding the top pick of the second round after trading back with the Browns, the Packers are trying to drum up interest in the pick and move back to acquire even more selections. GM Ted Thompson is likely floating the rumor that he is willing to take Kizer in order to get some other QB-needy team to come and take him before they do. In reality, the Packers have far greater holes to fill than taking a project QB like Kizer to sit behind Aaron Rodgers for multiple years.
Apr 28 - 11:12 AM

The Browns will use first-rounder Jabrill Peppers at strong safety.

He'll also have a role on offense and special teams as a unique talent who can help at running back, in the wildcat, and as a return man. New Browns DC Gregg Williams had success with the Rams with a former small-ish first-round safety-turned-linebacker in Mark Barron, so we could even see Peppers get looks at weak-side 'backer. The Browns had gaping holes at both safety spots heading into the first round. Expect Peppers to play closer to the line of scrimmage.
Apr 28 - 9:40 AM

Browns traded up with the Packers to select Miami TE David Njoku at the No. 29 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Green Bay received the Nos. 33 and 108 overall picks. Njoku (6’4/246) lasted two years at Miami before going pro, logging a 64-1,060-9 (16.6 YPR) receiving line and averaging 11.2 yards after the catch. Even at the ripe ages of 19 and 20, Njoku was a man amongst boys in the ACC. He logged playing time as an in-line tight end and showed a competitive willingness to tangle with much bigger defensive linemen. Njoku isn’t an O.J. Howard-caliber blocker, but he is functional in that area and is certain to cause passing-game mismatches as a 93rd-percentile athlete with LeBronian length (35 ¼-inch arms, 82 ½-inch wingspan). While Howard has the highest floor in this year’s tight end class, Njoku offers the highest pass-catching ceiling. Njoku should see the field early in two-tight end sets across from Gary Barnidge.
Apr 27 - 11:21 PM

Browns selected Michigan DB/ST Jabrill Peppers with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Peppers (5’11/213) was a highly decorated collegiate, earning the 2016 Paul Horning Award as the nation’s most versatile player and making 25 starts, logging 21.5 tackles for loss and averaging an impressive 13.1 career yards per punt return. Peppers tested like Deone Bucannon at the Combine, running 4.46 with a 10-foot-8 broad jump and 19 bench-press reps. While Peppers’ college hype was greater than his NFL projection, he offers linebacker-cornerback-safety-punt-return versatility and will be an immediate contributor, even if Peppers’ long-term defensive position remains to be seen. The Browns’ biggest secondary need is safety, so we figure he’ll be given a look there first.
Apr 27 - 11:01 PM


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