Over the course of May, both Joe Marino and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the Cleveland Browns.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|1||EDGE||Myles Garrett||Texas A&M|
|29||TE||David Njoku||Miami FL|
|52||QB||DeShone Kizer||Notre Dame|
|160||OT||Roderick Johnson||Florida State|
|224||K||Zane Gonzalez||Arizona State|
|252||RB||Matt Dayes||North Carolina State|
Best Value: (TIE) S Jabrill Peppers, Michigan and TE David Njoku, Miami FL
The Browns had a tremendous first night. In homage to the movie “Draft Day”, Cleveland dealt their way up and down the draft board. When it was all said and done, Cleveland came away with a blue chip prospect in Myles Garrett, a defensive chess piece in Jabrill Peppers and standout Tight End David Njoku. Garrett was my top rated player, while Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku were rated 24th and 28th, respectively.
The pure value vs. my draft board was not the greatest in the first round (that honor goes to DT Caleb Brantley) but the weight of landing potential difference makers is too great to ignore when tallying the assets the Browns were able to land.
Peppers will be given the opportunity to roam around a secondary that currently features Ed Reynolds and Ibraheim Campbell as the starting duo. Peppers may be raw in coverage but his burst, diagnosis skills and tackling can all be featured in the shallows among the athletic front seven that the Browns can now tote with players like Christian Kirksey, Demario Davis and Jamie Collins on the second level.
Njoku, in the meantime, is immediately bumped up to the starting role after the Browns unceremoniously cut incumbent Gary Barnidge on draft weekend. Njoku’s run after catch ability will be a nice dynamic addition to whomever is throwing the ball (2nd year pro Cody Kessler or rookie 2nd round selection DeShone Kizer).
Worst Value: OT Roderick Johnson, Florida State
To put this mildly, Johnson is a mess from a technical standpoint. He’s a standout athlete but lacks a lot of the needed polish to warrant consideration for playing time any time soon. Consider him Cam Erving minus twenty pounds on his frame. I didn’t think Johnson was a draftable player, so him going at 160 overall was a value that missed the mark.
Johnson has plus tools but he’s a massive project and is multiple years away from showcasing himself in a positive light on the field.
Could Surprise: DT Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte
The quick twitched Ogunjobi was higher on my draft board than fellow rookie Caleb Brantley. Ogunjobi redirects well and is capable of getting massive amounts of penetration to push into the backfield. Playing along a defensive front that features Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah rushing from the edge; Ogunjobi figures to be a potential beneficiary in passing situations.
If the Browns roll with a 4 man front in base personnel, Ogunjobi would be a great candidate to start and contribute on all three downs.