The Cleveland Browns had their fair share of good picks in the 2017 NFL Draft. Then there is the consolation prize players who went undrafted. The Browns were able to sign a handful of these players who had the choice of any NFL team willing to ink their contract immediately after the draft concluded. Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton seems to think that two of them can “make major waves” this offseason, on a team that still has plenty of holes and rooms for improvement. The two players who chose that were signed by Cleveland: BYU safety Kai Nacua and Kent State cornerback Najee Murray.
The Browns may have drafted Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers with their second of three first round picks over the weekend, but they still need plenty of help at their other safety spot. During his four-year career at BYU, Nacua totaled 165 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 14 interceptions, 12 passes defended, one fumble recovery, and two touchdowns in 38 games. During his Pro Day, the safety ran a 4.49 40-yard dash. While that doesn’t jump off the boards, that’s still quite fast for a safety. Nacua may be a bad tackler, but Peppers and Tyvis Powell can make up for that weakness.
While he went undrafted, Wharton believes that Nacua is one of the best athletes in the class and has plenty of promise in order to not only compete but potentially start in the NFL. On a safety-needy team like the Browns, Nacua may have have found the perfect scenario.
A local product, Murray committed to Ohio State before transferring to Kent State following his freshman year in Columbus. As a member of the Golden Flashes, he notched 100 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 21 passes defended, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and four fumbles recovered in 27 games as a member of the Golden Flashes.
Besides Joe Haden, the Browns badly need help at cornerback. A slot-only option due to his height (5-foot-9), Murray has the toughness to make up for his lack of size.
Both of these players will not only compete in training camp, but have a great shot at possibility being on the roster come the season opener if they play their cards right.
Others who made the list:
- WR Ishmael Zamora, Oakland Raiders
- TE Darrell Daniels, Indianapolis Colts
- OG Aviante Collins, Minnesota Vikings
- LB Connor Harris, New York Jets
- LB Dylan Cole, Houston Texans
- S Lorenzo Jerome, San Francisco 49ers