The 2019 NFL Draft came and went. The Cleveland Browns did not have a first-round pick, but they ended the three-day event making seven selections. The team added cornerback Greedy Williams in the second round, linebacker Sione Takitaki in the third round, safety Sheldrick Redwine in the fourth round, linebacker Mack Wilson and kicker Austin Seibert in the fifth round, offensive lineman Drew Forbes in the sixth round and cornerback Donnie Lewis in the seventh round.
The Browns’ 2019 draft had an interesting feel to it because of the lack of a first round pick. So, how did they do? Well, here is my breakdown of the Browns 2019 NFL Draft.
Favorite Pick: CB Greedy Williams, LSU
The pick of cornerback Greedy Williams was by far my favorite pick. Williams was my No. 2 rated cornerback and the No. 13 overall player on my big board. I believed he was worth a first round pick, so I believe this pick is a great value. Williams has the talent to be a starting corner. He is best in press coverage where he uses his length and athleticism to mirror receivers across the field. I love that the Browns were able to get a player of this caliber without a first-round pick. Williams will hopefully form a great young starting cornerback duo with Denzel Ward, while also allowing the corners further down on the depth chart to settle into more suitable roles.
Least Favorite Pick: K Austin Seibert, Oklahoma
My least favorite pick was kicker Austin Seibert. This has nothing with the player. I just was not in favor of picking a rookie kicker. I do not like spending draft capital on the kicker position, especially after the failed pick of Zane Gonzalez. I wanted the Browns to go after a veteran kicker, rather than a rookie. There are still free agents like Matt Bryant or Phil Dawson. Relying on a rookie kicker is just not the direction I wanted the team to go towards. I have nightmares from the Gonzalez experience.
Pick I Need To Study More: LB Sione Takitaki, BYU
I am so interested in studying linebacker Sione Takitaki more. The Browns second-round pick is an interesting prospect at a position of need for the Browns. The Browns used a higher pick to nab him, so I want to see what Takitaki is bringing to the table and how he will fit on the team. He is a relative unknown to me.
Best Under-the-Radar Pick: OL Drew Forbes, Southeast Missouri State
I love the idea of offensive lineman Drew Forbes. He is a small school prospect with great athleticism. His addition also brings versatility to the line. Forbes played offensive tackle in college, but many draft analysts believe he is best suited at offensive guard. I believe he is a moldable lineman who can develop under new offensive line coach James Campen. He has all the physical talent you look for in a lineman, so he is a perfect developmental lineman who provides depth and versatility on the roster.
Biggest Instant Impact: CB Greedy Williams, LSU
The biggest instant impact will be cornerback Greedy Williams. I think Williams could catapult right into a starting role opposite of Denzel Ward. Williams is probably the most talented corner on the team not named Denzel Ward. The Browns second-round pick will be competing almost immediately for the starting job. But, he could also be a special team contributor on the coverage teams because of his athleticism.
Best Late-Round Value: LB Mack Wilson, Alabama
I think the pick of linebacker Mack Wilson was a huge steal for the Browns and a player who I thought had the talent to go a couple of rounds earlier. He was my No. 2 rated linebacker in the class and the No. 46 overall player on my big board. Wilson is an all-around linebacker who plays really well in coverage. The Browns needed depth at linebacker, so the value and need came together perfectly with Wilson. I think Wilson could be a contributor on Day 1 for the Browns. His coverage skills are just a unique talent I believe the Browns will try to utilize next season.
Biggest Special Teams Contributor: K Austin Seibert, Oklahoma
Obviously, this is quite clear this season. The Browns drafted Austin Seibert to be their starting kicker. So, Seibert will be the biggest special teams contributor from this class. Besides the obvious pick of Seibert, I believe Sheldrick Redwine will also be a big contributor on special teams. His combination of the athleticism and physicality should play well on the coverage teams.
Biggest Need Area Filled: Secondary
The Browns hit the secondary hard with the 2019 NFL Draft. In total, the Browns took three defensive backs, with two corners and one safety coming in. The Browns needed to address the depth of both corner and safety and they did that with the 2019 NFL Draft class. The Browns may have added a starter at cornerback, a contributor at safety and developmental/special teams contributor at corner. The Browns also hit the linebacker spot hard with the selection of two linebackers this past weekend.
Biggest Need Not Filled: Interior Defensive Line
The Browns did not select an interior defensive lineman in the 2019 NFL Draft. I was quite surprised because this class was deep with talent, so I believed the Browns could get a good value throughout the draft. But, the Browns went a different direction for all seven selections. As the rumors of Gerald McCoy start up again, I definitely see the Browns addressing this position post-draft either through trades or free agency.