Updated: Jul 3, 2019
CLEVELAND - The 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone, creating boundless storylines for every team in the league. The Browns, per usual, are no exception. While general manager John Dorsey was left without a first round pick after the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, he made his mark on the draft with a few steals and some head-scratchers.
After failing to trade into the first round of the draft, Dorsey's first pick was scheduled to come at 49th overall. Starting with a run on cornerbacks, the second round kicked off with Dorsey using the 144th overall selection to trade up from 49th to 46th, securing LSU cornerback Andraez "Greedy" Williams.
Williams, 6'2" 185, was a two-time First-team All-SEC cornerback at Louisiana State and impressed the Browns with his pure coverage ability.
Considered one of the best cover corners in the entire draft, Williams uses his elite speed and length to blanket receivers down the field. This press-man corner struggles against the run, which is why experts feel he fell to 46th overall in the draft. Williams is expected to compete for the starting job across from 2018 first round pick, Denzel Ward.
The second pick the Browns made in the 2019 NFL Draft was BYU linebacker, Sione Takitaki. A late riser, Takitaki's combine numbers likely helped push the 6'1" 238 pound linebacker into day two after a tumultuous college career that saw him suspended multiple times. Still, said suspensions coupled with inconsistent play makes this pick feel like a reach at 80th overall.
He's fierce on the field and plays with reckless abandon. Instinctively, his tape was much improved in 2018, where he saw his play speed improve while his numbers stayed relatively even. For a player that mostly plays the run, he can be a bit stiff at times and struggles with technique. He profiles as a two-down run defender that can add a bit as a pass rusher early in his career.
At the 119th overall pick, the Browns continued to add to their secondary with the addition of Sheldrick Redwine. Redwine, a two-year starter at safety for the Miami Hurricanes, has experience playing all over the secondary and brings physicality to the box. He's played in 37 games for the Hurricanes and improved every season.
In 2018, the 6" 190-pounder accounted for 3 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss and 3 interceptions. Redwine also showed his athleticism at the NFL Combine, where he ran a 4.44 forty-yard-dash time and was a top performer in the vertical and broad jumps.
Continuing to add to their defense, the Browns selected Alabama linebacker Lyndell "Mack" Wilson with the 155th overall pick. Wilson was Second-team All-SEC in 2018 and showed very well on a defense loaded with talent. Wilson's claim to fame is his coverage ability but he's shown some skill as a pass rusher and is improving against the run.
Wilson struggles with instincts in the run game at times, which pushed him down draft boards after he was once considered a first-round talent by some in the scouting community. After not participating in some NFL Combine drills, Wilson's stock took a major hit as well. Stock aside, the 6'1 241 pound linebacker has a chance to contribute on this defense immediately. His experience with the Crimson Tide, along with his familiarity with Freddie Kitchens (who played at Alabama) and his staff (defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi was Alabama's defensive coordinator in 2018), should help Wilson transition to the NFL.
After adding four players to their defense, John Dorsey drafted kicker Austin Seibert. Seibert, a right-footed kicker out of Oklahoma, is the leading scorer at his position in NCAA history with 499 points.
A true special teams junkie, Seibert was the kicker, punter and kicked off for the Sooners during his time in Norman. The 170th overall pick is expected to be in a position battle with the incumbent, Greg Joseph, who made 85 percent of his kicks for the Browns in 2018.
The one and only player added to the offensive side of the ball was 189th overall pick and former Southeast Missouri State Redhawk, Drew Forbes. Forbes, who started at left tackle in college, will likely be transitioning to guard after he showed well at his pro day.
The 6'5" 303 pound Forbes lacks the length to stay at left tackle according to most metrics, but his quick feet and aggressive demeanor could make him a solid fit at either guard or center. Jumping from the Ohio Valley Conference to the NFL is a tall order for a player with only average technique and limited length, but his three-years starting at left tackle should help him make the transition.
With the 221st, and their final, pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Browns took Donnie Lewis Jr. out of Tulane. Lewis Jr. started at cornerback for the Green Wave for four-years and was very productive over that span.
At 6'1" 190 pounds, Lewis Jr. is a prototypical corner that lacks the long speed to be an every down player. He was most productive as a senior, netting three interceptions and accounting for 55 tackles. While he's got the ability to play outside zone coverage, his long term home may be in the slot and on special teams.