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Browns, 2021 NFL Draft

Cleveland Browns 2021 NFL Draft Grades For Every Pick

It feels so long ago when the Cleveland Browns were the butt of jokes in the NFL. Now, they have one of the best rosters in the league and somehow after the 2021 Draft, it got even better. 

Below are grades for Cleveland’s picks in this year’s rookie selection.

Round 1

No. 26 Overall: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern – A

Had the cornerback class not been so stacked, Greg Newsome II would have undoubtedly been drafted higher. He excels in zone coverage and displays elite speed and athleticism. While he is not nearly as physical as his contemporaries like Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II, he makes up for it with his ball and recognition skills. 

Newsome has ideal size at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds and moves very fluidly. To get one of the best corners toward the end of the first round is an excellent value pick. At the same time, the selection addresses a position in need of depth, especially since incumbent Browns corner Greedy Williams missed all of last season due to injury. 

Round 2

No. 52 Overall: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame – A+

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah faced the problem all tweeners do regardless of the sport. While players like him can play two positions or more at the collegiate level, they may end up not being a good fit to play anything at the professional level. 

Although he is listed as a linebacker, his build is closer to that of a safety at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds. Nevertheless, he is incredible in coverage and can effortlessly match up against tight ends and slot receivers. His speed and length help him do this. 

At this point, Owusu-Koramoah is not very good against the run and he may never be, so it is pertinent that the defensive scheme takes this into account.

The linebacker corps is not a strength of the Browns’ roster and he immediately raises the unit’s ceiling.  Based on analysts’ mock drafts and grades, to get Owusu-Koramoah this late in the second round is one of the biggest steals of the draft. 

Round 3

No. Pick 91 Overall – Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn – B

When Odell Beckham Jr. went down with a season-ending injury last year, the Browns’ wide receiver corps stepped up and proved that they are more than a sum of their parts. 

Anthony Schwartz, with his blazing speed, adds another dimension to this unit. He is a deep threat that can stretch defenses vertically and with quarterback Baker Mayfield’s big arm, you have a deadly combination.  

He does have a light frame, so he will probably best be suited to play inside the slot. Schwartz has some versatility as evidenced by his 323 rushing yards in college.

Round 4

No. 110 Overall: James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati – B

Cleveland has arguably the best offensive line in the league, so playing time will be hard to come by for James Hudson. He is a smooth athlete and remarkably strong, though.

Hudson uses his hands well and is a force in the run game. He is fairly new to the position as he played defensive end in high school. Hudson has issues going up against more agile defenders. 

No. 132 Overall: Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State – B

Tommy Togiai is on the lighter side for an interior defensive lineman, but he makes up for it with his functional strength. He is quick and uses leverage well to beat his man. Togiai excelled at stopping the run, although it remains to be seen if he can translate this to passing plays with the Browns. 

Round 5

N0. 153 Overall: Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia – B-

Justin Fields has a similar build to Owusu-Koramoah, but he does not possess his length. As such, he will probably play the same position as Owusu-Koramoah. 

Fields has a nose for the ball and is a willing tackler. He possesses great instincts and does his best work against the run.  

No. 169 Overall: Richard LeCounte III, S, Georgia – B-

The highlight of the draft combine and pro days is a player’s 40-yard dash time. Of course, this segment does not have the same importance for all positions. It is not the end of the world for an offensive tackle if he had an unimpressive time. 

For defensive backs, the 40-yard dash is a crucial part of their evaluation. Unfortunately, Richard LeCounte III ran a time between 4.76 and 4.82 seconds at Georgia’s Pro Day. His game speed is faster than those times, but this may be one of the reasons for his slide to 169 with the Browns. The substandard times may be a result of his motorcycle accident months elate last year. 

LeCounte is known for coverage skills and can match up against slot receivers.  

Round 6

No. 211 Overall: Demetric Felton, RB, UCLA – B+

Cleveland has an elite running back duo in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, so it will take a while before Felton sees the field as part of the offense. 

He is an elusive runner who can easily be used as a wide receiver, and he also fights hard for extra yards and has good vision. He is slower than one would expect of a smaller running back, however.