|Emmanuel Ogbah had a few Sacks in 2016, including this one of Joe Flacco.|
The Browns famously drafted 14 players in 2016. One question is, were any of them any good?
First of all, it's still very early. Many times players emerge two or three years later. But let's check on their progress so far:
No. 15. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor. Corey had two good games, broke his ankle and never gained more than 40 receiving yards again. He got an F grade from Pro Football Focus. Coach Jackson criticized his conditioning last year, and he had a minor offseason incident this offseason. You can see that he has the speed and the moves to be a successful wide receiver, but he is an underachiever.
Round 2 – No. 32. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State. This was a bit of a head-scratcher for me, since the Browns were planning to use a 34 defense, so they drafted a guy who is perfect for the 43 defense. Ogbah is a defensive end in the 43. He is not a linebacker, and he is significantly undersized to play DE in the 34. Face it, 34 DEs are 300 pound guys, and Ogbah was giving away 25 pounds. Ogbah was impressive getting to the passer, but on running plays he was beyond awful. I think he can be a very good player for Greg Williams, but we kind of shafted Ray Horton by giving him a player who did fit the defensive scheme.
Round 3 No. 65. Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State. Just to prove they were unfazed with drafting a 43 DE for a 34 defense, they did the same thing with Carl Nassib, another 275 pound guy who played out of position his first year. Like Ogbah, he is a much better fit to Greg Williams' defense rather than Ray Horton's. Sorry Ray.
No. 76. Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn, Injuries set back Coleman, but he got some playing time in the last game and definitely outplayed Cam Erving. He may have a shot to become a regular, but took very few snaps in 2016.
No. 93. Cody Kessler, QB, USC. I like Cody Kessler for putting up decent numbers as a rookie in a horrible offense. Once we lost OLs Joel Bitonio and John Greco, we were toast, and accumulated more quarterback sacks and hits than the terrible 1999 expansion team. Cody is rated as the number 22 QB by Pro Football Focus, ahead of Marcus Mariota but the media seems to hate him and can't wait to run him out of town replace him with a hotshot rookie. I don't get it.
No. 99. Joe Schobert, LB, Wisconsin. Joe did not impress as a 3-4 outside linebacker, where he was thirty pounds underweight. He will be better off as a backup 43 outside linebacker.
No. 114. Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn Ricardo did well at the Combine, though the buzz was that he wasn't that good. But in fact he got the second most yards than of rookie wide receivers behind Coleman and performed well on special teams. He was good enough to be a number 3 or 4 wide receiver.
No. 129. Derrick Kindred, S, TCU. Wound up on IR but showed some talent as a rookie free safety. Good enough to get playing time as an extra safety
No. 138* Seth DeValve, TE/WR, Princeton. I didn't like the idea of taking a tight end who didn't have to block at Harvard, but DeValve made some sensational catches down the stretch. I think he's a number two tight end and could improve. further
No. 154. Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA. Had some drug issues and didn't do very much. F-
No. 168. Spencer Drango, OL, Baylor. Got some playing time when injuries hit, and jumped ahead of Shon Coleman. He was totally outclassed as a rookie and needs to improve. As a rookie he was totally an F.
No. 172* Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State. Showed some ability as a blocking receiver and got a start when Corey Coleman got hurt. Another guy who was terrible but might still improve.
No. 173* Trey Caldwell, CB, ULM. Caldwell did okay as an extra corner. I think he will make the team, but doesn't have much support to be awarded a starting job.
No. 250. Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona. Scooby got cut and signed by the Cardinals. Whiff.
In summary, the Browns didn't have any rookied that actually looked good. They have some borderline starters in Ogbah, Kessler, Nassib, and Corey Coleman. Other guys who might develop into starting caliber players are Kindred, DeValve, Shon Coleman and Louis. Guys that really need to improve are Schobert, Caldwell, Higgins, Drango and Jordan.
I think the Browns really want to give young players a shot to develop, and avoid one-and-done. Rookie years are usually rather bad for most players, so it will be interesting to see how it works for them as second year players. I am sure they will be better, but how much better? Will they as a group show improvement over the 3-13 2015 team of Ray Farmer?
Considering that they lost several veterans last year, they need to have about six guys evolve into starters. It's possible. They got good value up and down the draft, with maybe the biggest concern at this point being the failure of Corey Coleman to play like a Pro.