Cleveland Browns Rookies Forecast

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Solid Starter

Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State – Round 3
I think the Browns have a lot of mid-round and third-day picks who could turn into solid starters. Joe Schobert, Spencer Drango, Rashard Higgins and Scooby Wright all have potential to be steals in my opinion. I’m not a fan of some of Cleveland’s early round selections, but Nassib is one of the exceptions. While he doesn’t have a special skill set for the NFL, I think Nassib has enough physical talent to go along with a great work ethic and football character to turn himself into a solid pro.

From a skill-set perspective, Nassib doesn’t blow you away as he isn’t overly fast or physical. He has displayed some pass-rushing moves, but they will need continued improvement for the NFL. Having a club and rip move would make sense to go with his speed, spin move, and bull rush. Nassib really doesn’t have the speed to beat left tackles, but he would be a good rusher to go against right tackles. He also is a tough run defender who has the size and strength to hold his ground at the point of attack.

In the NFL, I think Nassib (6-6, 273) will have some versatility to be an end in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. That flexibility will help him, and I believe that with his great intangibles he is going to work himself into a solid starter.

Most Likely To Bust

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor – Round 1
A lot of rookie general managers end up having disappointing first drafts as they typically are taking over a front office in January and having to hire a new coaching staff along with other members of the football operations. That is a huge distraction and changeover to go through halfway through the draft process. As a result, a lot of teams have busts from that draft class. I think Cleveland could have a few busts from its selections in the first three rounds. I think third-round quarterback Cody Kessler will be nothing more than a third-stringer, if that. I think third-round offensive tackle Shon Coleman could easily be a bust because he is weak in pass protection and has poor technique. However, I think Corey Coleman has real bust potential, and after being a first-round pick, the expectations are much higher.

In speaking with sources, they see some issues that Coleman needs to work on as he gains experience. They say that while he is quick, he is not all that sudden or NFL explosive. They feel that his running after the catch was good in college, but they suspect that it won’t be as good in the NFL. A big issue that some team sources see with Coleman is his route-running and lack of development. At Baylor, Coleman only ran four routes: a hitch, slant, post, and go route. Thus, he will need to learn more routes for the NFL. Team sources also say that Coleman drops a lot of balls. Thus, he is more of a developmental project than is commonly thought.

Coleman (5-10, 194) is a small receiver who isn’t overly fast, plus lacks the size to make up for it. NFL cornerbacks are bigger and faster than the terrible competition he beat in the Big XII. I think Coleman could struggle to get open against quick corners, and big corners will be a problem for him as well. Adding in the fact Coleman’s his route-running needs a lot of work and he drops passes, I think there is a significant possibility that he will be a bust.

Potential Boom Pick

Emmanuel Ogbah, DT, Oklahoma State – Round 2
I’m tempted to pick seventh-rounder Scooby Wright for this because I think he has great instincts and he had a strong 2014 season. However, one can’t count on NFL teams to give late-round picks a true chance at playing time or a roster spot. Thus, I’ll stick with one of Cleveland’s early rounders. Of the Browns’ many selections on Days 1 and 2, I think that Ogbah has the most upside to be a boom pick. He has a good skill set and the production to illustrate that he can play up to his athletic ability.

For the NFL, Ogbah projects as a dangerous pass-rusher off the edge. He has a quick get-off and turn around the corner, but he isn’t a great bender and is somewhat stiff. Ogbah uses a strong hand-slap to get blockers off him when turning around the corner and closes on the quarterback in a hurry. His hand strength to slap off linemen is very impressive. He also uses a rip move and bull rush. Ogbah has to get more consistent, but the 6-foot-4, 273-pounder has the skill set to be a difference-maker.

The Browns were in need of upgrading their pass rush, and I think Ogbah will have every opportunity to succeed because Barkevious Mingo has been a bust, while Paul Kruger is a declining veteran. Ogbah could play quickly, and it wouldn’t surprise me if ends up being a boom pick for Cleveland.

Future Depth Player

Cody Kessler, QB, USC – Round 3
Kessler has a noodle arm, and in my opinion, he will never be a decent starting quarterback in the NFL. In speaking with sources, quarterbacks that lack even an average arm prevent teams from running certain plays and receivers are limited in what routes they can run. Thus, I don’t think Kessler will ever be a starter. That being said Kessler is a smart, accurate passer in the short part of the field. I think he could be a decent No. 3 quarterback in the NFL and maybe a backup. Kessler’s future is serving as depth.

Walt’s 2016 NFL Draft Grades:

15. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor B+ Grade
The Browns needed a play-maker. Actually, they needed about five play-makers. Well, one down, four to go.

This is a bit higher than I’ve seen Corey Coleman projected, but part of that was the fit. Most teams like larger receivers, so it was difficult to slot him. However, Coleman is an athletic freak, and he’s exactly what Cleveland had to acquire. Even better, the Browns moved down to snag him, which definitely helps this grade.

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

32. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State I CHANGED MY MILLEN Grade
I said I’d give the Browns a Millen if they didn’t take Myles Jack at No. 32. Well, OK, I guess I lied, but I’m still marking Cleveland down for not taking perhaps the best talent in the 2016 NFL Draft atop Round 2. The reason this is not a Millen is because I like Emmanuel Ogbah. However, I don’t know about his scheme fit in a 3-4, so this is still pretty bad. I don’t get why Cleveland didn’t pick Jack.

Actually, you know what? I changed my mind. This is a Millen. The Browns are a losing franchise and needed a winner like Jack. This is a Millen.

65. Carl Nassib, DE/DT, Penn State B Grade
Carl Nassib is a 1-year wonder, but he certainly had one incredible season in 2015. Taking such players can be risky, but several teams we spoke to slotted Nassib in the third round, so this is the right range for him. The Browns needed help up front entering the draft, meaning Nassib makes sense.

76. Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn C Grade
I can’t say I’m a big fan of this pick. I don’t hate it, as Shon Coleman has some good ability. He’s also a nice story, as he has recovered from leukemia. However, some teams had dropped him because they don’t think he’ll be ready to play right away. The Browns can wait though, as they won’t have a realistic shot at the playoffs until at least 2018.

93. Cody Kessler, QB, USC D Grade
The good news is that the Browns traded down for this pick. The bad news is that they used this pick on a horrible quarterback prospect. Cody Kessler is a small signal-caller with a weak arm. He could be a nice backup in the NFL, but I don’t see how Cleveland could ever envision him as a starter. The Browns told Robert Griffin that he’d have to compete with a young quarterback. The only way he’ll ever lose to Kessler is if he shows up both drunk and high to practice every day, and even then, it’ll be close.

99. Joe Schobert, DE/OLB, Wisconsin B Grade
A point was made that the Browns have drafted players with high levels of production thus far. That’s Joe Schobert in a nutshell. He’s not a good athlete, but he’s a solid football player and should be able to bolster a weak Cleveland pass rush. Not a bad way to start Day 3.

114. Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn C Grade
The Browns obviously needed a second receiver, and definitely a third as well. Ricardo Louis is a reach, however, as he easily could’ve been chosen two rounds later. Louis has incredible athleticism and possesses major upside, but he hasn’t been a good player. He drops way too many passes, which will agonize Cleveland fans.

129. Derrick Kindred, S, TCU C Grade
Derrick Kindred was projected as a sixth- or seventh-round prospect, but it’s not a terrible thing to reach at the end of the fourth frame. Kindred seems like he’ll be good in run support, but his coverage skills are questionable, at best. I’d say the Browns needed a safety, but they needed everything except a left tackle entering the 2016 NFL Draft.

138. Seth DeValve, TE, Princeton D Grade
Leave it to the Browns to use a fourth-round pick on a player no one has ever heard of. I didn’t rank Seth DeValve in my top 400 prospects, and I imagine that most teams had him as UDFA fodder. I don’t get it, though it should be noted that Facebook friend Luke T. joked that he though the Browns drafted someone named Safety Valve.

154. Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA B- Grade
Here’s the third receiver for the Browns that I was talking about, and it’s interesting that he’s the complete opposite of Ricardo Louis. Whereas Louis struggled in school and tested well, Jordan Payton was very productive for UCLA, but didn’t have good measureables. I don’t think Payton will be able to beat coverage and separate, but if I’m wrong, he’ll be a good receiver for the Browns.

168. Spencer Drango, G/OT, Baylor C+ Grade
This is a bit earlier than I would’ve taken Spencer Drango. The Baylor product makes sense from a perspective of the Browns choosing productive college players, given how many starts he accumulated at Baylor. However, Drango showed that he’s one of the worst athletes in this class with his horrific Combine performance. Perhaps he can overcome that at guard, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he doesn’t develop into an NFL player.

172. Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State B+ Grade
Many were wondering why Rashard Higgins has been mocked in the fifth round, but NFL teams were worried about both his lacking athleticism and lean body type. Higgins has no explosion, and he also seems like he could be snapped like a twig. However, he was a good football player at Colorado State, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he panned out for the receiver-desperate Browns.

173. Trey Caldwell, CB Louisiana-Monroe C Grade
The Browns hadn’t drafted a cornerback yet, so Trey Caldwell makes sense in terms of a needs standpoint. However, this is too early for him, as he wasn’t ranked in the top 400. He figures to be a slot corner for Cleveland, and he might actually make an impact, given that the team is hurting for talent everywhere.

250. Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona A Grade
This is a lot like the Tyler Matakevich pick. If you were to just look at Scooby Wright as a pure football player and ignore all measureables, he would’ve been a second-round pick for sure. However, Wright, who is coming off an injury, tested so poorly that it knocked him all the way down to No. 250. The Browns figure to benefit from this, as Wright is a great football player who might be able to overcome his lacking athleticism.

2016 NFL Draft Team Grade: B . Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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