Why Undrafted?: Javion Cohen, G, Miami

This series was created a number of years ago in response to questions about why certain well-known prospects went unselected in NFL drafts. For these articles, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. The positive response to “Why Undrafted” and questions from readers about why prospects were drafted lower than the media expectations led us to create the parallel series “Why the Slide?”

Both series are back this year. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

Throughout the leadup to the 2024 NFL Draft, the consensus opinion had Miami guard Javion Cohen going in the mid-rounds. Cohen was a starter at Alabama before transferring and finishing his career with a solid season for the Hurricanes. Cohen capped his collegiate experience with a respectable week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Thus, it was a surprise when Cohen slipped to the undrafted ranks.

Team sources said the Alabama coaching staff killed Cohen to NFL team evaluators. The Crimson Tide coaches trashed Cohen, and that feedback caused enough teams to put him in the undrafted ranks, and he slipped through all seven rounds.

After going undrafted, Cohen signed with the Cleveland Browns, but that was not a great landing spot. On the positive side, the Browns could use some young understudies for veterans Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller. However, the Browns also selected a guard in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft with Michigan’s Zak Zinter. Having a third-round pick investment almost assures that Zinter will make Cleveland’s final 53-man roster. If the Browns keep two backup interior linemen, those are likely to be Zinter and center Brian Allen. Cohen is a guard and not an option as a backup center, so that hurts his chances of making the roster. The best hope for Cohen could be to play well enough in the preseason to get picked up by another team that needs a backup guard, or earn a spot on the Browns’ practice squad. Cohen is going to have to work hard and play well immediately to carve out a NFL career.


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