Some Expectations for Rounds Four thru Seven
Well, the Browns made many selections on the third day of the draft last week. What will come about will differ greatly from one guy to the next; hopefully most will be able to produce for the orange and brown. Let’s break down several of the athletes taken by the Browns after round three.
Joe Schobert and Scooby Wright III
There’s a good chance that this pair of linebackers will be on the field for special teams each and every game. Additionally, there is an outside shot that Wright can challenge Demario Davis and Christian Kirksey for playing time in the inside spots. Meanwhile, Schobert is versatile and might play some downs inside and could shuffle outside to help with the team’s pass rush. The odds of producing for these guys are great, however it appears to be 50/50 (or less) if they can appear with the defense.
Jordan Payton and Rashard Higgins
Initially, I believed that both wide outs that were taken in the fifth round were long-term projects with a slim chance of success. Then I watched some film and noted their production. If Payton can play the role that Miles Austin did two years ago, the reliable possession receiver who can move the sticks, then the Browns can classify this pick as a hit. Meanwhile, Higgins is a bit smaller in frame – but runs smoother routes and can turn and run with the football. I would like to think he could be the third or fourth option for this team (depending on how Ricardo Lewis develops). Both will be given a shot to play for the offense – it will come down to executing in their roles. I honestly feel that at least one can be a cog with this offense for years to come.
Derrick Kindred and Trey Caldwell
Caldwell was a “need pick” at cornerback, but will likely fall into the category of special teamer (at least to start out the 2016 campaign). The Browns would love to see him take over a starting spot in 2017 or 2018, but Caldwell will have a boatload of work prior to that occurring. I am hesitant to believe he can be a first-team cornerback down the road. Kindred is a safety and should compete with Ibraheim Campbell, Jordan Poyer, and Rahim Moore for playing time. Will he be tremendous in coverage, or is Kindred a physical safety who will stand out? Just excelling at one of those things can put the rookie on the fast track toward the starting lineup.
Conclusion: The Browns took multiple athletes who can contribute on the field immediately. Will they be a part of a unit that is one of the best in the league? The odds are against it, but (like many things Browns-related) I will hold out a bit of hope. However, if the front office actually hit on these picks (and found the diamonds in the rough) – then this might be the beginning of something great.