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Draft Recap: Cleveland’s Outstanding Offseason Keeps Rolling

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The Cleveland Browns’ offseason could have been considered a massive success after their impressive haul in free agency, but they were obviously not satisfied.

After entering the 2021 NFL Draft with nine total selections and five in the first 110 picks, Cleveland was primed to do some damage and bolster their already stacked roster even further. They did just that,

The Browns added another stud to their secondary in the first round, drafting former Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II with the 26th-overall selection.

Considered one of the premier corners in the class, Newsome assisted the Wildcats to a pair of Big Ten title game appearances over his tenure and was a first-team all-conference selection in 2020. He tallied 71 total tackles, 20 passes defended and an interception over three seasons.

Newsome joins Denzel Ward to form one of the most promising, young cornerback tandems in the league.

He was not the only top-tier defensive prospect the Browns snagged either, as they traded up in the second round to make one of the steals of that draft in taking Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

A bonafide Swiss Army Knife of a defender, Owusu-Koramoah is the kind of linebacker-safety hybrid tailormade for the modern NFL. While he was projected by many to be a top-25 pick, Owusu-Koramoah surprisingly slid to Friday, and Cleveland capitalized.

A two-year starter for the Irish, Owusu-Koramoah recorded 142 tackles, 24.5 tackles-for-loss, seven sacks five forced fumbles and an interception over his career. Not only did he win ACC Player of the Year, but Owusu-Koramoah also named a unanimous All-American last season.

Cleveland flipped to the offensive side for their third selection, as the tabbed former Auburn speedster Anthony Schwartz.

The fastest player in the 2021 class, Schwartz ran a blazing 4.27u 40-yard dash at the Tigers’ pro day back in March. He was a lethal weapon for Auburn over three season, as they utilized his speed both as a deep threat and in the run game to great success. Schwartz scored 13 touchdowns and averaged 12.2 yards per reception over his career.

The Browns have a crowded receiving core, but Schwartz unique abilities should allow him to factor in immediately to head coach Kevin Stefanski’s scheme. Their sixth round selection, running back Demetric Felton, could find a role in a similar way.

Cleveland spent three more selection on the defensive side of the ball on Saturday, but the most promising prospect of the trio is former Ohio State defensive tackle Tommy Togiai.

Not only will he be an immediate fan favorite as a result of his Buckeye days, but Togiai will also help offset the loss of Larry Ogunjobi, who left for division rival Cincinnati. Togiai was a stallwart at the center of Ohio State’s defense in 2020, posting 23 total tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and three sacks. His performance earned him Second-Team All-Big Ten honors,

While we are still in May and the games are yet to be played, it is hard to argue against the Browns being considered the frontrunners in the AFC North and true Super Bowl contenders.

2021 Draft Picks

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R1, No. 26 CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern

R2, No. 52 LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

R3, No. 91 WR Anthony Schwartz, Auburn

R4, No. 110 OT James Hudson III, Cincinnati

R4, No. 132 DT Tommy Togiai, Ohio State

R5, No. 153 LB Tony Fields II, WVU

R5, No. 169 S Richard LeCounte III, Georgia

R6, No. 211 RB Demetric Felton, UCLA

Grades

PFF’s: A+

NFL.com’s Chad Reuter: A

Sports Illustrated’s Connor Orr: A

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco: B+

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: B

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