May 16, 2021

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2021 Cleveland Browns NFL Draft Class Ranking


(Photo by Rich Graessle / Icon Sportswire)

Football can be extremely complicated, more for some people than for others.

For example, the Cleveland Browns rented a room full of Ivy League academics before they figured things out.

But sometimes the answers are easy.

How can anyone give the Cleveland Browns anything less than an A + for their draft performance?

Looking at things from all angles and considering all of the popular rating scales, the results are always the same.

But it’s not enough that some people just have an answer.

They need to know the details that led to the end result.

So, let’s take a look at what happened in the 2021 Cleveland Browns NFL Draft Rankings.

The Cleveland Browns have met some needs

The best teams in the NFL don’t necessarily need to meet all of their needs through the draft.

But if they do, it’s like a big, inexpensive bonus for the GM.

Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, Cleveland was thought to have four special needs.

They landed a rookie cornerback as insurance for Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward.

Next, Berry chose a versatile mid-level defender with the ability to speed, power and cover.

Some wanted a quick receiver to ward off Odell Beckham’s safeties, so the Browns caught the quicker.

And finally, the team drafted their fourth defensive tackle, a good deal in the fifth round.

Greg Newsome II, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Anthony Schwartz, and Tommy Togiai could all be active in week 1.

It is difficult to argue that Andrew Berry did not meet the requirements of the refill needs.

The Browns have invested in future lists

Andrew Berry has already secured an additional fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

But he also drafted some players who could take on important roles in the near future.

In the fourth round, Berry picked tackle James Hudson who brings a bit of attitude with him.

Cleveland has the best offensive line coach in the NFL to prepare Hudson for any future role.

Linebacker Tony Fields is blessed with skill, drive and flexibility.

But with Richard LeCounte, the 6th round safety, it might take some time to prepare for the NFL challenge.

Then Berry tackled running back / wide receiver Demetric Felton.

Berry likes flexibility, and when you have to say two positions in front of a guy’s name, he’s flexible.

These players could see some action in 2021, but they have a chance to play bigger roles in the Browns’ future.

Set up the special project

The special project this season was to revamp a defense that was mediocre at best in 2020.

Berry exceeded expectations by more than strengthening some weak ties.

He merged his draft class with his free agent run and players returning from the injured list.

And put together, the Browns can field a whole new defense if they choose.

Of course, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and a few others might protest.

And indeed, the additions are complements to the functional parts of Joe Woods’ unit.

Since there was no rule against using free agency and the casualty list, Berry gets another A +.

But there won’t be a star at the top of his papers until the Lombardi Trophy is lifted in Cleveland.

Will the Browns pass the final exam?

Of course, even the highest mark can be ruined by a failed final exam.

Greg Newsome appears to be another lockdown outside the cornerback.

Owusu-Koramoah could be the centerpiece Joe Woods needs for his favorite defense.

Fans may forget about Sheldon Richardson when they see Togiai working in the trenches.

Fields and LeCounte could enter the defensive back rotation in Cleveland’s quick secondary.

Schwartz and even Felton could cripple the defenses with a bit of speed and cunning.

And it could be “a guy named” Hudson who will cover Baker Mayfield’s back at a key time this year.

He certainly looks promising for a final grade of A +… for the moment.