Browns follow miserable, 1-win season with solid draft
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — For three days, the Cleveland Browns were decisive, aggressive and precise in the NFL draft.
Who are these guys?
Ridiculed for years for making major mistakes while on the clock, they picked the consensus best player, landed a potential franchise quarterback and replenished a needy roster with young talent following a depressing 1-15 season.
There didn’t appear to be any missteps, other than perhaps taking a player recently arrested that they might have to cut and wasting a pick on a kicker.
All in all, not too bad — for the Browns.
“I feel more comfortable,” said second-year coach Hue Jackson. “I think we are better. Now, how much better we are? We will find that out as we go, but I feel more comfortable and confident in our guys that are in the locker room and that they know what to expect and how we want to play. I think we did a great job of drafting to our identity and what we want to become here at the Cleveland Browns.”
The Browns made two trades on Saturday, when they selected Houston cornerback Howard Wilson, Florida State offensive lineman Roderick Johnson, kicker Zane Gonzalez and North Carolina State running back Matthew Dayes.
The only questionable move came in the sixth round, when Cleveland elected to take Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley, recently charged with battery after he allegedly punched a woman.
Not long after making the pick, Brown said the team isn’t committed to Brantley and may release him pending a further investigation.
“This is something that he can’t repeat as he moves forward,” said Sashi Brown, the team’s vice president of football operation. “And more important than that, we communicated to Caleb that this is something that we’re still investigating and looking into, and facts may turn up that prevent us from being able to keep him on our roster. We will continue to investigate on our end, and provided that we can get comfortable, keep him on the roster. If we can’t,…