How will the Browns use their picks in the 2017 NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below.

By SI Wire
April 27, 2017

Coming off a frustrating 1–15 campaign, the Browns have the top pick in the draft and stand to add talent going into the 2017 season. How will they use their picks in the NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below.

Round 1, Pick 1 (No. 1 overall)

Myles Garrett, Edge, Texas A&M: There were a good 24 hours or so leading into Thursday when people started buying into the idea that Cleveland would take QB Mitchell Trubisky over Garrett. Wisely, the Browns stuck to the program and nabbed the top available prospect. With Garrett and Jamie Collins, the rebuilding Browns finally can start formulating something of a defensive identity. Garrett’s exceptional upside as an edge rusher also should allow Collins to play more of a free-flowing role—he’s best utilized as a movable part, not necessarily as a pass rusher. That the Browns even considered Trubisky so late in the process says a lot about their current situation at quarterback, but they could not risk leaving Garrett on the table.​ GRADE: A

Round 1, Pick 25 (No. 25) 

Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan: The Browns stayed the course at No. 1, grabbing Myles Garrett. And then … well, things got weird. After trading away the 12th pick and a shot at Deshaun Watson, the Browns dropped back 13 spots and nabbed one of the more divisive members of this draft class. Peppers is a freaky athlete, one who can contribute on special teams and even offense. But what will he be for the Browns beyond that? Probably a slot CB/safety hybrid with extreme upside, but this still came out of nowhere given the team making the pick. Keep in mind: Cleveland has three second-round picks, plus the extra 2018 first it added earlier Thursday. GRADE: B​

Round 1, Pick 29 (No. 29)

David Njoku, TE, Miami: The Browns traded back into Round 1, coughing up picks 33 and 108. Surely, this had to be for the quarterback, right? Or not… The Browns chose a different direction, opting to snag Njoku to pair with Gary Barnidge at the tight end spot. That’s a potentially lethal 1-2 punch—Njoku is very raw, but he could be a dominant pass-catching TE down the road. There is, of course, the lingering question of who exactly is throwing the football to Njoku, Barnidge and the Browns’ receivers. Right now, it would be either Cody Kessler or Brock Osweiler. Cleveland had multiple chances to add another name to that mix Thursday and declined.​ GRADE: B

Round 2, Pick 20 (No. 52)

DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame: Unable to find the right pairing in Round 1, the Browns finally added to their QB competition with the 52nd pick. Kizer was far better in 2015 than he was in 2016, but either version could wind up bumping Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler down the depth chart. There’s not as much of a gap between Kizer and, say, Mitchell Trubisky as their respective selection spots would indicate. GRADE: A

Round 3, Pick 1 (No. 65)

Larry Ogunjobi, DT, North Carolina Charlotte: Mentioned Ogunjobi in a “draft crushes” post the other day—he’s legit. There may be sexier, higher-upside picks still out there, but he’s going to make an impact for however many snaps Cleveland can find for him. He can play nose or DE in a three-man front, and his addition as a three-tech alongside Myles Garrett’s selection at 1 certainly equips the Browns to trot out a lot of maneuverability along the line. GRADE A–​

Round 4, Pick 20 (No. 126) Howard Wilson, CB, Houston

Round 5, Pick 16 (No. 160) Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State

Round 6, Pick 1 (No. 185) Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida

Round 7, Pick 6 (No. 224) Zane Gonzalez, K, Arizona State

Round 7, Pick 34 (No. 252) Matt Dayes, RB, N.C. State

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