After redshirting as a true freshman, Ezra Cleveland started 39 of 40 games the past three seasons for Boise State, missing one this past season against Portland State due to injury. The past two seasons, he was named All-Mountain West First Team.
Age: 21 (Born May 8th, 1998)
Weight: 311 lbs
40-Yard Dash: 4.93
Broad Jump: 9'3"
Vertical Jump: 30"
3-Cone Drill: 7.26
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.46
Bench Press: 30 Reps
Cleveland performed every single drill at an elite level. He's a phenomenal athlete in terms of speed, explosion, agility and balance. The only complaint one could have is that he's not a particularly wide body. He's built like a power forward as opposed to a refrigerator. He'll just have to settle for top of the athleticism to make up for it. His frame also looks it could add muscle without sacrificing any of his movement skills, so he can continue to build strength in the NFL.
Cleveland is an effective positional blocker. He is so fast and agile that he has little trouble positioning his body effectively to seal opponents from the play. Getting to the second level or leading out is not an issue for him. In fact, if anything, it seems as though Cleveland deliberately goes slower to the second than he otherwise might to ensure he secures the block at the right angle.
Cleveland can be powerful at the point of attack, but is not consistent enough in that regard. Often, he tends to stop his feet and is content to hold the angle as opposed to drive the opponent off the ball. Perhaps that is what he's been coached to do, but he rarely shows a want to finish opponents and too often stops playing before the whistle once his block is secured. If he could develop that mentality and fully embrace his strength in looking to finish opponents, he could be a more impactful run blocker.
While he may not go for the kill on blocks, he will do things like be conscious of his body position through the entire play. There are times when maybe he could bury opponent and doesn't, but there are times when he will keep working his body position to stay between the ball carrier and himself, eliminating the possibility of pursuit.
Though he is tall, Cleveland does a nice job when it comes to staying low as a blocker and only really stands up when it benefits him to wall off the opponent. There is so much ability in Cleveland and it's obvious just how special he can be, but so much of it seems dependent on how good he wants to be. He can be downright dominant and at times he flashes it, but there are plays where he seems content leaving meat on the bone and moving on to the next play.
His athleticism to get his pass sets is obvious and impressive. Cleveland has a good stance and his first step is explosive and looks easy, often downright graceful. He's such an easy mover working laterally in mirroring opponents. It's incredibly difficult to beat him in a race up the field. Occasionally Cleveland will be too active with his feet and end up moving himself out of position, trying to anticipate what the opponent is doing, but his movement skills and length in pass protection are excellent. It gives him some room for error.
The biggest area where Cleveland can improve in pass protection is in terms of using his hands. It's not about where but when. Cleveland does not have great timing when it comes to using his punch and will often be absorbing contact without using it all. And it's not as simple as he's catching. He will take a blow and be engaged in a block without using them at all. It's a tool at his disposal he's simply not using well. And if he can get better at it in the NFL, it could make him a far more effective pass protector.
Being as tall as he is while not being particularly wide, Cleveland is subject to get walked back into the quarterback, particularly against players who can convert speed to power He has to work hard to quickly anchor and keep his center of gravity low while engaged to effectively deal with power rushers. Those project to be his most troublesome matchups in the NFL at this point, because he does a great job dealing with speed rushers.
As with his run blocking, it's clear just how good Cleveland can be and he has moments of brilliance. It's about continuing his development and getting more consistent. Similarly, it's about finishing plays.
Fit, Usage and Projection for the Browns
In a number of ways, Cleveland is a prototypical zone tackle. He has ideal length and movement skills for the position. Though he never played tight end, he looks the part of someone who was a tight end and then bulked up into a tackle. There are areas he can improve in the NFL, but so much of Cleveland ultimately comes down to how badly he wants to be great. If he does, he can be a franchise tackle. If not, he could be a solid but unspectacular player that always leaves people wanting more.
His tape looks like someone who probably warrants being picked on day two, but his incredible athleticism and potential will get him selected much earlier. Ezra Cleveland probably warrants a top 50 pick, but could easily find himself picked in the first round because of what he can be. The Browns have to decide if they believe they can get it out of him.