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NFL Draft: Interview with Cleveland Browns Center Dawson Deaton

Now that he’s with the Cleveland Browns, Deaton is excited to get started with the team and hopefully bring his same level of athleticism to have a breakout year.

With one of their two seventh-round picks, the Cleveland Browns selected Dawson Deaton, a center from Texas Tech. This aids in the rebuild the Browns were doing this offseason following the acquisition of quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Deaton’s love of football started at a young age when he played flag football. Growing up around the game propelled him ultimately into a career in the NFL.

“I just kind of loved football ever since then,” Deaton said. “Living in Texas, football was really the culture here. It’s always been a huge part of my life for sure.”

Deaton played through high school and went to Texas Tech in 2017, where he was working his way onto the team after he got there. By sophomore year, he was the center.

“I really enjoyed my time there,” Deaton said, reflecting on how he was able to fine-tune his football skills.

Deaton, like other prospects, had a strenuous process for getting to the next level of his football career. Physically, he kept his football skills fresh with his Pro Day, the East-West Shrine Bowl and the Combine. Though this was a difficult regimen, Deaton was able to remain positive.

“Mentally, it’s a stressful process, when it comes down to it, it’s a little stressful,” Deaton said. “Being around family helps. Staying in a positive mindset and knowing in a couple of weeks, my dream will come true.”

Deaton compares this stress to his days in college, in which he used some of the same tactics to keep it under control. He talked about getting better with time management, as he was able to stay on top of his responsibilities.

“[I did] everything I need to stay responsible so I’m not super stressed out over nothing,” Deaton said.

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Regardless of the stress, Deaton excelled at Texas Tech. He was elected second-team All-Big 12, marking the third time in his career to be recognized by the All-Big 12 teams after being an honorable mention in 2019 and a second-team honoree in 2020. He was a preseason candidate on the Rimington and Outland Trophy watch lists as well as the preseason lists for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Deaton was a beast on the field, and a scholar-athlete in the classroom as he was elected to the Academic All-Big 12 first team and the CoSIDA Academic All-District team.

“I think I’m really intelligent as far as football goes. That’s what separates me, for sure,” Deaton said.

Now that he’s with the Browns, Deaton is excited to get started with the team and hopefully bring his same level of athleticism to have a breakout year.

“Every year you just watch rookies go in there and do really well,” Deaton said. “I mean, just having the self-confidence with all of that stuff really prepares you. I’m really confident I can go in there and make a difference, too.”

Keeping in line with the athletes that exemplify the same self-confidence and who are able to get inside players’ heads, Deaton looks to Jason Kelce and Ryan Jensen for those reasons.

Deaton’s career wasn’t always a smooth transition as the COVID pandemic threw off football programs across the country.

“I think for everyone it was just a really big obstacle and a really tough time. For me specifically, I was in my junior year.” Deaton said. “[We were] staying dedicated to our craft, even though everything wasn’t ideal.”

This led Deaton to continue to find ways to push through adversity, and it worked out in his favor.

“Keep getting better every day,” Deaton said. “Always stay hungry and keep attacking.”

Now Deaton will bring his talents to the Browns, who have been hard at work in the offseason rebuilding the team. 

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