Michael Mitchell of Penfield NY reviews Cleveland Browns’ 2021 NFL Draft

Michael Mitchell of Penfield NY

June 28, 2021

Michael Mitchell of Penfield NY reviews Cleveland Browns' 2021 NFL Draft

Several rookies are already in the doghouse.


Earlier this month, the Cleveland Browns welcomed eight draftees to the Dawg Pound. Fans had plenty to cheer (and woof) about. After the pandemic forced last year’s NFL Draft to be held virtually, the city played host to the festivities this season. The franchise faced added pressure of picking in front of a hometown crowd.


Since then, insiders have dissected every selection. But, you don’t have to be an expert to have an opinion. Since enrolling at Ohio State University, Michael Mitchell of Penfield NY has been an avid fan of the local teams. The state’s recent transplant offers his own analysis of the team’s 2021 NFL Draft.


The Browns entered the draft wanting to build on last season’s momentum. The team reached the playoffs for the first time in 18 years and won its first postseason game since 1994. In order to take the next step, the defense, which was one of the league’s worst, required a massive overhaul. The Browns benefited from an offense-heavy draft filled with star quarterback and wide receiver prospects. The top defensive players were pushed down the board.


By staying patient, the Browns nabbed an elite cornerback with the 26th overall selection. Greg Newsome II would’ve likely been an instant starter no matter where he landed, but he fills a void in Cleveland. He should improve the team’s pass defense that finished 22nd in the NFL a year ago. Versatile and quick enough to compete in man coverage or drop into zone, the Northwestern product ranked as one of the best corners in college.


Although the Browns received overwhelmingly positive reviews, it was the second-round selection that dominated headlines. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah dropped despite being the top-ranked inside linebacker. This free fall was triggered due to a heart issue that wasn’t released until the weekend as the draft. The team traded up to end his slide. Listed at only 221 pounds, the Notre Dame rookie is undersized for a traditional linebacker. Yet, Michael Mitchell of Penfield NY sees him as a perfect fit for the Browns’ hybrid scheme.


While defense was a priority, the Browns couldn’t resist snagging the draft’s fastest wide receiver in Round 3. Anthony Schwartz was electric at Auburn and will work out of the slot with his new team. If he continues to develop his strength and route-running, he’ll provide insurance if Odell Beckham Jr. is slow returning from last season’s knee injury.


Quantity was an emphasis on Day 3, adding five picks over three rounds. The Browns stayed in state, taking offensive tackle James Hudson from Cincinnati and Tommy Togiai from Ohio State in Round 4. Of its final picks, Tony Fields II is perhaps the most interesting. The linebacker racked up 287 tackles at Arizona before leaving for West Virginia. He will push for snaps right away