This is my first annual Post-Combine Cleveland Browns’ Prospect Update.
I’m going to put myself in Browns General Manager, John Dorsey’s Nike Air Monarchs for a minute. Here are a few offensive prospects who piqued my interest during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this past weekend.
Like I’ve said before, with advances in medicine the Browns won’t need to draft a QB until at least 2045. I will waste approximately zero minutes worrying about quarterback prospects until Baker Mayfield is old and gray.
This has been the most glamorous position of the combine. Every time I looked up another WR was running a sub 4.4 40-yard dash. This was especially intriguing since it is considered a position of need for Cleveland.
There was one sleeper pick who flew under the radar all weekend. His name is D.K. Metcalf. The man put up freakish numbers at almost every drill and had a reported 1.6 percent body fat.
Metcalf wasn’t the only WR who improved his stock this weekend. Ohio native and Umass Amherst wideout Andy Isabella posted a 4.31 40 time, tying Parris Campbell as the fastest wideout at the combine. I call him Andy “Warhol” Isabella because he will forever be connected to Campbell’s soup.
If size is your thing, Hakeem Butler is over 6-foot-5 and posted solid numbers in Indianapolis. As a bonus, imagine how many times Jim Donovan can say “The Butler did it!” whenever he makes a big catch.
One disappointment was N’Keal Harry. He dropped some passes and didn’t run the cleanest routes. I was most looking forward to Baker Mayfield throwing 50-yard passes to him so I could call them N’Kealear Bombs. I’m still workshopping that one.
I truly believe that David Njoku will continue to improve this offseason with Mayfield as his QB. If he doesn’t take the next step there are a few interesting options in this draft class.
T.J. Hockenson is the one name I keep seeing at the top of people’s draft charts. He is well-rounded and put up good numbers at the combine. Hockenson’s college teammate, Noah Fant, caused quite a stir as well by running a 4.5 40-yard dash. The issue is that both of these players are expected to go in the first round and Cleveland probably shouldn’t be spending pick no. 17 on the tight end position.
The Browns may be well served to pick a blocking TE in the later rounds. However, I’m too disinterested in blocking tight ends to look at combine numbers for potential candidates.
Early in the season (when Hue Jackson coached), the Browns had a very rough offensive line. Then things changed (Hue got fired) and the o-line had a successful end to the year. After re-signing Greg Robinson and having former 2nd round pick, Austin Corbett, waiting in the wings, the offensive line may be put on the back burner in the 2019 draft.
That being said, one offensive line stat that stood out to me was Ioshua Opeta’s bench press. Most of the prospects were able to bench 225 pounds 25-to-29 times. Opeta repped it out 39 times. To put that into context, that is 39 more times than Kevin Durant can do it. Simply amazing.