“Defense wins championships.”
It’s the oldest saying in the books and something that the Cleveland Browns addressed in Day two of the NFL Draft with the three picks the team made. Two young men from LSU and one from Missouri.
The Browns traded down from pick 41 to 44 and 74 to 88. Hopefully, both of those moves, one with the Colts and the other with the Saints, pay off in the future. It will likely be years before the outcome is determined. Anyway, let’s take a look at each new Brown!
Honestly, the biggest criticism of #44 overall pick LSU S Grant Delpit (6’2, 213 pounds) is his tackling ability. However, he did have 65 total tackles in 2019 including 4.5 for a loss. Hopefully, Delpit will be able to work on that tackling ability because missing a play as the last line of defense could result in a touchdown for the other team. Overall, this young man is really exciting and the Browns may have found a gem for many years and someone to protect the defense from allowing the big play up.
At 88, the Browns went deep in the trenches by selecting Missouri’s DT Jordan Elliott. In 2019, 44 total tackles, 8.5 for a loss and 2.5 sacks for the young man. This is going to be a guy that will hopefully prevent former favorites like JK Dobbins from running against the Browns, as he was drafted by Baltimore. At 6’4, 315, this new Brown is a big-body in the middle and will clog-up opposing offenses.
Lastly, the Browns went back to LSU for the third pick of the night in ILB Jacob Phillips. With a whopping 113 total tackles and 7.5 for a loss, Phillips can lock-down against opponents and shore-up the linebacking core that needs some work here in Cleveland. 6’4 and 233 pounds. Phillips has the length, speed and range of a great LB.
The Browns went with defensive players on Day two after finding an offensive lineman to protect Baker Mayfield with the team’s first pick at ten. These three players will have the opportunity to play on a team that is making progress and looking to take that next step forward and end the longest playoff drought in the NFL of seventeen years. If each pick works out, they all can be a huge part of this franchise for many years to come. The Browns Brass wanted to draft, “Guys who love the game, have mental and physical toughness and are accountable for what they do in the building (practice field) and off the field.” – Berry
However, it is difficult to truly say, and a “bust” in Cleveland is all too familiar.
Can these guys change that trend? Wait and see!