Browns Draft Postscript: The Undrafted Free Agents

Now that the draft is over it is time to look at the undrafted free agents picked up by the Browns. While most will probably not make the roster there are a select few who may. In previous years players like Isaiah Crowell, Dominique Alexander and Kai Nacua have made the team as undrafted free agents. Furthermore, many of the players who make the practice squad are typically from the undrafted group. This year’s group includes four defensive backs, three offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, one linebacker and one receiver.

Two players who have a lot of buzz surrounding them are Trenton Thompson, a defensive tackle from Georgia and Desmond Harrison an offensive lineman from West Georgia. Thompson was projected as a 4th or 5th round pick. He is big and athletic and did well against Notre Dame when he went up against 1st round picks Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey. He has the skill level to be a starter on a NFL roster. Harrison is a talented player with some character concerns which is why he did not get drafted. He started his college career at a community college and transferred to the University of Texas but got suspended twice in 2014. After a two year hiatus from football he enrolled in West Georgia and played 10 games at left tackle.

The other defensive linemen signed by the Browns are Daniel Ekuale from Washington State and Zaycoven Henderson from Texas A&M. Ekuale is 6’3” and 299 lbs. He is solid athletically, considering his size and does a good job using his hands to push offensive linemen back. As for Zaycoven Henderson, besides having an All-Pro first name, he is appropriately available as a free agent. One thing that could be in his favor is his familiarity with former college teammate, Myles Garrett.

Besides for Desmond Harrison, the Browns also signed offensive linemen Christian DiLauro from Illinois and Erick Wren from Oklahoma. DiLauro was not expected to be drafted. In college, he played at both tackle positions and some scouts feel that he may swing inside to guard at the NFL level. He has had issues dealing with power rushers but has done well on pull blocks, which is one reason a move to guard could make sense. Wren is an interior lineman who blocked for #1 pick Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma. There is a special connection a center and quarterback share and that may explain the Wren signing.

The four defensive backs the Browns signed were Evan Berry, from Tennessee; Elijah Campbell, from Northern Iowa; Micah Hannemann, from BYU and Montrel Meander, from Grambling. Evan Berry is the brother of Eric Berry and besides for playing safety, his biggest contribution may be as a return man. Campbell and Hannemann were solid players in college but nothing to write home about, hence they were not drafted. As for Meander, he was a receiver for Texas before he was arrested in 2014 for felony sexual assault. While the charges were dropped he did get suspended indefinitely and transferred to Grambling and changed positions to safety. He is explosive on the field but is a raw prospect.

The final two players signed by the Browns are wide receiver Da’Mari Scott from Fresno State and linebacker D.J. Calhoun from Arizona State. Scott is 6’0” 205 lbs. He came to the Browns facility for a pre-draft visit and has aggressiveness to his game that may give him the opportunity to stick with the team. As for Calhoun, he is an undersized linebacker but was very productive in college. He recorded 237 tackles, 37.5 of them were tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks.

These players are all available for one reason or another. In some cases, the players need more work and teams felt they were not worthy of a draft pick. In other cases, character or injury concerns dropped them to this situation. Whatever the case may be, these players will need to work hard to show they belong on the Browns. The days of every draft pick and undrafted free agent making the roster are gone and of these 12 players maybe one or two will be lucky enough to stick around.

 

Image: ESPN

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