Browns Draft
Greg Newsome is just one of the many picks in the Browns draft that made them Super Bowl contenders. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Browns 2021 Draft: Forming The Best Defense In The NFL?

The Browns are truly becoming a powerhouse in the NFL. After being the laughingstock of the league for the past decade they’re turning it around. A playoff run last season that ended in a close loss to Kansas City gives Cleveland fans a lot to be excited for. The Browns followed that up with an excellent offseason. One that featured signing Jadeveon Clowney, Troy Hill, and John Johnson all filling holes among the defense. However, what was pulled off through the Browns draft sets them apart from most teams. The haul they got vaults them into the conversation of the best defense in the NFL. We’re going to go over each of their notable picks that vaulted them into Super Bowl contention.

Greg Newsome CB, Northwestern

Landing a talent like Newsome at the end of the first round is arguably the steal of the draft. Newsome blossomed into a star his final season at Northwestern. Allowing just 12 catches on 34 targets put him on the first-round radar. He has exceptional size and length at 6-foot-1. While cornerback may not have been at the top of the Browns’ needs, Newsome solidifies a great secondary. The former Rams defensive backs of Troy Hill and John Johnson operate in the slot and safety respectively. That leaves the oft-injured Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams on the boundary. Newsome will likely step into a starting role over Williams, but having that security of an extra cornerback is something that cannot be understated.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame

After a steal in the first, Cleveland pulls off another one in the second. After dropping due to reported heart issues, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah slid to number 52 in the draft. The Browns traded up and got their guy. JOK is a flat-out stud. He can cover better than anyone, guarding slot receivers, tight ends, and running backs out of the backfield. Elite speed and instincts make him a playmaker at all levels of this defense. The linebacker was the Browns’ biggest weakness going into the draft, and they managed to get one of the top guys. After struggling with the pass last season, the addition of JOK is just what the Browns draft needed.

Anthony Schwartz WR, Auburn

Here is where Cleveland decides to forgo defense and take a speedster and deep threat in Anthony Schwartz. The receiver out of Auburn is a track star possessing legit 4.2 speed. While he is still raw as a route-runner and a receiver in general, Stefanski has a new weapon to work with. Whether he is used in end-arounds, as a decoy, or as a deep threat Schwartz will be used effectively in the Cleveland offense. Joining a receiving corps featuring Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, Schwartz will receive minimal attention from opposing defenses.

James Hudson OT, Cincinnati

The Browns boast the top offensive line in the NFL, but the value of Hudson in the fourth round is too good to pass on. The former defensive lineman is raw at the tackle position but showed tremendous potential in his time at Cincinnati. He has top-tier athleticism with quick feet and fluid hips. All of this allows him to be a dominant pass-blocker. While he still struggles with speed-rushers, he has a chance to sit and learn behind this talented offensive line.

Tommy Togiai DT, Ohio State

After cutting Sheldon Richardson earlier this offseason, the Browns could use help on the interior. Tommy Togiai is a strong-bodied mauler. His best tool is his relentless bull-rush that stifles offensive lineman and collapses the pocket. He is nimble enough to move around guards if need be as well. Togiai’s sheer strength was shown at his pro day putting up 40 reps on the bench press (99th percentile). His strength makes him a great run-stuffer on an already fearsome defensive front. Getting a talent like Togiai in the fourth round is just one of the many great picks made during the Browns draft.

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