On Thursday, the Browns confirmed the signings of 11 undrafted free agents. Were any of those pickups among the cream-of-the-crop of available talent following the 2017 NFL Draft? For that answer, we first turn to Pro Football Focus.
Immediately following the draft, PFF posted an article that listed the Top 50 undrafted free agents. The Browns signed three of those players, including two who were ranked in the Top 10:
No. 2 - ILB Kenneth Olugbode, Colorado
No. 8 - CB Channing Stribling, Michigan
No. 41 - OG Josh Boutte, LSU
In addition, CB Najee Murray of Kent State, who was ranked No. 24 by PFF, will reportedly receive a tryout from the club at rookie minicamp next week.
PFF also released another article titled, “10 UDFAs likely to make final rosters,” and both Olugbode and Stribling were on it:
Kenneth Olugbode, ILB, Cleveland - In terms of off-ball linebackers, Cleveland’s depth basically consists of Demario Davis, who earned an overall grade of just 58.4 last season. Kenneth Olugbode went undrafted largely because he measured out at just 6-foot-1, 222 pounds, at his pro day, but his significant improvements as a run defender in 2016 and potential as a coverage and special-teams player may land him a roster spot. He posted a PFF overall grade of 87.7 at Colorado last season, and was at his best in the biggest games. Against Michigan, Stanford, and Washington, Olugbode racked up a total of 33 solo tackles with 18 defensive stops.
Channing Stribling, CB, Cleveland Browns - The Browns earned the No. 1 overall pick this year for a number of reasons, namely a lack of talent throughout the roster. Jamar Taylor is the only cornerback on the roster who earned a coverage grade over 70.0 last season, and the selection of former Houston Cougars CB Howard Wilson in the fourth round shouldn’t preclude Cleveland from further upgrading the position group. While Stribling lacks ideal speed and size measurables, he was outstanding in coverage last season. He finished second in the draft class in both total passes broken up (15) and QB passer rating against (22.7).
Boutte had a strong season, particularly a dominant game against Missouri, as he took good angles in LSU’s zone-blocking scheme. He doesn’t create a lot of movement in the run game, but has a chance to succeed as a guy who doesn’t lose often at the next level.
Despite the talent in Cleveland’s undrafted free agent class, Chad Reuter of NFL.com did not include the Browns as one of his Top 7 undrafted free agent classes.