The NFL Combine has been in full-force all weekend, and now some of the top defensive players under consideration for Top 5 picks have had a chance to speak, including DB Minkah Fitzpatrick and DE Bradley Chubb. Let’s take a look at what each player had to say about the Browns and other topics:
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick was first asked about the possibility of playing for the Browns in general, and he gave the politically correct response.
“The Browns are still a great team. It’s an NFL team. They have great talent -- offense, defense, special teams. They’ve got great coaches. I think it’s just an issue with the culture around there. I’d have to go down there and use what I learned at Alabama and apply it to the Browns.”
The conversation then shifted to how the Browns used safety Jabrill Peppers last year, where he’s playing 20-30 yards off the line of scrimmage. Fitzpatrick acknowledged that he was familiar with Cleveland doing that with Peppers, and then was asked to comment on what he thought of that type of role:
“[Peppers] is an athlete, and they know that he can play 6 yards from the ball or 20 yards from the ball and he’d still make plays. That’s the type of player he is. They’re still learning how to use him because it was just his first year there. I’m sure they’re going to adjust some these to allow him to make more plays. It’s just a learning process with the coaches and the players.”
Asked if it would be a role that he’d be happy to play, Fitzpatrick said, “I’d be happy out there on the field.”
DE Bradley Chubb
The Browns have already shown some interest in adding a defensive end this offseason to help with the pass rush. If they can’t do it via free agency, then it could be by taking Chubb in the draft.
Chubb was asked about the possibility of Cleveland selecting him, which would pair him up with DE Myles Garrett, last year’s first overall pick.
“It could do a lot. Myles (Garrett) being so freakishly athletic and me being the player I am, learning a lot from each other. I could learn some stuff from him and he could learn from me. If the Browns decided to take me it would be very special.”
Between the quarterbacks, RB Saquon Barkley, Chubb, and Fitzpatrick, Cleveland already has their cream-of-the-crop pool of talent to work with. The question now is how can they strategically come away with the two players they most desire out of that crop?