At some point, the pieces have to come together to make a whole like the NFL version of Volton (sorry, aging myself with that reference) but the Cleveland Browns have some young pieces from the last two drafts. Greg Newsome II and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had great rookie years but trailed off a little bit as sophomores in the league.
The 2022 rookie class was going to be limited by losing draft picks, including their first-rounder, in the Deshaun Watson trade. GM Andrew Berry then traded down out of the second round before finally making his first selection with pick #68.
Cleveland added Martin Emerson, Alex Wright, David Bell and Perrion Winfrey with their first four picks. The most surprising selection came next with kicker Cade York also added in the fourth round.
Despite the lack of top picks, Football Outsiders via ESPN (subscriber, $) ranked Berry’s 2022 rookie class as the 17th most productive in the league:
The Browns had a surprisingly strong draft class considering the absence of a first- or second-round pick. The star is third-round cornerback Martin Emerson Jr., who played 72% of Cleveland’s defensive snaps as the third corner. Emerson allowed just 5.3 yards per target and a 47% completion rate in coverage.
With three of their top four selections coming on the defensive side of the ball, along with the two top picks in 2021, hopefully new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz can turn around the entire defensive unit quickly.