Cleveland Browns: Best Picks in the 2016 NFL Draft

By Ha Kung Wong

Twitter: @FBGarbageTime


I’ve discussed many things about the Cleveland Browns this offseason, ranging from what I think they needed to do to “fix” the team, updating various aspects of what they did in free agency, and even talked about RGIII’s fit.  But now the 2016 NFL Draft is complete and we all have a full picture of what the new Browns front office has done with the plethora of picks it collected.

So let’s take a step back and talk about who I think were the best 2016 draft picks made by the Cleveland Browns.

First Round Pick – 15th Overall

Corey Coleman – WR

NFL Combine Results

40 Yd. Dash (Pro Day) – 4.37 Sec    Bench Press – 17 Reps    Broad Jump – 129.0 Inches

Vert. Jump – 40.5 Inches

Don’t get me wrong, I love Corey Coleman and his athleticism.  He was crazy good at Baylor putting up 1,363 receiving yards, good for the most receiving yards in the Big 12, and 20 TDs, good for the most receiving TDs in not only the Big 12 but all of the NCAA, in 2015.  He was also a 2015 Consensus All-American and won the Fred Biletnikoff Award.  All that without even having his starting QB throwing to him the entire year.  Sure, he also had 10 drops a year ago, but that can be coached and Coleman has got serious talent.  Unfortunately, he’s only 5′ 11″ and 190 lbs., so there’s concern regarding his ability versus taller corners, but with a 40.5 inch vertical at the NFL Combine, good for 3rd best among wide receivers, I doubt that will be a serious issue.  And it’s not only vertical, as he also had the 4th best broad jump among wide receivers at the Combine.

With all that said, the real reason I love this pick was the value.

The Browns did a masterful job trading back from 2 to 15, while still obtaining one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the draft and addressing one of their most critical needs, particular since Josh Gordon failed his drug test again and is unlikely to return.

It’s unfortunate that head coach Hue Jackson believes Coleman showed up to minicamp out of shape, but it’s also clear that Jackson believes in his potential:

“He’s got to get in shape.  He’s explosive and he can catch the ball. He’s extremely talented and gifted. (But) he’s one of the guys that has to get in shape. He saw himself, ‘whoa, this is different.’ And it is. But we’ll get him to where he needs to be.”

Being out of shape at minicamp isn’t a great reflection of his focus, and hopefully this doesn’t become another Eddie Lacy situation, but seeing as how early it is, let’s just chalk this up to a little excessive post draft celebration.

Fourth Round Pick – 99th Overall

Joe Schobert – LB

NFL Combine Results

40 Yd. Dash – 4.76 Sec    Bench Press – 22 Reps    Broad Jump – 111.0 Inches

3 Cone Drill – 7.11 Sec    20 Yd. Shuttle – 4.30 Sec    Vert. Jump – 33.5 Inches

Schobert has been all over the place.  A former high school running back and safety, Schubert was almost a walk-on at North Dakota, before he got a shot to walk-on at Wisconsin.  And he didn’t waste the opportunity, as he earned Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year and eventually got a scholarship. After two seasons as a reserve who contributed on special teams, Schobert got his chance as a junior playing linebacker and basically never looked back notching a consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten pick (13.5 tackles for loss) in 2014 and being named second-team All-American by USA Today and the Associated Press, as well as the Big Ten Linebacker of the Year and first-team All-Conference in 2015. In fact, in his senior year, Schubert had the most tackles for loss (20), was 4th in sacks (10), and was 3rd in forced fumbles (4) in the Big Ten.

The question is how all this amazing effort will translate to the NFL.  But with his versatility, primarily playing outside linebacker in college but having experience at inside linebacker and on special teams, there’s tons of upside here.

Seventh Round Pick – 250th Overall

Scooby Wright III – LB

NFL Combine Results

40 Yd. Dash – 4.90 Sec    Bench Press – 22 Reps    Broad Jump – 113.0 Inches

3 Cone Drill (Pro Day) – 7.25 Sec    20 Yd. Shuttle – 4.47 Sec    Vert. Jump – 31.0 Inches

First of all, how can you not like a guy with the name “Scooby”?  But in all seriousness, this Scooby, who was drafted just 3 picks prior to the end of the draft, is probably one of the hardest workers anyone has ever seen in football and could be the steal of the draft.

Wright was actually the best defender in college football in 2014, winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Rotary Lombardi Award and Chuck Bednarik Award. He was also a unanimous All-American and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and ranked among the top five in the country with 163 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and 6 forced fumbles.

Unfortunately, he missed most of 2015 with a sprained right foot and knee issues and he had a disappointing NFL Combine with a 4.90 40 Yd. Dash and 31.0 inch vertical jump.  Regardless of all this, it’s clear Wright has the skills and desire to play in the NFL.  The question is not if, but where, and at this point, his greatest contribution might be on special teams, as many feel his success on defense was due to Arizona’s unusual 3-3-5 defensive scheme.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if he found his way on the Browns defense at inside linebacker by 2017, if not sooner.  And if you don’t believe me when I say he’s committed to this, just look to what he said when asked what to expect from him:

“Someone who will work to reach his full potential and play with my hair on fire.”

Not sure if playing with your “hair on fire” is a good thing, but it certainly seems like he’s going to be intense.  And if nothing else, that should be fun to watch.