The Game: NFL Draft Prospects for the Browns
Today the Ohio State Buckeyes take on That Team Up North in The Game. The rivalry between the two schools runs deep, so deep that OSU crosses off a certain letter throughout the campus during this week. Even the Horseshoe gets a makeover as the word Stadium losses its last two letters.
For years this game also featured a ton of players who could be big time prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft. In that way The Game has fallen off a little as the high level talent on both sides of the ball is missing. That doesn’t mean there are not prospects to watch for our Cleveland Browns fans who will be taking in The Game
WR/TE Devin Funchess
Funchess is a popular pick for the Browns in the first round. He has the size to play tight end but many are looking at him as a outside receiver. The 6’5″ Funchess has put up good numbers in a bad passing offense. His 55 receptions, 625 yards and 4 TDs are impressive given the talent at QB and around him. The junior is likely to enter the draft instead of returning for his senior season.
LB Jake Ryan
Ryan is a fiery emotional leader who makes the most of his limited physical skills. He has played both inside and outside linebacker spots and has been the important member of the team’s defense. He is likely a late round or undrafted free agent but could impact the Browns who have a need at the linebacker spots.
The senior, 6’5″ tight end was a big time recruit that has fallen off some. Yet he has the type of skill set that could explode in the NFL now. I am much higher on him than most and could see the Browns taking him somewhere starting in the 3rd round. Heuerman could be a perfect pair with Jordan Cameron or replace him down the road. He is athletic and has greatly improved his hands.
DT/DE Michael Bennett
Bennett is a strong DT for the Buckeyes. He has great feet, hands and strength. His lack of a constant motor creates concerns from some analysts but his raw talent is undeniable. Bennett is likely a late 1st, early second round pick as long as he tests well at the Combine. For the Browns he could help fortify the defensive end position in the 3-4, an area that the team will need to improve. He is unlikely to fill the bigger need at the nose tackle spot but could play there if forced.
WR Devin Smith
The 6’1″ receiver isn’t going to blow anyone away but in the right system he could be a good threat. He would give the Browns a receiver with some size between the huge Josh Gordon and the smaller Andrew Hawkins/Taylor Gabriel set. Smith is unlikely to cost a high draft pick but a 5th rounder would not be overly surprising.
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That is just a short list of some of the players that could be on the Cleveland Browns radar today in The Game. There are plenty of other players that could impact the game and also have a huge impact in the NFL.
The following season Joey Bosa will be eligible to be drafted. He is the type of player that could dramatically change a defense and would give the Browns a J.J. Watt type player from the DE position in the 3-4. If the Browns trade back for more picks in the following years draft a player like Bosa could be on their radar.
What players will you be watching in The Game ï¿½that could be Cleveland Browns next year?