The Cleveland Browns have begun signing their draft picks, inking fourth-round cornerback Howard Wilson to a contract.
The Cleveland Browns have signed cornerback Howard Wilson, a fourth-round pick by the team in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Wilson was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection in 2016, his first as a starter, after leading the Houston Cougars in interceptions with five.
He is a little short on experience after playing in just three games in 2015 before tearing an ACL, but he did appear in all 13 games for Houston as a freshman and bounced back from the injury to be the team’s top cornerback last season.
His limited playing time is not the only concern for the 6-foot-1 and 184-pound Wilson, according to his draft profile at NFL.com:
"Will require additional time to hone his pattern recognition and instincts down the field. Has a very thin frame with skinny legs. Lacks desired muscular definition and needs a full year of work in an NFL weight program to pack on necessary muscle. Plays a little too upright at times. Scouts believe he could struggle early inside a complicated defensive scheme."
While the Browns need help in the secondary, the good news is that barring an injury they can work Wilson onto the field as a rotational player. Joe Haden, who may finally be healthy after offseason surgery on his injured groin, and Jamar Taylor are the starting outside cornerbacks, and Briean Boddy-Calhoun showed promise last season as a slot corner, so the urgency is not as acute for Wilson as it might be for some of the team’s other rookies.
Given time to add some bulk and get up to speed with the NFL game, and Wilson may have the tools to be a valuable member of the Browns secondary for the next few years.