Cleveland Browns: How many draft picks make the roster?
These players are going to make the 53-man roster. They weren’t drafted by the Browns to compete for spots in training camp, but rather in order to prepare themselves to contribute as soon as possible, meaning this season.
The NFL’s first overall draft pick out of Texas A&M is the most highly touted defensive prospect in years. Garrett could play multiple positions as he did in college as an Aggie, but will likely settle on one in camp to provide stability.
As an edge rusher, Garrett’s primary role will be to manufacture some pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Still, he will also play an integral part of defending against the run, an area in which the Browns were among the worst in football in 2016. Garrett’s stats won’t necessarily define his effectiveness, another reason why he is a lock.
His size and strength will open up opportunities for other talented Cleveland defenders who may have been overwhelmed in past seasons, such as Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton.
Quite possibly the most unique player drafted, the safety out of Michigan can and most certainly will serve multiple purposes. He can defend in the secondary, and has enough value to make the roster on this alone.
But as a luxurious bonus, Peppers can also return punts and kicks with extraordinary explosiveness and even play on offense at times. He likely won’t play both sides of the ball, at least to start off his NFL career, but his ability to be an asset on both defense and special teams has him already penciled in on the 53-man roster.
Njoku was a little bit of a surprise pick in the first round, as many thought that Cleveland trading up was in an effort to select a quarterback. Instead, they went for another key part of their offense, the tight end position.
Njoku will make the roster not only because he was a first-round pick, but also due to his raw talent at tight end. He can be a big, physical receiver, and can learn to block. Head coach Hue Jackson uses two-tight-end formations very frequently, making Njoku a valuable asset to pair with second-year player Seth DeValve.