Cleveland Browns: How many draft picks make the roster?

(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Work to do

These players may have realized their dreams by being selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, but they still have an uphill battle to achieve the goal of competing in a NFL regular season game. They will, however, have their chance to prove themselves in training camp.

Howard Wilson

Unlike the rookies featured on the previous two slides, former Houston cornerback Howard Wilson lacks the natural size, strength and ability. This isn’t to say that the defensive back isn’t talented, but his work ethic is his most valuable asset.

Two factors work against the fourth-round draft pick. His knee injury, of course, is very significant. It won’t require surgery, but it has kept him out of important workouts and will continue to do so. Also, since the Browns already have depth at the cornerback position, Wilson needs to compete with veterans to earn a spot.

Zane Gonzalez

Cleveland made a fascinating move with the sixth pick in the seventh and final round by taking a kicker. Out of Arizona State, Gonzalez was one of college football’s best place kickers, which makes sense since he became one of a select few to realize his NFL Draft dreams.

Unfortunately for Gonzalez, he will need to compete with veteran Cody Parkey in training camp, as the team won’t carry more than a single place kicker. This competition is as straightforward as it gets.

Matt Dayes

The Browns concluded their 2017 draft by taking a running back. Dayes comes from North Carolina State, an ACC program with a lot of upside.

Dayes is talented, without a doubt, and has some sort of future in professional football. The problem for him in his rookie season is that Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson currently occupy the starting running back positions, and are not about to relinquish their grip on them.

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If Dayes impresses in camp, there’s a chance he stays, but the key for him, much like Crowell when he burst on to the NFL stage, will be the preseason action he gets.