Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has purged the 2016 draft class, but the moves he has made are not concerning.
The Cleveland Browns reported to the first day of their off-season program on Monday, and some familiar faces on the roster are no longer in the building. General manager John Dorsey was busy working on the roster, and it mostly surrounded players from the 2016 draft class.
On Monday, Dorsey made the surprising move to release safety Derrick Kindred, who was expected to be the team’s starting strong safety following Jabrill Peppers being a part of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade package.
Also, Dorsey traded Emmanuel Ogbah to the Kansas City Chiefs after the defensive end did not show up to the facility. In return, the Browns received safety Eric Murray, helping fill the hole left by the release of Kindred.
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The Browns also released wide receiver Ricardo Louis on Monday. Louis missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a neck injury. But even if he was healthy, Louis was going to have a hard time finding a spot with all of the talent in the wide receiver room.
These moves are the latest departures of Sashi Brown-era draft picks. Since taking over as the Browns general manager in December 2017, John Dorsey has either traded or released most of the team’s 2016’s draft class.
Just three weeks since the 2019 league year opened, there are only three players remaining from the 2016 draft class: Joe Schobert, Rashard Higgins, and Seth Devalve. With the way things are trending, it is hard to say if all three players will be on the roster by the time the season starts.
However, it would be assumed Schobert is safe considering his significant role on Cleveland’s defense. Higgins also re-signed on Monday and he has built a strong chemistry with Baker Mayfield, so there is an extremely low chance the wide receiver will not be on the team’s roster next season.
Despite only three of the 14 Browns selections in the 2016 draft class currently remaining on the roster, it is not concerning how Dorsey is quickly moving these players. For the most part, he is only moving on from players who made marginal impacts and were not huge difference makers.
Although Ogbah was a starter for the Browns, he was not making the type of impact the team would have hoped for. He emerged as a solid run stuffer on the edge and had a knack for swatting passes at the line of scrimmage. However, he was not getting to the quarterback as often as a team would want from an edge player. He also struggled to stay healthy.
In his three seasons in the NFL, Ogbah has only played one full season in his career. He played in 14 games last season but his performance was hampered by a sprained ankle. In 40 career games, Ogbah has compiled 12.5 sacks.
It hurts to move a player who was a second round selection, but it was obvious the Browns had no intention of signing Ogbah to an extension following 2019. So instead of keeping him on the roster and losing him for nothing, the Browns were able to turn Ogbah into a player who fills a need.
If the trade for Murray was in the works for a couple of days, Kindred’s release would make more sense. Although Kindred provided the Browns solid safety depth, he left a lot to be desired as a starter.
Kindred has played 42 career games, including 17 starts. He has made 144 combined tackles, 10 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, two interceptions, and 12 passes defensed.
It is never a good sign when an organization moves on from players drafted just three years ago. However, the players the Browns moved on from were not making the difference the team needed. And in the case of some players, Cleveland found better talent, making the players expendable.
For the most part, Dorsey is replacing the talent from the previous regime with players he is familiar with. It is something that happens all the time across the entire league. So the majority of the 2016 draft class may be gone, but it is a trend Browns fans should not be too concerned about.