With one of their fifth-round picks, the Cleveland Browns selected Austin Seibert, a kicker out of Oklahoma. Despite fan backlash on the Browns taking a kicker so early, Cleveland was right with their selection at No. 170.
The Cleveland Browns had a somewhat confusing 2019 NFL Draft. While they were able to grab some serious value at No. 46 overall with LSU cornerback Greedy Williams, the Browns made some odd decisions throughout the rest of the draft. But perhaps no decision was more of a fanbase head-scratcher than taking Oklahoma kicker Austin Seibert in the fifth round.
It was widely thought throughout the draft that the Browns would address depth on the defensive line. The No. 170 overall pick was seemingly a lock for the Browns to take a lineman to improve on their solid core on the front four.
Perhaps Northern Illinois’ Sutton Smith or Temple’s Michael Dogbe? Instead, the Browns went with Austin Seibert, and despite the odd selection, Seibert should be Cleveland’s ice-cold kicker for years to come.
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The Browns needed this pick. No matter how many other needs they had, Cleveland had to address the kicker position at some point. After letting Phil Dawson go to the San Francisco 49ers, the Browns have been scarred by constant kicker errors from Travis Coons to Zane Gonzalez. Following Gonzalez’s comedy of errors against the Saints in 2018, the Browns needed to find a long-term replacement at the kicker position.
The Johannesburg native was solid in 2018, connecting on 17 out of his 20 field goals. From 40 yards out and beyond, Greg Joseph was six for nine, including hitting one of two from 50+ yards. Joseph was dead on from within 40 yards, but beyond that, his performances got much murkier. The Browns would be right to move on from Joseph and try Seibert out, especially as a fifth-round pick.
Seibert comes into Cleveland as the leading scorer in FBS history with 499 career points. In his final season with the Sooners, he connected on 89.5 percent of his field goals and hit 87 of his 88 extra points. He added 31 punts in his last season for 1,267 yards, a 40.9-yard average.
Seibert’s talent was unmatched on the NCAA kicking front, and if he can bring the same talent to the shores of Lake Erie, the Browns won’t have to worry about the kicking position for the next decade.