Cleveland Browns: 4 Undrafted free agents from 2019 that can be starters
Safety J. T. Hassell
J.T. Hassel was born with a congenital birth condition that gave him only two fingers on his left hand. However, this fan believes that J.T. Hassell is not going to kept off the field even with that fact. Handicap, schmandicap. This kid can play, both on special teams and as an extra safety at least if not an every-down player.
Hassell did not have a large data sample, playing 14 snaps in one game. But, according to Pro Football Focus, he earned the top tackling grade on the team. He was also the highest-ranked safety on the team, but again, it was with a very small data sample.
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In college, he played linebacker at Division II Florida Tech, but at only 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds he is a safety at the pro level, although these days you do see hybrid players who can perform like a strong safety on some plays and linebacker on others.
At any rate, he was a Division II first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. leading the Gulf South Conference in tackles (124), tackles per game (10.3), solo tackles (76) and forced fumbles (3).
More importantly, his Pro Day numbers were mind-boggling.
Let’s start with the forty-yard dash where he turned in a 4.38. Denzel Ward at 4.32 may be the only guy on the team who can take him in the 40-yard dash. Would you rather have a 4.6 guy with two hands, but who is three feet away from a receiver who clocks 4.4? Or would you rather have the guy with one good hand who can match the receiver stride for stride?
Hassell also rang up a stunning 23 reps for the 225-pound bench press. That is one more than linebacker Joe Schobert. He had a 42-inch vertical leap. That is higher than Ward, Odell Beckham, Jr., David Njoku, and Myles Garrett. In fact, he may have the best vertical on the team.
So go ahead and doubt. However, this kid can do things that other earthlings can not, and it says here that he will not miss three fingers all that much. Think of Ronnie Lott with two additional missing fingers. This kid is talented, hungry and has every chance of succeeding for the Browns.