In the fourth round, the Browns look to find a hidden gem. Defensive end Alex Highsmith from Charlotte can be that guy for the Browns. He is a small school prospect that has been climbing draft boards this draft season. He is coming off an incredible season tallying 15 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss which is a school record.
The knock on Highsmith is he did not play against quality opponents. It is hard to argue 15 sacks at the Division 1 level regardless of who he plays. He has a very high motor and good hands. He is a skilled rusher, as he cannot rely strictly on his size and strength at only 6-foot-3 248 pounds as an edge rusher.
Scouts and NFL teams want players who can consistently get better and hone their skills. Highsmith played for four years and each year was a better player and had better stats. That is a perfect formula for success and something to consider when looking at a prospect.
Highsmith can come in and learn behind Myles Garret, Olivier Vernon, and Adrian Clayborn. He would have an excellent room full of talented veterans who can help him develop as a player. He could sit a year behind these players and then next year if they decide to let Vernon and his high salary walk could be an every-down player opposite Garrett. This year he could contribute situationally when there are passing downs and speed rushing packages.
Highsmith is a low-risk but high-reward player that the Browns can land here in round four. He was extremely productive over his last two years in college and can bring that momentum into the NFL.