Even though the Cleveland Browns need to find a young edge to pair with Myles Garrett, here are four reasons why they should pass on David Ojabo.
The Cleveland Browns put themselves into a space not occupied by many NFL franchises when they traded for Deshaun Watson. That space is called win-now mode. Any major move they make over the next four seasons needs to be made with the mindset of helping them win a super bowl.
What also comes with the Watson trade is zero first-round picks for the next three NFL Drafts. That deficit alone puts an extra emphasis on their second-round picks over that timeframe. In this upcoming draft, the Browns first selection will not come until pick 44, barring a trade in either direction.
Heading into the draft cycle, David Ojabo was a name that was completely in play for the Browns when they had the 13th overall pick. But, unfortunately for Ojabo, the physically gifted edge defender suffered a torn Achilles tendon during his pro-day workout. Ojabo sustained the injury on March 19th, one day after the Browns traded their next three first-round picks for Watson.
Due to the injury, it’s possible that Ojabo slides out of the first round entirely and could still be available when the Browns pick in the second round. Why would a team in the Browns position pass on a player, that outside of the injury, would otherwise be considered a bonified first-rounder? The answer is a combination of reasons that all point to the Browns passing on Ojabo.
Reason No. 3: The nature of the injury
Not all injuries are created equal. Due to the nature of sports science, medical advancements, and players exceeding their recovery timetables, analysts and fans have become numb to the seriousness of injuries. If Ojabo had suffered a torn ACL this would be a completely different conversation.
However, a torn Achilles is a different beast altogether. Over a quarter of the NFL players who have suffered a torn Achilles never even returned to the field of play. Only a handful of players ever fully recover to regain the upper bound limits of their athletic potential.
The Browns are dealing with an apples-to-apples comparison with their second-round pick from 2020, Grant Delpit. Delpit suffered his torn Achilles in the beginning stages of training camp his rookie season and was able to return in time for the start of the 2021 training camp.
All in all, Delpit was a best-case scenario from a recovery standpoint. But, when it comes to the Achilles, it is the year after you return when you find out if the player will truly make a full recovery.