Cleveland Browns Round 4, Pick 111: Noah Sewell, Linebacker, Oregon
To be completely honest, Noah Sewell isn't one of my favorite prospects in this draft class. But what he does bring to the table seems to be a perfect fit for what the Browns need right now in their linebacker room.
Right now, Cleveland has some very rangy, athletic linebackers, that are slightly undersized. What they are lacking is a bigger body that can take on blockers and make tackles in the run game. Cleveland was atrocious last year against the run and that starts up front with the defensive line, but having some more physical backers can certainly help the cause as well.
Sewell is a very limited athlete, which shows on tape and with his testing. He does not have that sideline-to-sideline speed that teams look for in a linebacker, and he doesn't have the agility and fluidity to stay with receivers in man coverage.
However, Sewell does do a few things really well. He's a very smart and instinctive player, allowing him to be in the right place at the right time in passing lanes (nine pass deflections in his last two seasons). He's also a fairly effective pass rusher, using his size and power to take on blockers whether rushing off the edge or blitzing up the middle.
Sewell isn't a solve-all centerpiece for the Cleveland linebacking corps, but his 6-foot-3, 250 pound frame and physical style of play gives them something that they are lacking right now with just Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Jacob Phillips and Anthony Fields on the roster and set to play on opening day (Sione Takitaki appears to be coming back on a one-year deal, but will likely miss some time to start the year coming off of an ACL injury).
Round 4, Pick 126: Jartavius Martin, Safety, Illinois
I prefaced the last selection as *not* one of my favorite players in the 2023 NFL Draft, but right now this guy might be my absolute favorite prospect in the entire class.
I watched the Illinois defensive tape in depth before the Combine began. The two players receiving the most hype were obviously top corner Devon Weatherspoon, and other safety Sydney Brown. But the one player that jumped off the screen to me was Jartavius Martin.
On film, there wasn't anything that Martin couldn't do. Up near the line of scrimmage, he was willing and able to move downhill and tackle ballcarriers in the open field. He had rep after rep in man coverage that he used his fluidity and length to either completely close the passing window or make an easy play on the ball. Finally, and most relevant to the Browns right now, his he used outstanding instincts and closing speed to cover tons of ground when playing deep in zone coverage.
Just when I thought I was about as high as I could have been on Martin as a prospect, and as a fit for the Browns, and then he went and put on an absolute CLINIC at the Combine. In this article detailing 5 safety prospects who could potentially replace John Johnson III, Martin was third among safeties with a 40-yard dash time of 4.46 seconds, had the FASTEST 10-yard split at 1.47, the HIGHEST vertical jump at 44 inches, and the LONGEST broad jump at 11-feet-1.
Martin is an excellent player, and a better athlete. Especially if the Browns do not address the glaring need at free safety, Martin would be a perfect option to slide right in and complement Grant Delpit.