Browns Draft Prospect Breakdown: Safety Jordan Battle
The Cleveland Browns have addressed a lot of big needs so far this offseason, but they still have eight draft picks to work with for the 2023 NFL Draft. While it's highly unlikely that they will actually select eight players, there are still some intriguing prospects that could add nice depth to the team.
As it stands right now, the Browns have Grant Delpit, D'Anthony Bell, and newly signed Juan Thornhill on the roster at the safety position. It's safe to assume that they will draft a safety to develop and have for depth purposes. Luckily, at pick No. 74 there are a few good safety options that should be available.
Jordan Battle - Safety, Alabama
Anytime you can take a player from Alabama, it's a good idea to do so. They don't all pan out by any means, but the chances are higher since they come from a Nick Saban culture. Jordan Battle is a player to keep an eye on for the Browns in the 3rd round. Let's take a look at why he might be a good selection.
In four years at Alabama, Battle had 143 total tackles, 6 interceptions, and 10 passes defended. He didn't play like a first-round pick, but there were plenty of flashes to show that he has the potential to contribute to an NFL team. He was a top 100 recruit that originally committed to play at Ohio State, but he ultimately ended up at Alabama. He was awarded third-team AP All-American accolades in 2021 and 2022.
Battle has good size being 6-foot-1, 209 pounds and he ran a solid 4.55 40-yard dash at the combine. He also hammered out 17 reps in the bench press area. According to Next Gen Stats, he has a 6.33 prospect score that says he will eventually be a starter. If Andrew Berry were to select him at pick 74, he could be the safety of the future after Thornhill's contract ends.
According to his Combine report, Battle is very versatile and has good ball pursuit and instincts. Watching him at Alabama, it was easy to tell he had solid play recognition for such a young player. Also a nice side note; he returned three of his six career interceptions for touchdowns. Not too shabby.
His weaknesses include lacking substantially in the run defense and he has a tendency to overpursue at times, which makes for missed tackles or catches in open space. A lot of that can be fixed with coaching, so those weaknesses aren't overall concerning. With great coaching from new Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz, Battle could develop into a nice player down the road.
Overall, if Battle is still available at pick 74, the Browns should seriously consider bringing him to Cleveland. He presents a low-risk, high-reward situation with the worst-case scenario being he is a solid backup for a few seasons.
Between the disappointing signing of John Johnson III and drafting of now-former Brown Richard LeCounte, history says that Andrew Berry isn't exactly great at identifying Safety talent. Maybe with Jim Schwartz helping, things will be different in that area.