Donovan Peoples-Jones: Browns best Round 6 draft pick in 15 years

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Looking back on the Cleveland Browns draft history in the sixth round, Donovan Peoples-Jones is certainly the standout player over the past 15 years. However, the flip side of that statement is that the Browns draft process has been dismal, and they just have not had much ability to draft good players in the late rounds.

Recently, readers of this space were treated to a shocking exposé of the near complete dearth of good players taken by Cleveland in Round 7 in the past 10 years. The Browns have drafted 10 players in those 10 years, and together they have combined for only six starts for them. The 10-year history of Round 6 draftees is not quite as bad as Round 7, but is still nothing short of abysmal. The Browns' late-round scouting is evidently not as good as the rest of the NFL.

Michael Woods II represents the Class of 2022, playing in 10 games, and making 45 receiving yards. Woods is still on the team but suffered a season-ending injury working out with Deshaun Watson, and we will have to wait until 2024 to see if he can add to his receiving totals.

The rationale for drafting Woods is that he was a big-play receiver in his junior year at Arkansas when he was catching balls from gunslinger Feleipe Franks. However, his senior year at Oklahoma under Lincoln Riley was just okay.

From 2021, we have Demetric Felton, who has played in 24 NFL games with five fumbles, but at least he has 189 receiving yards. In 2019, the Browns selected oft-injured offensive Drew Forbes, who is still on the team, and who has played in 13 games. None of these players are guaranteed to continue their NFL careers, but they are still on the roster, so let's hope for the best. Clearly, however, they don't compare to DPJ's 43 games, 25 starts, and 1,740 receiving yards.

Looking back at players who are now out of football, the sixth round has not produced much talent since forever. 2018 was represented by WR Damion Ratley and DB Simeon Thomas. Ratley had 344 yards in his two-year Browns career and added 63 more for the New York Giants. Thomas played in 12 games. In 2017, the Browns chose Caleb Brantley, who played in 12 games including a start, and then played sparingly in Washington for two more seasons.

Cleveland drafted three players in the sixth round in 2015. Randall Telfer was a run-blocking tight end who tended to see action on first down and thus often started the game. He played in 30 games with 19 starts but only 522 offensive snaps.

Malcolm Johnson also played tight end as well as fullback. He got into 19 games with six starts. Charles Gaines, a cornerback who was slowed by a hamstring injury, played in six games, including four starts, but never made it back after that.

The Browns didn't have a sixth-round pick in 2014 and were guilty of a major gaffe in 2013. This is described on the next page, followed by a deep dive on ancient Round 6 picks Ahtyba Rubin, one of the best nose tackles from the 3-4 defense era, and Lawrence Vickers, the last really good fullback the Browns have had.