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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Other Round 6 picks since 1969

As far as other sixth-round picks are concerned, there were no players from the post-1999 era that compare to Vickers and Rubin. However, Honorable Mention goes to Antonio Garay (2003), who got into four games with the Browns as a defensive end but bounced around for years and eventually became a starting nose tackle for the San Diego Chargers in 2010-2011 and played in 56 NFL games in his career.

Also, Michael Jameson (2002) was a backup defensive back for three seasons and played in 42 games. Backup quarterback Spergon Wynn (2000) started a game for the Browns, becoming the second African American quarterback to start a game for the Browns (the first was David "Dr. Bomb" Mays in 1976).

Backup tackle Brad Bedell (2000) played in 27 games for the Browns including four starts. Marcus Spriggs, a backup defensive lineman, got into 18 games after being drafted in 2000 with 19 NFL tackles to his credit. Finally, James Dearth, drafted as a tight end in 1999, became the long snapper for the New York Jets and had a successful career there, playing in 144 games for them but only two for Cleveland.

If you are curious about how the Browns' division rivals have done, DPJ is the equalizer. The Steelers have a good tight end in Connor Heyward. We will find out more about him in his second season in 2023. Defensive lineman Quincy Roche (2021) was waived, played with the Giants for two seasons, which included 17 games and three starts but is back with the Steelers this season.

Defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs (2019) had three years with the Steelers and started for the Detroit Lions in 2021. Backup linebacker and special teams player Ulysses Gilbert played three years with Pittsburgh and then played a few games for Tampa Bay last season.

The Ravens drafted little used RB Tyler Badie in 2022. Backup WR James Proche was drafted in 2020. OL Bradley Bozeman (2018) played in 62 games with Baltimore including 49 starts. DeShon Elliott (2018) started 22 games in Baltimore and then played in Detroit last season.

Zach Sieler (2018) has 33 starts for Miami (zero for Baltimore) after the Ravens tried to get too cute with the waiver wire. DB Chuck Clark (2016) played six seasons in Baltimore, with 96 games and 63 starts. He moves to the Jets for 2023. The Ravens drafted Darren Waller (2015) as a wide receiver. He has over 3,500 receiving yards, most of them achieved for the Raiders after they switched him to tight end.

They also drafted offensive lineman Ryan Jensen in 2013. He has a Super Bowl ring earned with Tampa Bay in 2020. So the draft record is admirable, but Badie and Proche are the only ones actually on the roster today.

The Bengals have consistently drafted viable players in the sixth round. Since 2013, their active players on their roster include: RB Chris Evans (2021); OL Hakeem Adeniji (2020); RB Trayveon Williams (2019); backupLB Jordan Evans (2017); backup DB and return man Brandon Wilson (2017). S and special teams ace Clayton Fejedelem (2016) is now playing for Miami. RB Rex Burkhead (2013) played for Houston last season and is currently a free agent.

In summary, the Browns have drafted three notable players since 1999 in the sixth round:
Lawrence Vickers (2006), Ahtyba Rubin (2008), and Donovan Peoples-Jones (2020). There were several others who were contributors for a while, but these three were the ones who sold jerseys in sporting goods stores.

Antonio Garay (2003) and James Dearth (1999) had good careers for other teams after getting cut by Cleveland. Let's keep an eye on Connor Heyward in Pittsburgh, but for now, DPJ seems to be the best Round 6 pick in the AFC North. Can the Browns do it again? Or would they be better off bundling their Round 6 and Round 7 pick and attempting to move up?

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