Nathaniel Watson could end up being a total steal for the Browns

Taken in the 6th round, Nathaniel Watson could be a steal for the Browns
Cleveland Browns, Nathaniel Watson
Cleveland Browns, Nathaniel Watson / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

At pick No. 206, the 30th selection in Round 6, the Cleveland Browns added Mississippi State linebacker Nathaniel Watson. The 6-foot-2, 233-pound linebacker put up some monstrous numbers for the Bulldogs but slid into the draft due to a lack of coverage skills.

Even without the ability to stick with tight ends and running backs in the passing game, there's a place for Watson, a throwback player who can shut down the run. He's also a capable pass rusher, who had 10 sacks in 2023.

His talent in run defense and ability to get after the quarterback already led to expectations that he could contribute during his rookie campaign. Those expectations will only grow following the first few OTA practices as Watson was one of the players who stood out. What was most impressive was that he made his mark not in run defense, but in coverage.

On the final play of the day Wednesday, Watson picked off a pass from backup QB Tyler Huntley — leading to the entire defense celebrating on the sideline.

Browns have a revamped LB corps

Watson joins a linebacker corps that saw a lot of change over the offseason. Sione Takitaki, Anthony Walker, Matthew Adams, and Jacob Phillips all left in free agency. The Browns brought in Jordan Hicks and Devin Bush as free agents. They're expected to be the starters alongside returning star Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah — who needs a contract extension as soon as possible.

On the bench with Watson is Tony Fields II and second-year player Mohamoud Diabate. There's talent in the group but there's still room for Watson to earn a role and prove to be a steal.

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