The Cleveland Browns finally draft some homegrown talent
The Cleveland Browns finally have done what most fans have been begging them to do for years, draft Ohio State football players. And while it's just fan speak, there's some truth behind this, mostly due to the fact that the Buckeyes have recruited and developed talent with the best college programs in the country for years now.
Offensive tackle Dawand Jones and center Luke Wypler were drafted on day three by Cleveland while safeties Ronnie Hickman and Tanner McCalister were signed as undrafted free agents. I can't recall another time when an NFL team added four rookies from the same college program before, but here we are.
Jones was a steal in the fourth round. Some believe his pre-draft process was to blame for his fall into round four but this pick was a homerun. He is a mammoth human being while also displaying the nimbleness needed to be a starting NFL tackle.
He didn't really play left tackle in college so it will be interesting to see if GM Andrew Berry and his staff views him as a possible Jedrick Wills replacement or strictly as a swing tackle for the 2023 season. But once he gets on the field it will be hard for him to stay off it if he plays to his potential.
Wypler is another player who slid in the draft and could wind up being one of the better sixth-round draft choices ever made by this franchise. Wypler declared for the draft a season too early in my opinion, and his short arms are probably the reason for his free fall in this draft.
But a season being the backup, learning behind a very solid center in Ethan Pocic, and adding a little bit of weight could be the beginning of a very solid career for Wypler. Also, Ohio State has a history of putting good centers in the league with Josh Myers, Pat Elflein, and Corey Linsley in recent years.
As for Hickman and McCalister, both are going to have to prove their worth on special teams. Hickman excelled in that area while in Columbus and could have the leg up in that area. He also was one of Ohio State's best defensive players for three straight season's so he should have the confidence needed in order to make the club. McCalister is a nickel cover corner/safety who played well within his role for the Buckeyes.
While getting four Ohio State players on it's roster will make Browns fans happy, these players actually stepping up and making contributions will make them even happier. They all have a chance at being real steal's. Hopefully a couple of them pop and make Andrew Berry look really good in doing so.