The Cleveland Browns moved back in the second-round but still got their guy in LSU award-winning safety Grant Delpit with their first pick in the second round (No. 44 overall.)
Delpit notched 60-plus tackles in three consecutive years with LSU, collecting eight interceptions and seven tacks over his Tigers career. He also defended 24 passes. Delpit is a two-time All-American and won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2019.
Here’s how ESPN’s Steve Muench broke down Delpit’s game:
“Delpit missed too many tackles and didn’t play as well last season as he did in 2018 with a high ankle sprain playing a big role. That said, he’s a well-built safety who is competitive lining up over the slot and matching up with tight ends. He picked off seven passes over the past two seasons, has a nose for the football and shows excellent focus when the ball is in the air. And while Delpit needs to be more consistent, he’s an aggressive run-stopper.”
The Browns originally had the No. 41 pick, but traded back with the Indianapolis Colts. It turned out to be a big win, as two offensive players went in between.
Here are all the picks the Browns will have in the three-day draft:
Round 1: 10 (OT, Jedrick Wills)
Rd. 2 Pick 44, via trade with Colts: (S, Grant Delpit)
Rd. 3 Pick 74
Rd. 3 Pick 97:
Rd. 4 Pick 115:
Rd. 5 Pick 160 (via trade with Colts)
Rd. 6 Pick 187:
Rd. 7 Pick 244:
Browns Addressed Secondary in Free Agency
The Browns added to their secondary in free agency with Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo, but neither are locked in as long-term solution. Both signed one-year deals, giving the Browns some flexibility with their future and cap room.
Joseph, who was the 14th overall pick in 2016, started at least eight games every season while with the Raiders, including nine his rookie year. Last season, Joseph had started all nine games before a foot injury ended his season.
In 41 career starts, Joseph has 236 total tackles, four interceptions and 15 passes defended. His coverage skills could use work, but Joseph is a solid in the box safety that isn’t scared to make a tackle.
“Any time you can bring that intention, hit guys like that, it can inspire your defense a little bit, get whole team going,” Joseph said (h/t Keith Britton). “I’m that kind of guy, man. I don’t fear nobody. There’s only one way to play the game.”
Sendejo started 58 games for the Vikings from 2013-17 at strong safety. He signed a one-year deal with the Eagles last season, but was let go after nine games. He returned to the Vikings, playing in six games and recording a pair of interceptions. In all, Sendejo has appeared in 99 games, making 60 starts, with nine interceptions, one sack and 258 tackles.
Browns Other Needs Include Linebacker, Pass-Rusher
The Browns still have pieces to add on defense, including at linebacker.
Cleveland signed linebacker B.J. Goodson, but the former Packer is far from a proven starter. Goodson played 254 snaps last season on defense in Green Bay and also contributed on special teams. He started nine of his 15 games with the Packers, finishing with 37 tackles. He started 20 games in the two previous seasons combined with the New York Giants. Goodson totaled 114 tackles in those games.
The Browns moved on from veterans Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert in the offseason, and the incumbent linebackers on the roster include second-year players Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson. Wilson, a fifth-round pick in 2019, saw a good chunk of playing time last year.
Wilson was forced into action after an injury to veteran Christian Kirksey, and the Alabama product performed admirably. In 14 starts, Wilson racked up 82 total tackles from his inside linebacker spot to go with an interception and sack.
The Browns could also benefit from adding a young pass-rusher, with veteran DE Olivier Vernon in the last year of his deal and having missed some time over the last few seasons with injury.