If there is any team in the National Football League that is in dire need of an influx of talent from any possible avenue, then it would have to be the Cleveland Browns. The basement-dwellers of the AFC North have won just one single game over the course of the past two seasons and have rooted their roster almost every year for half a decade or more.
The team has already made a tremendous amount of changes to the starting lineup from just last season, which I have previously talked about. Virtually everything on the offensive side of the ball, short of the starting tight end, a couple of linemen, and perhaps a couple of wide receivers, will be new faces.
So it’s no surprise that, according to Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns reportedly placed a bid on cornerback Sam Beal during the 2018 Supplemental Draft. She wrote that she believes it likely was in the third round, but the New York Giants had the same idea, and picked earlier than Cleveland.
Unlike the traditional NFL Draft, the Supplemental Draft does incorporate a lottery element, in which there are three different tiers of teams divided by wins in the prior season. Within each group of teams, the selection is determined by a lottery process, so even though the Browns didn’t win any games, they did not actually end up with the first pick in each round.
The team has invested heavily in the cornerback position this offseason, and that was headlined by the selection of Denzel Ward with the fourth-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns are counting on him to be a day-one starter in the mold of Jalen Ramsey, though many believe that they passed on superior talent to draft him.
They also brought in a number of cornerbacks in unrestricted free agency, though none of whom have been regular full-time starters. T.J. Carrie, Terrance Mitchell, and E.J. Gaines all figure to be part of the competition to decide who will start opposite Ward. Brien Boddy-Calhoun, a former undrafted entering his third season, has played a big role over the past two years as well.
Ward was the second defensive back in as many years to be selected by the Browns in the first round. They also added versatile safety Jabrill Peppers a year ago, whom the team expects to take on a much more prominent role on the defense in his second season.
Cleveland has acquired a lot of young talent, but it’s about time for the coaching staff to start actually putting it all together and yielding tangible results, such as, oh I don’t know, maybe wins. Their 1-31 run over the past two seasons is historically bad.