BEREA, Ohio– For a long time, the NFL Draft was the Super Bowl for Cleveland Browns fans. Now, the Browns get to bring that event to Cleveland and showcase how great of a football town Cleveland really is.
The NFL Draft is a life-changing moment for college football players who get to hear the commissioner call their name for the entire football world to hear.
At least 25 players on the Browns current roster know the feeling. They have been there and lived the draft experience.
That includes Browns offensive lineman Joel Bitonio, who was drafted by Cleveland in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and cornerback Denzel Ward, who was drafted fourth overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
“I think it will show that Cleveland is a cool place to be,” Bitonio said. “It would be awesome for the community. We have truly die-hard football fans in this part of the country and I think they would come from all over the Midwest. But Ohio is a good base to be like hey, this is what football is all about and where football came from.”
The Browns and the city of Cleveland have never hosted an NFL Draft. New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and Nashville are the most recent cities to host the NFL’s premier event.
It’s fitting for Cleveland to get the opportunity to host the NFL Draft because football got its start right here in Northeast Ohio.
“That would be huge for the city,” Ward said, just prior to the announcement. “For it to come to Cleveland, that would be huge. Everybody could come out and just enjoy that process.”
Las Vegas will host the NFL Draft in 2020.