CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Browns 2020 Draft could be summed up in a few words, LSU, SEC, and trade.
The Browns were active on Friday, filling needs on the defensive side of the football and they did it by going to the Southeastern Conference and in particular to the national Champion, LSU Tigers.
It might be safe to say Cleveland is LSU north now with five players on the roster hailing from Baton Rouge.
The Browns traded down in the second round with the Indianapolis Colts from 41 to 44. They were able to fill their second biggest need, safety by drafting Grant Delpit from LSU. Delpit was a first-team All-American and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. He had eight interceptions and 24 passes defended over his three seasons in Baton Rouge. Delpit battled a high-ankle sprain for part of his junior year, but when healthy was a playmaker for the Tigers, including in the National Championship game against Clemson.
“Without a doubt. Top dogs in the NFL. We are coming in with that swagger, with that mentality and really a dog mentality – pun intended. I think that we are going to have the best secondary in the NFL with Greedy, (CB) Denzel (Ward). I am coming in with that mentality and win as a team and defense,” said Delpit.
The Browns traded back three spots in the second round, and acquired a fifth round pick. The team did not have a fifth round pick before making the deal with the Colts.
In the third round, the Browns traded back again, this time with the Saints. Cleveland dropped 14 spots and picked up a third round pick in next year’s draft and also was able to trade their 7th round pick in 2020. Once again, the Browns went back to the Southeastern Conference for their draft pick, selecting Missouri DE Jordan Elliott.
He redshirted the 2017 season, earning the team’s defensive Scout Player of the Year Award. In his Sophomore season, he recorded 24 tackles, 8 for a loss, and three sacks in 13 games and he was not starting. In his Junior season, Elliott received second-team Associated Press All-American honors after leading his team with 10 tackles for a loss, including three sacks, among 44 total stops in 12 starts.
The Browns went back to LSU for their second pick in the third round, they acquired that pick from the Houston Texans in the Duke Johnson trade last year. Cleveland filled another need by drafting linebacker Jacob Phillips with the 97th overall pick.Phillips started all 15 games in 2019 for LSU, he led the Tigers with 113 tackles (7.5) for a loss. In 2018, Philips started 11 of 12 games, he recorded 87 tackles (5.5 loss) he had one interception that he returned for a touchdown.
So far, the Browns have gone all SEC with their draft, selecting one player from Alabama and two from LSU. The Browns now have five former players from LSU, including Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., Greedy Williams, Grant Delpit and now Phillips.
“It just happened to work out this way, but there are good football players across all college football conferences and across all college football levels. We won’t be bound to just Power 5 conferences or the SEC,” said Browns General Manager Andrew Berry.
Cleveland will have three picks coming up on Saturday in day three of the NFL Draft. They include the 115th overall pick in round four, the 160th pick in round five and the 187th pick in round six.