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Cleveland Browns NFL draft picks 2021: Analysis for every selection

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Greg Newsome's NFL draft profile (0:49)

Check out highlights from Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II. (0:49)

The 2021 NFL draft was held April 29 through May 1 and every Cleveland Browns draft pick has been analyzed here.

After last season's virtual draft, Cleveland was playing host to festivities this year with a handful of potential draft picks present and socially distanced because of COVID-19.

Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player Cleveland has selected will fit.

Analysis of every NFL pick | Updated NFL depth charts


Round 1, No. 26 overall: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

My take: The Cleveland Browns entered the offseason aiming to upgrade every level of their defense. Grabbing a premier corner with the 26th pick was the finishing touch on the revamping of a defense that should be much improved in 2021. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Newsome allowed an opposing QBR of 3.4 as the primary defender in coverage last season, which was third best in the FBS. With Newsome, free-agent signee Troy Hill, the return of Greedy Williams from the season-ending shoulder injury and Pro Bowler Denzel Ward, Cleveland has the potential to boast a deep and talented cornerback rotation.

Defensive overhaul: When factoring in Newsome, all the free-agent signings (including DE Jadeveon Clowney and S John Johnson III), the return of opt-out DT Andrew Billings and comebacks of Williams and S Grant Delpit (who also missed last season with an injury), the Browns defense could feature up to 10 key performers who weren't on the field in 2020. Couple that influx with Myles Garrett's budding domination, and the Browns have the goods to unleash one of the most improved defenses in the league next season.

Hanging back pays off: As other teams traded up to select offensive stars at wide receiver and quarterback, the Browns waited as several top defensive prospects fell. That gave Cleveland multiple options to upgrade its defense at 26, including Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Alabama DT Christian Barmore and Georgia edge-rusher Azeez Ojulari. Newsome's cover skills, however, were too tantalizing to pass up.


Round 2, pick No. 52: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB, Notre Dame

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Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah's NFL draft profile

Check out the highlights from Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah's college career.

My take: Owusu-Koramoah would've been a viable option for the Browns in Round 1, and after trading up, they get the playmaking linebacker in the second. Owusu-Koramoah's versatility fits Cleveland's scheme perfectly, with the ability to play all over the field. Arguably Cleveland's biggest weakness last season was covering the pass. The Browns have addressed that emphatically in this draft, grabbing CB Greg Newsome II in the first round, and JOK now in the second.


Round 2, No. 91 overall: Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn

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Anthony Schwartz's NFL draft profile

Check out highlights from Auburn's dynamic wide receiver Anthony Schwartz.

My take: The Browns added the fastest player in the draft in Schwartz, who can absolutely take the top off of a defense. Cleveland desperately needed such a player last season, especially after Odell Beckham Jr. went down with the knee injury in Week 7. Schwartz needs to get stronger and refine his route-running, but he can fly and will give the Browns yet another element offensively.


Round 4, No. 110 overall: James Hudson, OT, Cincinnnati

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James Hudson's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from Cincinnati OT James Hudson's college career.

My take: The Browns stay in state to bolster the depth of their offensive line with Hudson. Cleveland lost top tackle reserve Kendall Lamm in free agency, and Hudson will have a chance to develop into a rotation piece up front.


Round 4, No. 132 overall: Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State

My take: The Browns needed to improve their depth on the inside of the defensive line, especially after cutting veteran starter Sheldon Richardson. Togiai can get after the QB as well. He'll join a DT rotation that currently includes Malik Jackson, Andrew Billings and Jordan Elliott.


Round 5, No. 153 overall: Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia

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Tony Fields II's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from West Virginia LB Tony Fields II's college career.

My take: Fields is a tackling machine, including 287 tackles at Arizona before transferring to West Virginia. GM Andrew Berry is creating a ton of competition at LB, which should make the position better.


Round 5, No. 169 overall: Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia

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Richard LeCounte's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from Georgia S Richard LeCounte's college career.

My take: LeCounte gives the Browns another depth piece at safety, with Grant Delpit still working his way back from an Achilles injury. LeCounte can return kicks as well.


Round 6, No. 211 overall: Demetric Felton, WR, UCLA

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Demetric Felton's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from UCLA RB Demetric Felton's college career.

My take: The Browns wrap up the draft with a running back/receiver who can get open and could bring a change of pace aspect to the Cleveland backfield. He will challenge veteran D'Ernest Johnson for the role of No. 3 running back behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.