Browns Agree to Terms with First Round Pick Safety Jabrill Peppers

2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images

The Browns have all their draft picks ready for camp, as first-round pick safety Jabrill Peppers has agreed to terms on his rookie deal with a signing coming soon, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports via Edward Lewis of NFL.com.

Peppers was the last of the Browns’ draft picks, which included other first-rounders DE Myles Garrett and TE David Njoku, to ink a deal.

The No. 25 overall pick was drafted by Cleveland for his ability to play safety, but coach Hue Jackson said in the spring that the former Michigan standout will see some time on offense as well.

“He’s football player, a very dynamic player,” Jackson said. “Obviously, he’s going to play defense for us, but we’ll find a role for him over there on offense. No question.”

First Overall Pick Myles Garrett Injuries Foot in Practice

No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett tumbled to the ground after a would-be sack of Brock Osweiler in a two-minute drill and immediately clutched his left foot. In obvious pain, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Garrett remained down a few moments before coach Hue Jackson and a trainer pulled him up.

He limped to the sidelines, where he took of his left shoe and rubbed the bottom of the foot before the medical staff examined it. Within a few minutes, he was up walking around on the sidelines, but still with an obvious limp.

Garrett, who went down apparently without contact after blowing in from the right side, knelt for most of the rest of practice, and at least one player came over and patted him on the head. When the lightning sirens screeched, he slowly limped into the fieldhouse for the final three plays of practice. Afterwards, he hobbled slowly to the locker room, trying hard to disguise the limp.

After practice, coach Hue Jackson confirmed it was likely the foot.

“Obviously I’ll know more once we get inside, but I think it’s his foot, so we’ll see,” he said. “I don’t know how it happened. Those things happen. Hopefully everything’s OK, and we’ll see once I get a chance to go inside.”

Browns Lock Up LB Christian Kirksey to Four-Year Deal Worth $38 Million

Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey finally became a full-time starter last season and now he’s being paid like it, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Kirksey, the Browns third-round pick in 2014 out of Iowa, signed a four-year deal with the Browns worth $38 million including $20 million guaranteed, a league source said. He was heading into the final year of his rookie contract.

“First and foremost I want to thank the Haslams for this opportunity and the organization for believing in me,” Kirksey said in a release. “Hue Jackson has been telling me from day one that I have a chance to be a great player in this league and for them to offer me this contract speaks volumes.

“I am glad to be here and to be a Brown for a long time. This is my home. This is where I want to be. I love my teammates and we are ready to get this thing rolling. I am excited for the future.”

Kirksey’s signing comes on the heels of extensions for other key veterans. They signed linebacker Jamie Collins to a four-year, $50 million contract in January, including $26 million guaranteed.

Browns New QB Brock Osweiler Says He Expects to Start in Opener in September

Brock Osweiler has gone from afterthought in an NBA-style salary-dump trade to a man aiming to beat out Cody Kessler for the Browns starting job, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“Absolutely,” he said after OTAs Wednesday when asked if he expects to be the man against the Steelers Sept. 10. “My expectation is always to start. But once again, that’s not my decision to make. If I came out here and told you guys I wanted to be the backup, I’m in the wrong business.

“Absolutely I want to play and I want to help this football team win games, but I know there’s a lot of work that goes into that and ultimately I need to earn that on the practice field and I have a lot of work ahead of me to do that.”

Osweiler, acquired in a trade with the Texans that also netted the Browns a 2018 second-round pick, believes that Kessler being named the man to beat by Hue Jackson is the correct approach despite the fact he’s won 13 games and Kessler hasn’t won any.

“I think that’s great,” he said. I think Cody has certainly earned that right. He played in a lot of football games last year. I think he did a tremendous job for this football team. I’m the new guy on the block. I need to earn my stripes here, if you will, so Cody has certainly earned that right, but I can promise you I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can every day because nobody plays this game to be a backup or to lose football games. You play to start and help your football team ultimately win.”

Despite his disappointing season in Houston last season, where he clashed with coach Bill O’Brien and was ultimately benched, Osweiler wholeheartedly believes he has what it takes to be a starting QB in the NFL.

“Absolutely,” he said.

Why?

“I think the proof is in the film for the past two years,”

When a reporter suggested that maybe the film from last year was fibbing to him, he said, ‘that’s okay.”

Osweiler, who’s making $16 million guaranteed from the Browns this season, is thrilled to land smack dab in the middle of an open quarterback competition.

“That’s great,” he said. “Anytime you’re in a competition with other guys at your position, it brings out the best in you and it’s certainly the best thing for the team because the best player at that position is going to play and ultimately that should lead to wins to your football team.

Browns Rookie CB Howard Wilson Breaks Kneecap in Practice; Could Miss 2017

Cornerback Howard Wilson, the Browns’ fourth-round pick last month out of Houston, broke his kneecap in practice on Friday and will undergo surgery soon. He’ll be out a significant amount of time, possibly the entire season, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland.com reports. He’s one of 10 Browns draft picks in 2017.

“It’s disappointing but this a part of playing football,” Wilson said in a statement from the Browns. “It was kind of a freak thing. I was just running around and my knee just kind of locked up on me. I didn’t think much of it but the training staff wanted to get the proper testing so I got the MRI. I’m a positive person so I will have the surgery, work hard in my rehab and look forward to getting back to out there and helping this team win some games.”

The timetable for Wilson’s return will be determined after the surgery. It’s his second major knee injury in two years. He suffered a torn right ACL in week three of his 2015 season and sat out the rest of the year.

Wilson (6-0, 184) signed his rookie contract on Thursday and broke the kneecap late in practice.

“It’s unfortunate,” said said head coach Hue Jackson. “He’ll be out for a while, significant time. So we’ll deal with it accordingly. His spirits are high. He understands it. He understands what he’s dealing with. He’s already started to the process of getting his mind beyond that so he can get himself back as soon as he can.”

A Rundown of All the Cleveland Browns 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Browns 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 1, Pick 1 (No. 1 overall)

Myles Garrett, Edge, Texas A&M: There were a good 24 hours or so leading into Thursday when people started buying into the idea that Cleveland would take QB Mitchell Trubisky over Garrett. Wisely, the Browns stuck to the program and nabbed the top available prospect. With Garrett and Jamie Collins, the rebuilding Browns finally can start formulating something of a defensive identity. Garrett’s exceptional upside as an edge rusher also should allow Collins to play more of a free-flowing role—he’s best utilized as a movable part, not necessarily as a pass rusher. That the Browns even considered Trubisky so late in the process says a lot about their current situation at quarterback, but they could not risk leaving Garrett on the table.? GRADE: A

Round 1, Pick 25 (No. 25)

Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan: The Browns stayed the course at No. 1, grabbing Myles Garrett. And then … well, things got weird. After trading away the 12th pick and a shot at Deshaun Watson, the Browns dropped back 13 spots and nabbed one of the more divisive members of this draft class. Peppers is a freaky athlete, one who can contribute on special teams and even offense. But what will he be for the Browns beyond that? Probably a slot CB/safety hybrid with extreme upside, but this still came out of nowhere given the team making the pick. Keep in mind: Cleveland has three second-round picks, plus the extra 2018 first it added earlier Thursday. GRADE: B?

Round 1, Pick 29 (No. 29)

David Njoku, TE, Miami: The Browns traded back into Round 1, coughing up picks 33 and 108. Surely, this had to be for the quarterback, right? Or not… The Browns chose a different direction, opting to snag Njoku to pair with Gary Barnidge at the tight end spot. That’s a potentially lethal 1-2 punch—Njoku is very raw, but he could be a dominant pass-catching TE down the road. There is, of course, the lingering question of who exactly is throwing the football to Njoku, Barnidge and the Browns’ receivers. Right now, it would be either Cody Kessler or Brock Osweiler. Cleveland had multiple chances to add another name to that mix Thursday and declined.? GRADE: B

Round 2, Pick 20 (No. 52)

DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame: Unable to find the right pairing in Round 1, the Browns finally added to their QB competition with the 52nd pick. Kizer was far better in 2015 than he was in 2016, but either version could wind up bumping Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler down the depth chart. There’s not as much of a gap between Kizer and, say, Mitchell Trubisky as their respective selection spots would indicate. GRADE: A

Round 3, Pick 1 (No. 65)

Larry Ogunjobi, DT, North Carolina Charlotte: Mentioned Ogunjobi in a “draft crushes” post the other day—he’s legit. There may be sexier, higher-upside picks still out there, but he’s going to make an impact for however many snaps Cleveland can find for him. He can play nose or DE in a three-man front, and his addition as a three-tech alongside Myles Garrett’s selection at 1 certainly equips the Browns to trot out a lot of maneuverability along the line. GRADE A–?

Round 4, Pick 20 (No. 126) Howard Wilson, CB, Houston

Round 5, Pick 16 (No. 160) Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State

Round 6, Pick 1 (No. 185) Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida

Round 7, Pick 6 (No. 224) Zane Gonzalez, K, Arizona State

Round 7, Pick 34 (No. 252) Matt Dayes, RB, N.C. State

Browns 1st Overall Pick Myles Garrett Says He Can Turn Team Around

The Browns first overall selection was used to nab the consensus top player in this year’s draft: Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett. Garrett believe he can turn the Browns fortunes around, Marc Sessler of NFL.com reports.

“It was really just a weight off of my shoulders to finally just get the announcement that what I have been working for is finally came to fruition and I can actually know where I am going, know who I am going up against and know the schedule,” Garrett said Thursday night from his draft party in Arlington, Texas, per ESPN. “Now, it’s time to put in that work so I can be prepared to go against the best.”

Garrett agitated Browns fans in February when he publicly begged Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to swing a blockbuster trade with Cleveland to help bring the rookie to Dallas.

Garrett came around, though, saying earlier this month that “hopefully the Browns” would take him at No. 1, a wish that was granted Thursday night.

“They picked me because they think they see something in me, and they know that I can help them rebuild and turn this program around,” Garrett said. “That’s the mindset that we have to have. Starting next year, we can put the pieces together, not only the players but with a mindset that we can actually do this. I know that the players there have that same mindset. I am going to keep that feeling contagious. I’m just prepared for that.”

Browns Do the Right Thing; Take Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett with the 1st Pick in 2017 Draft

After months of saying ‘who’ it took a short period of time on Thursday for the Browns to answer that question for who is the teams’ first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Finally the team got it right, taking the best player on the board, and while some Browns fans were outraged the team passed on local kid QB Mitch Tribusky, who went number two to the Bears, Garrett is a player that can dominate for years to come given the chance.

Here’s highlights of the latest first overall pick to come to Cleveland.