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Browns comfortable at No. 1 on eve of 'momentous draft'

Posted Apr 19, 2017

Browns EVP Sashi Brown: 'We feel good about who we're going to pick there'

Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown offered several smiles, careful not to tip his hand during a news conference previewing the upcoming NFL Draft. But he was confident in Cleveland's plans for next week, particularly when it comes to the No. 1 overall pick.

“We feel good about who we're going to pick there,” said Brown, who was joined by vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry on Wednesday for a wide-ranging session.

The pair of executives outlined the team’s preparations on the eve of what Brown described as hopefully a “momentous draft class.” Owners of the first and 12th overall picks, Cleveland also holds five of the top 65 picks.

The Browns have spoken of this offseason as being a potentially pivotal one following a 1-15 season a year ago. Since then, they’ve re-signed Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins, added new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and fortified their offensive line.

Now, of course, comes the next milestone in what’s been a busy past few months.

"We think this is important draft for us," Brown said. "We think we can get some players that can transform our franchise."

The Browns, of course, have been linked to Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garett, who's widely considered the best prospect in this year's class. Brown and Berry both spoke highly of the edge rusher who's thought to be an instant impact player at the next level. "We'd be proud to have him'," Brown said of Garrett, who amassed 31 sacks in three college seasons.

They were also asked about North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, another top prospect and Mentor native who grew up rooting for the Browns. "We were very impressed with him," Brown said, adding they like his work ethic and maturity.

Brown said the Browns have received calls about dealing the top pick, but he’d be surprised if they chose to trade down in the first round, something they did a year ago in an effort to rebuild its roster by accumulating draft assets.  

While Brown stressed nothing is ever "off the table,” when it comes to potential moves, Cleveland has narrowed down its options at No. 1. And when draft night comes in eight days, they'll be prepared to add, as head coach Hue Jackson said last month, a generational type of talent.

“We feel good about where we are,” Brown said, adding, “we feel really good about picking at 1.”


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