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Rookie Reflection: Browns DL Caleb Brantley flashes potential, focused on consistency

Posted Jul 13, 2017

Brantley, considered a first-round talent by some, was drafted in the sixth-round

Over the next two weeks, we’re breaking down the Browns’ 2017 NFL Draft class — from Myles Garrett to Matthew Dayes — and how they might contribute next fall.

How was his spring?

Once considered to be a top-round prospect, former Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley slid down NFL Draft boards before the Browns scooped him up in the sixth round. That potential, however, was on display this past spring as he showed off his power, strength and overall athleticism in the trenches.

Now, the Browns say they need him to become a more consistent player this summer.

“Caleb is a unique personality and unique player,” defensive line coach Clyde Simmons said in June. “He shows first-round talent at times … he’s just like any other young player that comes into this league. They’ve got an idea about what they want and what they think they can do, but you have to learn to play it the way we want you to play."

The former Florida standout — whom NFL.com compared to Rams star Aaron Donald in their pre-Draft profile — also spoke of having a “chip on his shoulder" going forward.

“I feel like I’m a genuine and great person. I’m out here playing football, the game that I love, and trying to take care of my mom and my brother," he said, referencing Draft reports. "Obviously, everyone has their opinions on social media and stuff like that, but my teammates can speak for that and the people who know me.”

They said it:

“I just think I can bring an aggressive style of play to this defense – play-making ability, somewhat of a unique skill set along the D line. I just want to come in and contribute to the team. I am trying to win.” -- Brantley in rookie minicamp

What to expect in the fall?

Brantley joins a defensive line that includes fellow rookies Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi and veterans like Danny Shelton, Desmond Bryant, Jamie Meder, Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib.

In what Simmons described as a "rotational system," except Brantley to compete for playing time when training camp starts in two weeks.

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote that Brantley is a "powerful, stout defensive tackle with the quickness to play the three-technique and the power to play the nose. Brantley has the talent and traits that should appeal to both two-gap and one-gap defenses.

"While we haven't seen Brantley play in even half of Florida's defensive snaps in a single year," he continued, "the talent is there to become an early starter and a defensive force up front."

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