The Browns added some bulk to their defensive line Friday with the selection of UNC-Charlotte defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi.
Here are five things to know about Cleveland's first 2017 pick outside of the Power 5.
- Ogunjobi didn't miss a single start during his four years at UNC-Charlotte and was a major producer from the beginning to the end. He led the team in tackles for loss all four seasons and was at his best as a senior, when he posted 65 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and three sacks to earn a first-team All-Conference USA selection.
- Ogunjobi made history Friday as the first player to ever be drafted from UNC-Charlotte. The 49ers launched their program in 2013 and joined Conference USA two seasons later. Ogunjobi was there from the very beginning, wearing the team's honorary No. 49 jersey when the team collected its inaugural victory in a 52-7 rout of the Campbell Fighting Camels.
- Ogunjobi didn't start playing football until he was a sophomore in high school. The son of Nigerian immigrants, Ogunjobi dropped 30 pounds off his 350-pound frame and then joined his school's team at the urging of his fitness coach, Robert Mitchell, according to a Charlotte Observer profile. Ogunjobi double-majored in Computer Science and Biology.
- The Browns connected with Ogunjobi at the 2017 Senior Bowl despite coaching on the opposite sidelines. Ogunjobi was one of the top performers for the North team, and the Browns took notice. "We thought he was one of the more physically gifted defensive tackles in the entire draft – strong, explosive, athletic," vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry said. "Coming into the fall he obviously dominated Conference USA and improved every year of his career. He was exceptional during the Senior Bowl week and responded well to the uptick in competition and really just the time that we spent scouting him going to work him out this spring, we felt very comfortable with his overall skill set and his fit in our defense."
- Browns coach Hue Jackson was asked if the addition of Ogunjobi, a prototypical 4-3 defensive tackle, was a sign of things to come for a team that's run out of a base 3-4 since 2014. "(Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams) does a lot of different things with his scheme," Jackson said. "Obviously, I think our base may be that, but we will do a lot of multiple things out of that all of the sudden depending on the skillset of our players. We will have the flexibility to do a little bit of it all."
The Cleveland Browns draft Larry Ogunjobi at No. 65 in the 2017 NFL Draft.
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