The NFL Draft has always created some of the most memorable reactions, statements and scenes from all levels of a football franchise every year. From coaches and front offices discussing their picks — and showing uncontainable excitement when they get them — to the reactions of the players when they receive their phone call, nothing can truly top what goes on behind-the-scenes on draft day.
"Building the Browns" gave fans all of those scenes for the 2021 NFL Draft. They were in Berea throughout draft weekend with cameras following the front office, as well as new arrivals when they took their first steps in the building.
The culmination of it all created an unforgettable episode you won't want to miss.
Here are five things we learned from the action:
1. Browns drafted their top guy in Newsome
The Browns front office was never sure if Greg Newsome II would still be on the board at pick No. 26 until they were on the clock.
Newsome, one of the top ranked cornerbacks of the draft, had the potential to fall anywhere in the middle-to-late part of the first round. The Browns viewed him as the best player available once they came within a few picks of finally being on the clock, and the BTB crew captured their raw emotion once the Browns became certain they could pick him.
"Thank you," said defensive coordinator Joe Woods to Executive Vice President of Football Operations and GM Andrew Berry after the pick. "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Fist bumps, high-fives and hugs were exchanged with front office and coaching staff members after Newsome's selection, which brought yet another defensive playmaker to Cleveland and continued the Browns' 2021 defensive overhaul.
"No more players for Joe," head coach Kevin Stefanski joked as he walked into Berry's office. "He's done."
2. Newsome soaks in his new city
Newsome gave himself a simple task when he arrived in the indoor training facility for the first time and saw the posters of the numerous Browns' Hall of Famers on the walls.
"I need to get me a Jim Brown jersey," he told himself.
Minutes later, that goal had been accomplished.
As he finished meeting front office personnel and his new coaches, Newsome donned a classic white Jim Brown jersey with long sleeves. He slipped the jersey over his suit and received a few compliments for the attire as he wrapped up his visits.
"It's just a little old school," Newsome said after he received a compliment from special teams coordinator Mike Priefer.
Newsome gave a full embrace to the city throughout his first day in Cleveland, which ended with a trip to the Cleveland Cavaliers game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
"Today has just been amazing," he said, still wearing the Jim Brown jersey. "This is the first sense of me finally feeling like I'm an NFL draft pick. Today has been great, just to be able to meet the coaches for the first time and come out here to see a game."
Check out the best photos of the draft in Cleveland by the Browns photo team
3. Browns front office couldn't wait any longer for Owusu-Koramoah
As Day 2 of the draft continued, Browns front office personnel stirred in their seats and watched one player still at the top of their draft board from Day 1 stay put.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, widely touted as one of the top linebackers of the class, had yet to find a home. The Browns, who didn't pick until 59th overall, sat stunned.
"When he got past pick 40, 42 and 44, we knew at that point it was time to start making some calls," Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta said.
Pick 52 arrived, and the Browns finally had their trade. The Carolina Panthers were moving back to 59, and the Browns were moving to 52 to grab Owusu-Koramoah.
The Browns couldn't have been more pleased. The reactions of Stefanski and Berry on a Zoom call shortly before speaking with Owusu-Koramoah proved it.
"AB … " Stefanski said looking into the camera before widening his eyes and nodding his head.
"That's a big one," Berry replied with a smile.
4. Browns see numerous possibilities with Schwartz's speed
Anthony Schwartz put himself in position to be drafted by the Browns in the third round after showcasing his elite speed for three years at Auburn.
That speed, which led to his blisteringly-quick 4.25-second time at the 40-yard dash, was always part of the discussion when he conducted his first in-person meetings with Browns coaches and personnel. They made it known to Schwartz, however, that his speed won't just translate to the predictable deep-ball opportunities that a quick receiver can always create.
"With Anthony, certainly he has world-class speed, but it's not just enough to have world-class speed — it has to be in a manner that is actually playable," Berry said. "For us, we thought his ability to separate vertically and his ability to create with the ball in his hand, that's what attracted us to him. Off the field, he was one of the smartest players we interviewed."
Schwartz believes his speed will add a fresh blend to a receivers room that contains Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones. None of those receivers are as fast as Schwartz, and the Browns could use his quickness to stretch the field and create space for all receivers.
"We have one of the best rooms in the league," he said. "Just playing with this receiving core, I feel like it could be something very special and very scary for other teams."
5. Inside the reactions of every Browns pick
Not one player whom the Browns picked in the draft allowed Berry to complete his opening message welcoming them to Cleveland.
The interjections, of course, were certainly accepted by Berry and the rest of the Browns' coaches and ownership on the call. The jubilation of being drafted is always felt by all parties, so whenever Berry had to stop his statement due to the yells and chants from a draftee's family, he smiled.
BTB displayed recordings for each of the Zoom calls the Browns had with their draft picks, and their reactions alone are one reason why it's worth checking out Episode 3.