2020 NFL Draft

A closer look at the Browns' 7th-round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft

Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku undoubtedly form the centerpiece that is the Browns' promising 2017 NFL Draft class.

But don't forget about Cleveland's two seventh-round picks in kicker Zane Gonzalez and running back Matthew Dayes, whom the Browns tapped for various reasons.

Here's a closer look at the two prospects.

K Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State:

Height/Weight:6-0, 202

Pick, Round:No. 224, Round 7

The skinny:Gonzalez, the 2016 Lou Groza Award winner and first-team All-American, was projected as high as a third-round pick in NFL.com's draft profile. At Arizona State, Gonzalez became the FBS record holder for most field goals made with 96 (previous record of 88 held by Dustin Hopkins from Florida State) out of 116 attempts. In his final season with the Sun Devils, Gonzalez connected on 23-of-25 field goal attempts, including 7-of-9 from over 50 yards. He was also key in helping Arizona State establish the field position game, sending 126-of-167 kickoffs for touchbacks in 2015 and 2016.

What they said:"We feel very comfortable that this guy brings the characteristics that we want in our kicker. He had an outstanding career at Arizona State. He will come in and compete. We feel good about our kicker here now, but I don't think you can have too much competition anywhere on our football team. The thing that I love that we are doing is that we are adding players that are on our board at the right time for us. That is most important. He was there. There was an opportunity for us to take another guy to compete, and we did that." — Browns head coach Hue Jackson

"Self-made, four-year starter who has steadily increased his kickoff distance and range as a field goal kicker. As the most prolific field goal kicker in FBS history, Gonzalez has a good chance of being drafted and becoming an instant starter." — NFL.com Lance Zierlein

Why he could play in 2017:Gonzalez is as accomplished as it gets when it comes to first-year kickers. While Browns' incumbent kicker Cody Parkey put together a solid year in 2016, Jackson said there's always room for competition, especially for a team that finished 1-15 last season. Gonzalez's college pedigree and consistency over the years means he'll have a crack at the starting job.


RB Matt Dayes, N.C. State**

Height/Weight:5-foot-9, 205 pounds

Pick, Round:No. 252, 7th round

The skinny:Dayes saved his best season for last, totaling 1,166 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns (plus 32 receptions for 267 yards) in his final year at N.C. State. Before that, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native led the nation with 12 rushing touchdowns in 2015 before a toe injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. In 2014, Dayes was one of three players with at least 300 yards rushing (573), receiving (321, five touchdowns) and in kick returns (384).

What they said:

"Matt was a very productive three-year starter at North Carolina State. We actually thought he was one of the better pass protectors in the class. He catches the ball real well out of the backfield, and he is a solid ball carrier. We think he has a very well-rounded skill set, but certainly, the pass-pro ability drew us to him." — vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry.

"Tempo-based, one-cut running back with good vision but an inability to break tackles and run with power. Best on outside zone plays with an opportunity to find back-side cuts, but when he has to run between the tackles, he's missing an aggressive burst. Potentially a committee running back with some third-down value if he can tighten up his pass blocking." — NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein.

Why he could contribute in 2017:

While Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. have established themselves as Cleveland's top two backs, Dayes could find the field because of his effectiveness in both the run and pass games. Dayes was a productive player at N.C. State and should compete with Darius Jackson and George Atkinson for playing time behind Crowell and Johnson.

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