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2020 NFL Draft

Browns 2016 draft class optimistic that a 'change is coming'

Five of the 14 newest members of the Browns gathered on a stage Saturday afternoon, echoing a familiar feeling that's seemed to settle over in Berea in recent months.

"When you get around a program, you can kind of feel that vibe and the energy," said former USC quarterback Cody Kessler, whom the Browns drafted in the third round Friday night.

"It just feels so positive, everyone's so excited to get started and the players feed off that."

Indeed, that's been the buzz around Cleveland under first-year coach Hue Jackson as the Browns continue their offseason workouts.

And it's something Kessler and fellow members of the 2016 NFL Draft picked up on.

"It feels like a family atmosphere, just like Stillwater," said Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, the Browns' second-round pick who emerged as one of the nation's top pass rushers with the Cowboys. ""It feels like everybody's real close with each other."

Browns first-round pick and Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman and third-round picks in Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib and Auburn tackle Shon Coleman echoed similar sentiments, meeting with local reporters for the first time since being drafted.

But perhaps most of all, they say the Browns could be on the verge of something good.

"You could tell a change is coming," Ogbah said. "That's what I feel, too. I strongly believe that and we're ready to make that change."

After all, the five have experience in overcoming obstacles. Kessler had five coaches in four years at USC; Corey Coleman was key in helping solidify Baylor as one of the nation's top college programs; Nassib went from a walk-on to the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year; and Shon Coleman battled leukemia before returning to an Auburn team that competed for national titles under coach Gene Chizik.

"This is my first time in Cleveland or downtown very much at all but I'm so excited to be here," Nassib said, adding, "everybody's ready to work."

Shon Coleman said Berea reminded him of Auburn.

"You can tell with the staff, everybody that I've met with today is on the same page and trying to go in a new direction," he said.

To be sure, there is work to be done in order to accomplish that goal, something Jackson and Cleveland's front office have been frank about.

But the latest crop of Browns are optimistic they can keep the good vibes flowing.

"The feeling is just the love in town," Corey Coleman said. "We're just all ready to do our best to change the organization around."

Added Kessler, who said the draft class feels almost like a recruiting class with so many members: "You come in and the guys are going to be the first class that kind of came in with this new coaching staff and we're going to be really tight and really close together.

"Hopefully a lot of us can contribute — whether it's right away or down the line — but I think it's going to be really cool to look back on in a couple years when this program is going in the right direction," Kessler continued, "and see all that we've accomplished and in the time that we have."​

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