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Browns rookie class heavy on Texas flavor

You already know the Browns' 2016 draft class — a crop of 14 players carefully evaluated by the team's front office — is historically large.

What you might not know, though, is that it has supersized Texas flavor, too.

"I noticed it when we had our meeting and everybody was saying where they're from," first-year safety Derrick Kindred said on Friday. "We had a lot of guys from Texas. It's pretty cool."

Indeed, six members of Cleveland's draft class and one of its undrafted free agents hail from the Lonestar State in some way:

Kindred grew up in the San Antonio area, first-round pick Corey Coleman, Trey Caldwell, Rashard Higgins are from the Dallas area, Spencer Drango mostly grew up in Cedar Park (part of the Austin MPA) and Emmanuel Ogbah moved to Houston from Nigeria when he was 9 years old. Meanwhile, Mike Matthews — who joined the Browns as an UDFA last week and the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews — is from Missouri City, Texas (part of the Houston MPA).

Many of them chose to stay close to home for college: Coleman and Drango were teammates at Baylor, Matthews was a three-year starter at Texas A&M, Kindred was a standout safety at TCU and Ogbah headed one state north to play for Oklahoma State in Stillwater. ​

The Browns weren't alone in taking talent from Texas, either. The state produced 32 draft picks this year, the most of any state.

"It's crazy, it's a big state. And it's really football-driven," Kindred said. "Everywhere you go you're going to find athletes, great athletes. All over Texas it's just great."

Think Friday Night Lights.

"It's crazy, it's definitely a different culture and lifestyle," Drango said, laughing, "but I think it prepared me for what's to come."

He added: "I did notice a lot of Texas guys. A fair amount of Big 12. We've got some guys I can, so to speak, reminisce when however cold it gets up here."

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