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2020 NFL Draft

Browns searching for impact players in NFL Draft, but starting jobs will be earned

Over the past few months, Browns have reiterated a strategy that starts with building their roster through the NFL Draft.

And starting Thursday night, Cleveland is set to add 12 new faces to a team looking for playmakers and depth at many positions under first-year coach Hue Jackson and Co.

"I do think what we want to do is find some players at positions that can impact our team," executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said.

Brown, who met with reporters late last week, laid out the front office's draft strategy, a plan that included trading the No. 2 pick to the Eagles in exchange for the No. 8 pick and a bevy of future selections.

Brown also made it clear the Browns want to build a "nucleus" of young talent and create a competitive culture.

When asked how many draft picks Cleveland expected to enter next season as starters, Brown wouldn't set a number.

"We wouldn't look at it that way. Fair question. I do think what we want to do is find some players at positions that can impact our team. We are not necessarily going to reach for positions," said Brown, who added Monday on Cleveland Browns Draft Preview Special the Browns will strike a balance of taking the best player available regardless of position and addressing roster needs such as wide receiver and the secondary.

"We do understand that we are in a position now to have 12 new faces on our roster this year, which is almost like two draft classes, a number of those high draft picks," Brown said.

Yes, ideally, the Browns want their draft picks to come to Berea, compete and win a job on the depth chart."Our hope would be those guys coming in start right away," Brown said.

"But we know we have an increasingly young roster here, and some guys that are going to be fighting to keep their positions. We want to bring competition with young, passionate, tough football players that will start to change the culture here.

After all, head coach Hue Jackson has made it clear that no one — save for nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas — will be given starting job.

From the battle at quarterback to the offensive line to newcomers on the roster, those roles, Jackson said, will be earned.

"It's like every player on our football team. They've got to earn the right to be the starter here for the Browns. Right now outside of Joe Thomas there's not a lot of guys that have a lot of skins on the wall for me. Joe will be the first to tell you he knows he has to be at his best just like everybody else," Jackson said.

"I'm not in the business of handing anybody anything. I think we're going to have to earn the right to play for us and to be on this roster and to be on this football team at every position."

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