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2020 NFL Draft

Cleveland Browns draft Washington State DL Xavier Cooper in 3rd round

The Browns selected Washington State defensive tackle Xavier Cooper in Friday's third round with the 96th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

The Browns received the pick in a trade with the New England Patriots.

"I really felt like he was a difference maker," Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. "The guy played with an unbelievable motor. He ran and hustled to the ball, showed that first step quick explosion to beat block and get up the field. I think the guy has got potential to be really, really good NFL player."

Cooper is the second defensive lineman the Browns have landed in the 2015 draft, as he joins his Pac-12 rival Danny Shelton (Washington) on a Cleveland defensive line that is looking to bounce back after an injury-plagued 2014 season.

"We're adding two guys who we've targeted for a long time," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "As most D-line rooms are, it's a rotation. The one encouraging thing is you look at some of these guys that are playing in college, like Shelton for example, that are playing against the spread, you're finding college D-linemen that are playing 80, 90 plays a game, whereas now you can get into a rotation in the NFL and they are that much more effective when they're not taking as many reps."

After redshirting his first season, Cooper took over as a starter at Washington State and held onto that role for three seasons, appearing in 36 games and starting the final 34. He finished his career with the eighth-most tackles for loss in school history (31.5) and 13 sacks.

Cooper is the Browns' fifth selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, joining Shelton, OL Cameron Erving, LB Nate Orchard and RB Duke Johnson.

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