The Browns on Friday selected LSU cornerback Greedy Williams with the No. 46 pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Williams is the Browns' first selection in the draft. Cleveland did not hold a first-round selection for the first time since 2008.
"I will start out by saying in all of the evaluations, he has played some of the top-caliber receivers in the SEC," Browns general manager John Dorsey said. "If you really go watch him play the game of football, he is fluid; he is easy; he is a smooth-moving corner; and he does it effortlessly.
"Corners in the National Football League have to cover. This guy has all the skillsets to cover players in the National Football League."
Cleveland traded up from No. 49 to 46 in a deal with the Indianapolis Colts. The Browns sent No. 49 and a fifth-rounder acquired from Jacksonville (No. 144) in a previous trade.
Greedy Williams is a Cleveland Brown. Take a look at photos of the LSU cornerback, whom the Browns selected 46th overall Friday in the 2019 NFL Draft.
"You are watching the trends fall of the board. You guys saw it. You saw the corners and the defensive backs start to peel off there," Dorsey said, referencing the five defensive backs selected in the second round before Williams. "It was inevitable that this guy was going to be peeled off within the next three to four spots of where we selected him. We were trying to move up there like six spots before that, too.
"I thought he would be one of the first five guys picked off the board (in Round 2)."
Dorsey and coach Freddie Kitchens talked with Williams before the pick was made official. Kitchens joked "Greedy was giddy."
"I was just overwhelmed," Williams said. "I was just thinking like, 'Who's going to get me?' When I got the phone call from the 216 (area code), it was Cleveland and I was just happy. Filled with a lot of emotions. I am still replaying the phone call over in my head. I'm just happy to be a part of the Brownies. I'm ready to get in and put in a lot of work."
Williams, a finalist for the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the nation's top defensive back. He led the SEC with six interceptions in 2017 and followed up with two more this past season.
A Shreveport, Louisiana, native, Williams, whose full first name is Andraez, redshirted his first year at LSU before landing a starting job in 2017. He started all 24 of the games in which he appeared. Williams was a two-time first team All-SEC selection, a third-team All-American in 2017 and a first-teamer in 2018.
"I have been playing football my whole life, and I always loved to have the football in my hands," Williams said. "Transferring to defensive back, I knew whoever threw at me that I need the ball in my hands. I made that impact as a defensive back. Coming to Cleveland, I am that guy who can get you the ball two or three times a game, and I know for sure that (QB) Baker Mayfield is going to capitalize with those interceptions I get."
Williams, who measures at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, finished his career with 28 passes defensed and 71 tackles.
He'll be tasked with covering two of the best receivers in LSU history, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., on the Browns' practice fields very soon.
"I know those guys are going to get me right as far as playing my position and them going against me. They are going to tell me what they look for in a corner," Williams said. "I'm definitely ready to match up against those guys in practice and be able to cover anybody if you can cover them two. I'm just very excited. I thank Cleveland for just taking the opportunity on me. This is big for me and my family. Cleveland has a lot more fans coming from Louisiana. I'm ready just to get there, hug on the fans and hug on the coaches. It is a big day for me."