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2020 NFL Draft

John DeFilippo: Browns offensive draft picks versatile enough to fill variety of roles

The Browns added five offensive players in the 2015 NFL Draft, but the potential positions and roles they could fill within John DeFilippo's scheme more than doubles that total.

The terms "versatility" and "diversity" are going to be thrown around a lot when describing the Browns' 2015 offense, and the five newest pieces will feed into it.

"The first thing you notice is the amount of versatility the majority of them provide," said DeFilippo, the Browns' new offensive coordinator. "They played a bunch of different positions in terms of on the offensive line, in terms of in the backfield, so those guys provide a ton of versatility for what we're trying to do."

It started in a big way with the addition of Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Erving, a five-pronged Swiss Army Knife who is capable of lining up anywhere along the line.

Erving, who began his college career as a defensive tackle, was a mainstay at left tackle for multiple seasons before he made the switch to center. He played well enough to help Florida State improve its up-the-gut rushing attack and earn postseason blocking honors at both left tackle and center.

Where he'll begin his Cleveland career has yet to be determined, but DeFilippo is confident in Erving's ability to adapt to whatever is thrown his way. How he responded to the challenge he faced as a senior was more than enough proof.

"When a guy can go in and do that against that level of competition, you know the guy has to be a great athlete and know he has to be really good at what he does," DeFilippo said.

Running back Duke Johnson finished his three-year Miami career ranked atop the list of all-time leaders in rushing yards. He dazzled in a couple of other areas, too, making a number of YouTube-able highlights on kick returns and proving to be a valuable commodity in the Hurricanes' passing attack.

Johnson finished second on the Hurricanes with 38 receptions in 2014. He averaged more than 11 yards per catch, peaking with a 37-yarder, while adding three receiving touchdowns.

Cleveland's running backs and fullbacks combined for 32 receptions, 226 yards and a touchdown in 2014.

"The thing about Duke you notice first on tape is obviously his explosiveness and how he can run the football. What's really undervalued with Duke is his hands," DeFilippo said. "He's great out of the backfield. He can run a choice route for you and he can beat a linebacker or DB one-on-one in a pass route. I think again, the versatility of our players we drafted is going to show on the field."

Over a 15-minute span during Saturday's sixth round, the Browns added two bodies to the tight ends room whose skill sets could provide plenty of options in a variety of formations.

Mississippi State tight end Malcolm Johnson, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 231 pounds, already has experience lining up at different spots across the field. On top of his duties as a traditional tight end, Johnson, who had 28 catches for 380 yards and three touchdowns, was seen at spots customary for wide receivers and in the backfield as an H-back and fullback.

USC's Randall Telfer, whose status for rookie mini-camp and OTAs is uncertain because of a foot injury, is a more traditional tight end who has experience with the kind of pro-style offense Cleveland plans to run, DeFilippo said.

The duo will join a group that includes two traditional tight ends -- Jim Dray and Gary Barnidge -- and free agent signee Rob Housler, who could be more of a downfield threat.

"The versatility of the room," DeFilippo said, "is going to be really, really good."

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