The Cleveland Browns have started season 54 on a 3-0 run, defeating the Jags, Bengals and Jets. There was excitement around some of the new pieces brought in during the offseason, but most of that came from the Browns’ draft picks. Heading into week 4, let’s take a look at the rookies drafted, and how/if they have contributed to the season so far.
Richard Aguayo, TE, Oregon St.
Aguayo was selected with the 20th overall pick, and was the team’s answer to the TE position after trading David Njoku to the Seattle Seahawks. At age 22, Aguayo is already putting up solid production with 17 receptions (2nd most on team), 270 yards and a touchdown. The team will undoubtedly continue to utilize him as much as possible.
Pearson Jackson, S, UCLA
The Browns selected Jackson early in the 2nd round, with the pick they acquired from Tampa Bay last year. Jackson is quick to the ball, but the team will need to focus on helping him improve his awareness. So far, he’s been used infrequently, having only 2 tackles in 3 weeks. Expect the team to incorporate him more moving forward.
Tay Newkirk, DT, South Carolina
Newkirk was another one of the Browns’ 3 2nd round picks, and was taken as more of a developmental talent. While he has solid fundamentals rushing the passer, the staff will need to help build him into a true starting interior lineman.
Denton Wilkerson, RG, Texas A&M
Prior to the draft, sources with the team made it known that the coaching staff wanted to improve the ground game in order to strengthen an offense known for passing. Wilkerson is a solid run blocker and a great addition for depth on the line. Could be a starter in the future.
Marquise McFarland, HB, Drake
To the surprise of many, the Browns selected a running back in the 3rd round of the draft. McFarland was a big story, as some scouts projected him higher even though he came from FCS competition. The Browns front office considers him a steal, and are planning to have him be a significant part of the team. Though Nick Chubb has primarily carried the workload so far, McFarland has 9 carries for 26 yards through 2 games played. He has also been the primary kick returner since week 1.
Armon Boss, TE, Texas
Boss was selected late in the 4th round, primarily as a camp body. His status with the team will largely depend upon whether or not an agreement is reached between the Browns and TE Demetrius Harris. He is currently on the team’s practice squad.
Jibreel Richards, WR, Miami
Richards was the team’s final pick of the draft, being selected in the 5th rd. His lack of route running acumen hurt his chances of making a roster with solid WR depth, and he was cut in the preseason. He is currently a free agent.