The NFL Draft has special meaning this year for the Cleveland Browns. The instability at the top has resulted in a true football guy at the top of the personnel department. The Browns have had ex football guys (Dwight Clark), college football coaches (Butch Davis), scouts (Phil Savage, George Kokonis, Tom Heckert), former NFL coach (Mike Holmgren) and an enigma (Mike Lombardi) sitting at the head of the personnel department. Ray Farmer is different, and we will review more as the draft approaches, but he played in the NFL, career ended by a knee injury, then spent years working in scouting departments, after a short stint in TV and radio. Farmer has an interesting decision at #4 overall but today we look back at former #26 overall picks and the results each had, the hope is one day the Browns will be drafting around this number with their own pick.
2013 – Green Bay Packers – Datone Jones
Jones played in all 16 games for the injury riddled Packers this past season. He combined for 10 tackles along with 3.5 sacks. Obviously he was primarily a pass rusher in his first season but could see more time this year. As Browns fans saw with Barkevious Mingo, rookie OLB tend to struggle with consistency in their first year as they learn the speed of the game and learn counter moves. Both Mingo and Jones transitioned from 4-3 defensive ends to outside linebackers in the 3-4 which also slows the statistical success of a player. Jones also recovered a fumble and blocked a kick. For the Packers he looks like he could be a long term solid player but may not ascend to superstar levels.