The Browns may have taken their first questionable pick in the 2021 NFL Draft with Richard LeCounte.
At this point in the NFL Draft, you’re hoping for a special teams player and maybe a fringe starter. The folks at ESPN are desperately trying to highlight all the late-round picks who turned into stars but it’s far likely they a contract, maybe two, and then fade away from the spotlight. That may be what happened with the Browns, who took fifth-round pick Richard LeCounte from Georgia.
LeCounte is not a fast player by any means, registering a 4.8 40-yard dash, and as a safety that could be a problem for defending over the top. He has his supporters, as a pure football player but he’s one of the least athletic defensive backs in the draft and provides no real x-factor to the team.
His football instincts are what people rave about but at a position of need for the Browns, which needs top-flight speed and athleticism as well, drafting someone who’s lacking that is not a great idea.
The Browns defense will be completely different thanks to the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Browns sought out to overhaul their defense and they’ve done just that. Five of their first seven picks have all been about improving one of the leagues worst defenses and even if LeCounte just becomes another late-round player who does work on special teams, and doesn’t get a second contract, at least the Browns can say they lived up to their commitment to improving that side of the ball.
No one should be expecting LeCounte to be a starting safety, right now the best hope is that he’s able to make the team and can learn to be a good safety over time. His lack of top-end speed will hurt his ability to get on the field as a safety but he might be too good to keep off the field if his instincts are as good as people say.