The Cleveland Browns 2017 NFL Draft selection might not have been as flashy, but fourth-round pick Howard Wilson could be a future star.
The Cleveland Browns went for immediate impact in the first round of the draft. Myles Garrett, David Njoku and Jabrill Peppers can be instant contributors and eventual start. In the second round, Cleveland grabbed quarterback DeShone Kizer. He isn’t ready to start, but he too could one day be a Browns standout.
With their first pick on Day 3, the Browns managed to add another guy who may eventually be a star for the team. In the fourth round (126th overall) Cleveland grabbed former Houston cornerback Howard Wilson:
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#Browns in trade w/#Broncos: moved up to 126 and took CB Howard Wilson, got 7th rnd compensatory 252 (2nd last pick). Gave 145 & 175 in 5th
The Browns traded up to get Wilson, and it’s not difficult to see why. In terms of potential, he is one of the better defensive backs in this class. Yes, Wilson is a bit raw — let’s get that out of the way first. He missed most of the 2015 season with a torn ACL and has only one year of starting experience under his belt. His numbers, though, are quite favorable.
Wilson isn’t a burner — he ran a 4.57-second 40 at the scouting combine — but he’s nimble, as evidenced by a 6.68-second three-cone drill. He’s agile and he’s also a capable tackler.
Bleacher Report NFL draft analyst Matt Miller wrote the following of Wilson:
He’s a natural mover with quick hips and a silky smoothness when asked to change directions. Wilson doesn’t struggle or take false steps when asked to shift his balance and adjust going left or right. He’s an accomplished tackler, notching over 50 tackles in 2016 and showing he’s not afraid to get dirty in the running game.
Wilson is also a long cornerback — he measured in at 6-1 and 184 pounds. He projects as a bigger slot corner, and he can likely be a good one with some seasoning.
Hitting on the early picks is important, but the Browns are lacking in talent and also need to identify future contributors in the middle and late rounds. Wilson has the potential to be a future starter for the team.