Browns trade back into third round to add defensive lineman

Published May. 1, 2015 11:48 p.m. ET

The Browns traded back into the end of third round with the New England Patriots to select defensive lineman Xavier Cooper from Washington State.

"I really felt like he was a difference maker," Ray Farmer said moments after the selection was made." He played with a high motor and unbelievable explosion. I think he has a chance to be a really good player."

Mike Pettine says you can never have enough guys up front after seeing injuries deplete the defensive line last year with Phil Taylor, Billy Winn, Desmond Bryant, Ahtyba Rubin and John Hughes all missing time.

"It's a rotation, you find college D-lineman coming into the NFL that are playing 70-80 plays a game," Pettine said. "They can rotate and be fresh at the end of the game."

The Browns traded a fourth-round pick (111), fifth-round pick (147 overall) and seventh-round pick (229th overall) for picks 96 and 219.

Cooper (6-4, 299) finished his career with 13 sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss, which is the eighth most in school history.

"It's not all about his numbers," Farmer said. "It's how does he generate his production?"  


Cooper ran a 4.86 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

"Cooper has terrific initial quickness for his size with active hands to catch blockers off-balance, although he needs to improve his discipline and technique in order to become a more reliable player from snap-to-snap," Dane Brugler from said. "He played mostly a five-technique role in Washington State's 3-4 base defense and offers some versatility, but is ideally suited as a penetrating three-technique in a four man front – flash player with a lot of good football ahead of him as long as he stays focused."