Greg Newsome II, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah land on PFF’s All-Rookie team

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The Cleveland Browns have spent the last few seasons adding a multitude of young talent to the roster through the NFL draft. Players like Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb kicked off the most recent surge but Joel Bitonio’s selection in the second round years ago deserves mention.

The last couple of years have also brought in important talent with Greedy Williams, Jedrick Wills, Greg Newsome II and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

Not all recent draft picks have been hits right away. An injury caused Grant Delpit to miss his rookie season and have an up and down second year. Anthony Schwartz failed to live up to his third-round status as well. Thankfully, those two and others have a chance to grow over the next couple of seasons.

Two players that hit the ground running for the Browns were their top two draft picks in Newsome and Owusu-Koramoah. The two rookie defenders were honored by Pro Football Focus as a part of their All-Rookie team:

Newsome was excellent in single coverage this season for the Browns. He allowed just 14 receptions on 31 single-coverage targets as a rookie and was PFF’s highest-graded rookie cornerback on those targets. Cleveland has a promising young cornerback tandem to build around between Newsome and fellow former first-round selection Denzel Ward.

But the speed JOK plays with, and his ability to handle a wider variety of coverage assignments than your average linebacker, has made an immediate positive impact on Cleveland’s defense. PFF charted Owusu-Koramoah with just 168 passing yards allowed into his coverage on 300 coverage snaps this season. That rate of 0.56 yards allowed per snap ranked third among off-ball linebackers with at least 250 coverage snaps during the regular season.

Cleveland was one of a few AFC teams to have two rookies on PFF’s list.

While the Browns season did not go as they planned, their top rookies performed very well and bodes well for the team’s future on defense.

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