2024 NFL Draft Review: Cleveland Browns

Review of all 32 teams draft, with grades and UDFA signings. This time it’s the Cleveland Browns.
Ohio State v Maryland
Ohio State v Maryland / G Fiume/GettyImages

Previously we reviewed the Cincinnati Bengals draft selections, now it’s time to take a look at how the Cleveland Browns drafted and grade the picks. Which player was the best value and earn the team choice award, and who did the team sign during the undrafted free-agent period? Let’s break it all down.

2 (54): DI Michael Hall Jr., Ohio State

For Michael Hall, this is a short trip from the Buckeyes facility to the Cleveland Browns Stadium. The defensive tackles had started flying off the board so Cleveland had to get in while they could. Hall is very young and isn’t even 21 yet, that gives him plenty of time to grow and this was probably the biggest reason Cleveland went down this route. He has a quick first step and has a lot of upper body power at his disposal. If the production was a little higher this pick would have looked better.

Michael Hall Jr.
Ohio State v Purdue / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Grade: B

3 (85): G Zak Zinter, Michigan

Zinter was seen as a premium inside offensive lineman in this year’s draft who could also switch to center. Zinter is a huge addition to the offensive line for Cleveland that will soon be looking for replacements, Zinter is exactly that. He suffered a broken leg late last season so training and preparing to go when the time is right is all he can do for now. Good pick. 

Zak Zinter
2023 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Grade: B+

(Team Choice Award)

5 (157): WR Jamari Thrash, Louisville

This is good value with this pick late in the fifth. Wide receiver is a need for Cleveland based on what could happen over the next year with their wide receiver corps. Thrash has a significant route tree to play with and his 4.46s time in the 40 shows he’s got some juice at his disposal. His biggest issue will be the eight dropped passes he had last year. That needs to be fixed urgently. 

Jamari Thrash
Louisville v Indiana / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Grade: B

6 (206): LB Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State

So the Browns needed to fix their linebacker situation and they looked to the Bulldogs linebacker to help them out. He has a huge 81” wingspan which will help him to wrap up ball carriers but more than likely the Browns were more interested in his athleticism this late in the draft. A 10-yard split of 1.59s and a 40-time of 4.63s is very enticing. He recorded 10 sacks last season (most in the SEC) and finished with 137 tackles (also the most in the SEC). So why did he fall so low? First is the arrest in 2023 and secondly of the 137 tackles he recorded last year, only 35 of them were solo tackles.

Nathaniel Watson
Arkansas v Mississippi State / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Grade: C

7 (227): CB Myles Harden, South Dakota

This is a pick for special teams. Cleveland could have used this pick for other late-round upside players but taking Myles does have good value here. Harden allowed two-thirds of his targets sent his way to be completed and allowed two touchdowns while only catching one interception last year. 

Myles Harden
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Grade: C-

7 (243): DI Jowon Briggs, Cincinnati

I am not too sure about this pick either when there were better options available at positions of need. Briggs made 27 tackles, 15 pressures and only two sacks last year. He lacks any tangible traits to hang your hat on. 

Oct 1, 2022; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA;  Cincinnati Bearcats defensive lineman Jowon Briggs (18) during
Oct 1, 2022; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats defensive lineman Jowon Briggs (18) during / Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: C-

UDFA Signings- 

OL Lorenzo Thompson, Rhode Island

LB Winston Reid, Weber State

DB Chris Edmonds, Arizona State

CB DyShawn Gales, South Dakota State

Overall Grade: B-