Tracking Cleveland Browns' 2012 NFL Undrafted Free-Agent Signings
On top of the considerable haul the Cleveland Browns got in the 2012 NFL draft, they also snagged themselves 12 undrafted rookies over the last two days. The Browns still have roster holes that need patched, and adding depth is never an unwelcome activity in the NFL.
Let's take a quick look at who these players are and how they fit into the roster.
Josh Cooper, WR, Oklahoma State
Josh Cooper is an average receiver who will likely line up in the slot for Cleveland should he make the roster. He's good with yards after catch, however, and runs good routes, but he does have trouble making defenders miss.
The Browns need depth in their receiving corps, so it makes sense that they brought Cooper on board, but he'll have to make an impression to stay.
Jermaine Saffold, WR, Missouri State
Missouri State wide receiver Jermaine Saffold is fast—he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at his pro day—and a speedy receiver is just what the Browns need.
He's high production, with 45 receptions for 913 yards and eight scores in his 2011 season, averaging 20.3 yards per reception. He's quite the free-agent talent, and he may easily compete for the No. 2 receiver spot on the roster.
Bert Reed, WR, Florida State
The Browns went with more speed at receiver by bringing on Florida State's Bert Reed. Reed also projects to be best working the slot, but the fact that he's so undersized will make it easy to bring him down.
He'll be best when used to stretch the field vertically and may also be useful in the return game. He's creative with his route running but needs to perfect his catching technique.
Andrew Sweat, LB, Ohio State
The Browns focused heavily on picking up run stoppers in the draft, and this continued with their undrafted rookie acquisitions, bringing on Ohio State linebacker Andrew Sweat over the weekend.
Sweat isn't terribly physical and doesn't play well in space due to a lack of speed. If he sticks on the Browns, he wouldn't be on the field for every play.
Matt Cleveland, OG, Idaho
Matt Cleveland has some experience playing tackle, but his lack of speed makes him far more useful as a guard. He's a tough player, with solid run-blocking skills, but he needs more of a mean streak.
Still, the Browns could keep him around on the active roster in 2012, for reasons other than his fortunate last name.
J.B. Shugarts, OG/T, Ohio State
Ohio State's J.B. Shugarts can play guard or right tackle, and though he does lack in athleticism, he has the requisite nastiness of a professional offensive lineman.
He needs to play lower, however, and work on his balance—he gets knocked over too easily, though he does have good size and overall strength. Shugarts would be a work-in-progress for the Browns, but he could develop into a valuable depth player if they can get his fundamentals ironed out.
Garth Gerhart, C, Arizona State
Garth Gerhart is a smart football player with a good work ethic, but his below-average athleticism and aggressiveness prevented him from being drafted this year. He's also a little smaller, which means he'll only be useful in the interior offensive line in the NFL.
He has good footwork, is skilled at getting to the second level and does exhibit some power. Gerhart needs some work, but I think he'll earn a spot on the Browns' roster.
Emanuel Davis, CB, East Carolina
Emanuel Davis has a very good shot at sticking on the Browns' roster. Though undersized, he plays bigger than his height and has a ton of natural ability that needs refining.
He excels at man coverage and could be useful as a nickel corner right away. Davis needs some polishing, but he was a fifth-round projected player and will probably earn himself a roster spot.
Antwuan Reed, CB, Pitt
Pitt cornerback Antwuan Reed doesn't have a lot of upside at the moment but could be coached up, considering it's mainly his fundamentals that need work.
He's a far better zone corner than anything, and he lacks straight-line speed and physicality. I don't see Reed making it past camp.
Mike Allen, CB, James Madison
Mike Allen used to play receiver before being converted to cornerback. He's got great speed and plays well in man coverage and his height is ideal, but his weight is not.
Allen could stick around, especially if he can add bulk without slowing down. Short arms aren't going to help him much, however, and that's something that just cannot be changed.
Tashaun Gipson, FS, Wyoming
Tashaun Gipson is tall, with long arms and good athleticism, but that's about it. He isn't very physical and doesn't have good closing speed, which means he'll likely get burned by receivers at the professional level.
The Browns could use some depth at safety, but I'm not sure Gipson is the answer.
William Green, DE, Florida
There's not much information out there about Florida defensive end William Green. The best I could find described him as unreliable and not very flashy. On a Browns squad rife with defensive ends, that doesn't bode well for Green's chances to stick around.