For the past two years, the Cleveland Browns have been plagued by players making headlines for all the wrong reasons, and those issues were accompanied by 22 losses, including 18 setbacks in their last 21 games.
As such, Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam made changes to the coaching staff and in the player personnel department in an effort to change a culture of an organization with just two winning seasons and one playoff appearance since returning to the NFL in 1999.
In order to make the culture shift necessary to compete in the AFC North Division, the Browns felt the need to change the type of players they sought to add to the roster. And with their 14 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Browns not only added productive college players, but also, athletes who they believe could represent the organization in a positive manner.
“It’s an important, really central aspect of what we’re going to build here,” said Sashi Brown, the Browns’ Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “We want guys who are passionate about football, but also, good citizens, good members of the Cleveland community and good teammates. Emmanuel (Ogbah) and Corey (Coleman) both are that.
“They’re hyper-competitive guys who aren’t afraid to be coached hard and want to get better and be great. I know you all picked that up as a theme, and Emmanuel is no different. Both of these guys are loved by their coaches. We expect them to come in day one and compete, but also, be great teammates even before they get on campus. I know a couple of the guys have already reached out to both players.”
According to first-year coach Hue Jackson, the Browns dug deep into the players’ backgrounds through the pre-draft process in order to make the best decisions possible for a team that has just six first-round picks from the last 10 years still on the roster.