Browns GM Andrew Berry Recaps The 2023 NFL Draft

Cleveland Browns Introduce Quarterback Deshaun Watson

Photo: Getty Images/Nick Cammett

BEREA, OH--- Opening Statement 

“So we have at least come to the end of the draft, although our scouts and coaches are hard at work as we get organized for the post-draft undrafted free agent signing period. We are excited about the guys we added this weekend. I think we a number of young players that we’re excited to get with our coaching staff. For us, while we will maybe take a breath after tonight’s finished and when we sign a number of undrafted free agents, it really is just that we still have work to do on the roster. We will explore every opportunity, trade, veteran market to continue to add depth and competition to all spots. This is a good point in the offseason and we are really excited about the guys we added over the past three days.”


On personal connections between the selections this year:

“It really is happenstance. It’s a nice side effect of how the board fell and who we selected, but I can’t say that we intentionally went about it that way. It is certainly nice to have these guys coming into the building with some familiarity.”


On having no trades until the end:

“I’ll be honest, we were actually talking about that in the draft room throughout the latter half of today. It’s like ‘Man, are we really not going to make a trade?’ We came close on a number, but it just didn’t come to fruition. Fortunately, the one with Baltimore really kind of came out of nowhere. Eric (DeCosta) gave a quick call. We were actually both joking on the phone as we were calling it in. He was like, ‘I keep getting beat up here, because we haven’t made any trades. My phone hasn’t been ringing.’ It was mutually beneficial, I guess you could say.”


On the first four picks seeming to be about size and if it was a coincidence:

“No, it is. All four players that we liked at their respective slots and I would also say that even though drafted some bigger bodies, it’s not just like they’re big guys that can’t move. That’s something that we will always prioritize, because I do think the NFL is becoming more and more of a space game. If you have big athletic players at any position group you’ll take them.”


On so many linebackers coming off injury and not getting a linebacker in the draft:

“I think we really look at guys that we think have talent. Certainly, positions we prioritize and if its a right pick for where we are picking. We’re confident in the group that we’re bring back. We’re confident in the guys that are going though their rehab process. Like I said in the opener, we’ll look to add at in every spot.”


On where T Dawand Jones:

“We think he is a young, talented guy. A work in progress, like a lot of the guys that come into the league. It’s hard to find someone that has that rare of size and also his movement skills. He was very productive at Ohio State and we think we have the best offensive line coach (Bill Callahan). We know we have the best offensive line coach in the NFL. We can’t want to get him the building and allow Bill and Scott (Peters) to get their hands on him, because we do think he’s a lump of clay that we can really develop here.”


On driving competition forward on the roster with the guys they drafted:

“Well, hopefully, we have taken a big step there. I mean, I think any player that you bring into the organization, whether it’s through draft, whether it through free agency, whether it’s through a trade or some other means, you are hopeful that you can easier raise the floor and/or ceiling a position group. We have the same aspirations for this class of seven players, but we have to wait and see until they hit the grass.”

On if DC Jim Schwartz or QB Deshaun Watson influenced their draft decisions:

“I would probably push back a little on both notions. The idea that Jim is pushing for size, that’s really not true. He’s looking for good football players. With Deshaun, I think any team that has a quarterback and feels set at that position, wants to make sure to surround that with individuals that can help accentuate his skillset. I wouldn’t necessarily say we went into it with a specific plan that was going to drive the offense or the other side was going to drive the defense. We were looking for good football players that, ultimately, fit our vision.”


On what he likes most about QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the importance of having someone of similar style to Watson:

“Dorian, we love his playmaking ability. He’s got a strong arm, he’s really dangerous off schedule, he’s had a lot of starts at UCLA and the other thing that stands out is he is very, very tough and very, very competitive. In terms of the style, I think that’s a little bit overblown. We would, largely, just look for good quarterbacks or a good backup quarterback. The stylistic component is a plus, but we don’t really subscribe to the notion that your backup has to have the same style as your starter.”


On how he’s looking to build the quarterbacks room:

“I think it’s probably two things. One, you want to try to get the best player possible. Again, you just never know when your starter may be absent or what could happen. The other thing is, I think that relationship between starter and backup and the relationships in that room are important, because everyone has got to know their role in terms of preparation for the week. It is like other positions where you do want to drive competition and talent and it’s the most important position on the roster.”


On if he still feels there is a need for a veteran safety:

“I’d say there’s a need everywhere. We’re just trying to add talent and competition.”


On if he’s made a decision on T Jedrick Wills Jr.’s fifth-year option:

“I think I’ve touched on this in previous pressers. I won’t talk about it in this setting. We’re pleased with Jed.”


On drafting five wide receivers and three centers in his tenure:

“I think each situation is different, honestly. I wouldn’t say there’s some grand, overarching theme at receiver or center. We try to match our resources to opportunities. Can’t really force things in the draft, necessarily, and I think even with the eight players you’ve identified, they all have different skillsets, strengths or weaknesses that made them attractive at the time we made the selection. I’d like to say there is some pattern or something there, but honestly, there really wasn’t.”


On if three of the receivers being drafted in the third round is also a coincidence:

“It’s a totally fair question. Honestly, yeah.”


On if DE Isaiah McGuire is an immediate candidate for the third DE spot:

“I think all of that has to be played out. I think particularly on the lines, it is tough for rookies to transition into the NFL on both sides of the ball. I’m not going to limit any player that comes in. If the individual earns the role, they earned the role. It’s just got to play out on the grass, to be honest.


On what he liked about CB Cameron Mitchell: 

“We liked his ability to play press man coverage. We think he’s very physical, very competitive. We also liked his versatility to play inside and outside. We have a number of guys in our corner group that we cross-train in that regard, because it just gives us more flexibility in our sub packages and we feel Cam fills that role, as well. The other thing I should mention on Cam is we did like his appeal in the kicking game and on special teams, as well.”


On what specifically he liked about McGuire:

“Isaiah, I’d say it’s two things. His natural power, both in the run game and pass game. Also, I think he’s got what I would call ‘slipperiness’ as a rusher. Those two things combined, we thought allowed him to be highly productive and then the other thing is with his size and strength. We do think there’s probably some inside-outside rush appeal.”


On if any trades jumped off the board:

“I understand it certainly had a size-power theme. I can’t say going into it, that was necessarily the holistic thought. I think it was mentioned that the size profile for a handful of our picks was obviously apparent. Again, the horse trait can be anything. It’s not necessarily a theme. It just depends on who the prospects are and what we’re looking at that point on the board.”


On who embodies horse trait the most:

“I think you probably have to go with Dawand, because he’s not just big, he’s human orca big. I just don’t think you really see people with that size and that movement ability.”


On if there was a guy that they got at a surprising time:

“Probably (WR) Cedric (Tillman), realistically. We thought there could be some opportunity that he may go a little bit later than maybe he would have at this point a year ago, because of the injury. You’re never really sure until you get into the actual draft. We were pleased to get him at 74.”


On what was different about making trades this year compared to the last three:

“I think that the board is so random once you get to the middle rounds. It really just disperses across the league and we actually had probably two or three lined up, agreed upon. It was just really a function of if a particular team’s guy was there or was not there. It didn’t work out. We’re very pleased with the outcome, with the guys that we were able to acquire. I just think it’s how the board falls. You can never predict that you’re in, you’re out.”


On how guys drafted before Schwartz arrived in Cleveland will be affected:

“I would say it’s more like–while Jim’s scheme has differences than what we’ve played in the past, there’s probably a lot more overlap than there isn’t. So, with Jim’s system, there may be a little bit of a different coverage philosophy. Then, really, how we deploy the front in terms of the defensive linemen’s responsibilities. That may change a little bit, but the profile players is actually very similar.”


On if going after players from big schools is a philosophy of his:

“It is not. Talent comes from everywhere, it’s just kind of worked out that way.”


On what kind of C Luke Wypler:

“We thought Luke was very productive for a very, very good Ohio State offensive line. We think he has quickness and movement ability. I think what drew us to him was we thought he was a really good pass protector, particularly when he was isolated in one-on-one situations. That’s what really appealed to us in that regard. His visit with us, he’s incredibly smart, incredibly driven. We were excited to take him off the board in the sixth round.”


On if they got the impression from Thompson-Robinson that he’s confident:

“I haven’t met very many quarterbacks that aren’t confident in themselves and that’s probably a good trait. Dorian is a, look he’s started a lot of games. He’s got a lot of experience, he’s got a lot of talent and we’re looking forward to working with him.”


On what it means for the organization to get the young quarterback in the building: 

“I think I mentioned maybe a couple weeks back, just how important the backup quarterback position is for us. We’ve invested in it, whether it was (QB) Case (Keenum), whether it was (QB) Jacoby (Brissett), (QB) (Josh) Dobbs this past spring. Even as we acquired (QB) Kellen (Mond) and drafted Dorian. For us, I’d say it’s probably less about the avenue that we acquired the player and we’re always going to be looking, because it is the most important position in sports.”


On what it means for WR David Bell to prove that he deserves time:

“I think for all the guys in that room, it really is just about competition. I think if, for any player that comes in the NFL, if you’re not ready to come compete for your job, then it’s just not the league and it’s just not the sport for you. That’s the reality for young players, rookies and vets. That’s just kind of the way it is and that’s kind of the way that we’ll build out the roster.”


On how he feels about drafting and developing:

“I guess I might answer it in a little bit of a different way. We look at our role as building the best roster that we can through any avenue possible. We want to try and pull on every lever that we can and that we have at our disposal. Really, our job is resource allocation. How we deploy our picks, how we deploy our cash, how we organize our cap. That’s really more the perspective I look at it from and really the overall roster health.”


On Jones’ size and if there is a comparison:

“He actually reminded me when we were in Philadelphia, like Jordan Mailata, because it really is like a modern day Goliath. You just don’t see humans that are that big. But there aren’t very many people on earth that are his size. Even in the NFL, he’s a giant among giants.”


On Jones’ ability to move at his size and if basketball came into the conversion when drafting him:

“Yeah, I think a lot of tackles in the NFL, tight ends or maybe former failed basketball players–you can definitely see that in Dawand’s movement, particularly his feet. That’s something that we definitely saw as transferable for him as an athlete.”


On if Jones is the case on why young kids should play multiple sports growing up:

“Yeah, I think. I guess if this could be my PSA on that topic, I think a lot of the guys we draft or a lot of the guys who are top players in the NFL, and probably across sports, really were fantastic multi-sport athletes in high school. Whether it could be baseball or track and field or volleyball or wrestling. Usually these guys that become professional athletes, they had a very diverse background. They didn’t specialize from the age of five in one sport. I guess any kids watching, go play what you want to play and have fun.”


On what Schwartz meant by calling Ika a Ferrari:

“It means that he no longer has the two gap. He just has to get up the field and disrupt, get off the ball, get off the ball, get off the ball, as opposed to just build a stone wall and hold up the offensive line.”

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