The Cleveland Browns enter the 2020 NFL Draft in need of a left offensive tackle.
Could Boise State’s Ezra Cleveland‘s name be called to fill that need?
Will Cleveland’s future be in Cleveland?
The Name Has It
Admittedly, he has the right name for the job, and he would be the first player drafted by the Browns with the last name Cleveland.
Browns fans are salivating at the possibility of the last name “Cleveland” on the back of the brand new Browns jerseys.
There are other teams who drafted their city namesakes over the years.
Surprisingly, it has happened 4 times since 1967.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 16, 2020
The Browns have an affinity of drafting players with the last name Brown with 7 since 1970.
The most notorious of players named Brown drafted by the Browns is 1957 draftee and Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown.
Looking at the Browns history of drafting namesakes, drafting a Cleveland is certainly within the realm of possibilities.
As for Ezra Cleveland, one more uncanny and fateful tie to the Browns is that he has cousins with the last name of, you guessed it, Brown.
The Browns current early round draft picks are:
1st Round – # 10
2nd Round – # 41
3rd Round – # 74 and # 97
There are several possibilities of how the Browns would go about drafting Ezra Cleveland.
The easiest and most obvious is to select him with the #10 overall pick, but that seems unlikely because he has been projected to go anywhere from late in the 1st round through the middle of the 2nd round per Yahoo Sports.
Here is where the speculation begins:
#1. If they believe he will be gone by the time their 41st pick rolls around, would the Browns trade back into the 1st round (late picks) to get him?
#2. Would the Browns work a deal to get an additional 2nd round pick if getting Cleveland is contingent upon doing so?
Ezra Cleveland’s Skill Set
We discussed the name and the drafting scenarios, but most importantly what does Ezra Cleveland bring to the Browns?
He is 6’6″ tall and weighs 311 pounds.
His NFL Combine performance was a good one.
He finished the 40-yard dash at 4.93 seconds (2nd fastest among tackles) and completed 30 reps of the bench press weight (225 lbs.) which was the most of any tackles at the NFL Combine.
Red-shirted as a freshman in 2016 at Boise State, Cleveland was a steady performer the past three seasons.
He earned All-Mountain West First Team honors in both 2018 and 2019 and All-Mountain West Honorable Mention in 2017.
In 2019, Cleveland was instrumental in opening holes for Freshman RB George Holani who was elected Mountain West Freshman of the Year.
Lots of excitement out there about Boise St. OT Ezra Cleveland. Biggest reason being, most feel that his current flaws are correctable with experience, maturity, and the weight room. pic.twitter.com/Ol8OZbXGeJ
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) April 18, 2020
He suffered a turf-toe injury in the 2nd game of the 2019 season and continued to be a consistent gametime performer despite limited practice time.
Cleveland is an all-around athlete who excelled at other sports besides football in high school.
He was also on the wrestling and baseball teams.
Other Teams In The MIx
Adding to the speculation of where Ezra Cleveland will fall in the draft order is the fact that multiple teams have shown interest in him since his stellar NFL Combine performance.
Other potential teams could be the Patriots, Chargers, Raiders, and the Packers.
Finding out if Cleveland ends in Cleveland is yet another reason to tune into the NFL Draft starting on April 23.