The Cleveland Browns had 8 rookies join the team after the 2021 NFL Draft.
Back in the preseason, first-round pick Greg Newsome II described the group as follows:
“It’s kinda crazy. It kinda feels like we knew each other before we came here. Not a lot of us actually knew each other personally but I would call them my brothers now. We’re a tight group and that just shows you the Cleveland Brown culture.”
Greg Newsome on the rookie class: "It's kinda crazy. It kinda feels like we knew each other before we came here. Not a lot of us actually knew each other personally but I would call them my brothers now. We're a tight group and that just shows you the Cleveland Brown culture." pic.twitter.com/kAqf4dr2Uf
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) August 16, 2021
To recap the rookie class, they are as follows:
- Greg Newsome II, cornerback (first round)
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, linebacker (second round)
- Anthony Schwartz, wide receiver (third round)
- James Hudson, tackle (fourth round)
- Tommy Togiai, defensive tackle (fourth round)
- Tony Fields II, linebacker (fifth round)
- Richard LeCounte, safety (fifth round)
- Demetric Felton, running back/wide receiver (sixth round)
The players had different roles this season and some had ups and downs with their health so their seasons varied in how successful they turned out to be.
Here is a ranking of the top three rookies from the class in ascending order.
3. Demetric Felton
Demetric Felton is a multipurpose player who was plugged in at running back, wide receiver, and on special teams.
He appeared in 16 games with 50% participation on special teams snaps.
Felton caught 18 passes out of 21 targets for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Former @UCLAFootball RB/WR Demetric Felton picks up his second receiving touchdown of the season.
Felton ends his rookie campaign with 604 all-purpose yards and two TDs on 66 touches.
— Sam Connon (@SamConnon) January 9, 2022
He also had 7 rushes for 24 yards.
Now that he is familiar with the offense and learned two playbooks, there is even more upside to expect from Felton in 2022.
2. Greg Newsome II
Greg Newsome II on 20+ yard targets in his rookie season
▪️ 10 targets (3 catches allowed)
▪️ 0 TDs
▪️ 4 forced incompletions pic.twitter.com/6yXkZiSKub
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) January 16, 2022
Cornerback Greg Newsome II played in 12 games, starting in 11, this season.
He dealt with a calf injury, a concussion, and COVID-19 in his rookie season which caused him to miss playing time.
Newsome recorded 33 solo tackles which is a solid start to his NFL career.
He was also recognized as a member of the Pro Football Focus (PFF) All-Rookie Team for 2021.
1. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was a stud this season.
His speed and instincts were on display in the preseason games.
In 14 games, he had 49 solo tackles, 4 quarterback hits, and 1.5 sacks.
PFF’s Rookie of the Week
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/faabFWHorY
— PFF (@PFF) September 28, 2021
In addition to being named as part of the PFF All-Rookie Team this season, he was recognized as the PFF Rookie Player of the Week for his Week 3 performance against the Chicago Bears.
JOK is a great player who is not content with where he is.
When asked what he would like to improve for 2022, he answered “everything”.
More specifically, he said:
“To be more in detail, just with my ability to see things faster and see plays faster. Just the ability to be able to uplift my team better, to be able to get TFLs and to be able to get up the field in terms of strength and setting the edges.”
Though no longer officially rookies, these players are expected to assume bigger roles in 2022 and beyond.
It will be exciting to watch them grow and develop.