HC Kevin Stefanski (4.24.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

“Really an exciting night for the organization. We added three good players to the defense at all three levels – a defensive lineman, a linebacker and a safety. I think each one of them is a schematic fit for us in what we want to do. On top of that, we were able to add a future third-round pick next year. A very productive night and looking forward to having another good day tomorrow.”


On of there is a common thread between the Browns’ four picks beyond playing in the SEC:

“We did not go into this saying, ‘Let’s only draft SEC players.’ Now, if you are only going to draft from one league, it probably would make sense to draft from that league. It just is how it shook out. We are always looking high and low. We will find a good player wherever they may be. We certainly do not make that a huge part of our evaluation. I can tell you, though, when you are watching these guys, the lights are bright in that conference and to see the guys perform under those types of elements certainly does not hurt in evaluation.”


On the schematic fit for of each of the Browns’ picks:

“With (S) Grant (Delpit), there is a versatility to his game. You saw him play every job in the backend, except corner. He can be in the post. He can be down low. He can play nickel. He can play dime. A guy that can play across the defense was impressive. He is certainly a playmaker, and something we will stress is making plays on the ball. That is something that has shown up in his career. With my man, (DT Jordan) Elliott out of Missouri, the quickness. That is a big thing for our defensive line in terms of getting off of the ball. That is something I think he has and something that needs to be developed. I think I should mention with each one of these guys, none of them are finished products, even like we talked about (T) Jedrick (Wills) from the first round. Something we can definitely work with. The quickness [of Elliott] and getting off the ball was impressive. We want to play multiple guys along that front. I think that is where he gives us depth in that regard. With (LB) Jacob Phillips, we really liked the length, the speed and the ability to play in the system. Those linebackers have to run. You see him running in that system they play down there at LSU. You see him running down the sideline going to make great tackles. Just a high-effort, high-motor guy. He just turned 21 earlier this month. Another young player we feel like we can develop.”


On if he had to take off his ‘offensive coach hat’ as the Browns selected multiple defensive players today:

“I don’t need that reminder, but I am the head coach; I don’t want to ever be accused of being the offensive head coach. Certainly, we wanted to add good players to our team, and it so happened that it was three players on the defense tonight. I feel really good about adding those three players. That was something that was important to us. I can promise you, the coaches were very excited throughout this draft to try to keep everybody abreast with what we are doing via text message or whatever. It was pretty cool to see the excitement with some of the guys who we were able to add.”


On if the Browns could potentially add a WR in a later round who could contribute to the team, given the depth at the position in this year’s class:

“I think we feel like that across the board, honestly. If you look at our board and kind of work across left to right, you see players that you feel pretty confident in that have a chance in the third day of the draft to be a contributor. Some of those guys may contribute on special teams and then develop into a player or a starter down the road, but certainly, we see depth at a bunch of different positions.”


On Delpit’s comments about the Browns having the best secondary in the NFL and his take on a player having an immediate swagger and confidence:

“Certainly, you want some bravado, especially in that back end when you are the last line of defense. Corners , safeties and DBs typically are the guys that bring some energy. I can promise you, our team in general won’t be about talking. We will be about being about it. That will be something that I promise you we will talk about as a team, but I don’t mind guys that have a ton of confidence. I think you need to bring confidence when you are playing in the back end.”


On comparing Delpit’s 2018 to 2019 season:

“I think when you are doing your homework – our scouts do an outstanding job at this – it is really never about one year. Our scouts have done their work on them when they were sophomores and sometimes freshman, and then they check them out when they are in their junior year. That evaluation is really across years. It is always something that we are thinking about and there are always circumstances with every player. Whether they played good one year, bad one year or great one year, there are always reasons. That is our job to sift through all of those.”


On Elliott and how his growth and maturity while at Missouri:

“Elliott is the type of guy that you identify in a draft, and you want to get your hands on these guys. You want to develop these guys. You see a skillset. I’m excited to see this kid work with (defensive line coach) Chris Kiffin and our coaches. I see a physical skillset. I see a good person and a guy that I think fits the mentality of what we want to be. I’m just excited about adding a physical player and a disruptive player and then see if adding him to our scheme, maybe adjusting certain things about how he plays. I’m just excited about what that future may hold for him.”


On what losing 30 pounds in a year and a half says about Elliott:

“He’s a disciplined eater (laughter).”


On the youth of the Browns LBs:

“I think the youth is a good thing. It is a hungry group. We are going to roll a bunch of guys out there and see what we have. Once we get our hands on these guys, age obviously age matters and then you think about how young (LB) Mack (Wilson) was last year. You are always looking for these guys to progress. Once we get our hands on them, we will see where they are, but I think it is a really intriguing group. I think (linebackers coach) Jason Tarver, (senior defensive assistant) Ben Bloom and (defensive coordinator) Joe Woods have some guys to work with. The nice part is while they may be young, I really think there are a bunch of guys that understand there is a ton of work that needs to go into this. I think they are ready for that, but the youth doesn’t really bother me so much as just getting our hands on them and starting to develop these guys.”


On starting his coaching career with young talented QBs in the AFC North with Bengals QB Joe Burrows and  Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, in addition to established veteran Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger:

“I think it is a great division. It is a historic division. I have watched the tape of these games, and I can’t wait to hear what it sounds like in these stadiums. I’m excited about it. There is no easy out in the NFL. These divisions are just loaded, and I came from one that I thought was pretty stacked, and we are walking into one that I think is pretty stacked. It is great competition. I think our guys will rise to that competition, but it is certainly something that we are looking forward to.”


On if he is involved in the Browns’ decisions to trade down:

“I would say we are all involved. We have this zoom setup or whatever it is WebX so we are all in the room remotely together. All those conversations are ongoing and it is collaborative. Certainly, I feel part of it and I know there are a bunch of others that would say the same thing. At the end of the day, we also know that AB (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry) has to make a decision and we all chime in and give him our best thought and then we trust the direction he takes us.”


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