BEREA — Coaches always say you can never have enough cornerbacks.
Apparently, the Browns can’t have enough Northwestern University cornerbacks.
Cam Mitchell was picked at No. 142 in the fifth round Saturday. He joins former college teammate Greg Newsome II, who was Cleveland’s first-round pick — No. 26 overall — in 2021.
“NOOOO WAYYY LFGGGGGGG GO BROWNS,” Newsome tweeted after the pick.
NOOOO WAYYY LFGGGGGGG GO BROWNS
— Greg Newsome II (@gnewsii) April 29, 2023
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Mitchell (5-10 ¾, 191 pounds) started 24 of 35 games at Northwestern. He had 119 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, 22 passes defensed and 1.5 sacks.
The 21-year-old was the 13th-ranked cornerback by The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, who projected him as a third-round pick. He ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in March.
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Mitchell and Newsome played together in a Chicago seven-on-seven league when they were kids. They’re close friends, and Mitchell has visited Newsome in Cleveland.
“I just got off the phone with him,” Mitchell said. “He’s just excited. Just telling me, ‘Let’s go!’ Just hyping it up, talking about how we’re about to lock everything down.”
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Newsome contributed to the draft process.
“Through the whole process, we hit every source we can,” area scout Dan Zegers said. “Greg made sure to let me know when we go into the school, ‘Hey, give my boy some love’ or ‘Tell him to take the ball away.’ We made sure to do that when we went through there.
“Cam and Greg are tight. He learned firsthand from Greg. He’s a good leader, sets the example for the team, good worker, he’s smart and he can do a lot on the field for us. We’re excited to add him to that room.”
— Greg Newsome II (@gnewsii) April 29, 2023
Newsome became frustrated by how much he played in the slot last season, and Mitchell could take some of that responsibility. The Browns believe he has positional flexibility.
“We liked his ability to play press man coverage,” general manager Andrew Berry said. “We think he’s very physical, very competitive. We also liked his versatility to play inside and outside. The other thing I should mention on Cam is we did like his appeal in the kicking game and on special teams, as well.”
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, also a fifth-round pick, will be reunited with receiver Cedric Tillman, Cleveland’s first pick Friday at No. 74. They were teammates at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.
Thompson-Robinson said he was frustrated because he wasn’t picked in the first three rounds and got a text of encouragement Saturday morning from Tillman.
“Shoot, ever since high school and ever since the first time I met Cedric, super down-to-earth person, super humble, but is a workaholic and someone that just needs the opportunity and he can take the rest,” Thompson-Robinson said. “And that’s the one thing I love about Cedric is he’s never needed any handouts or anybody to give anything to him. He truly is about his business and everything that the Browns got him for, it is definitely true. So I have the utmost respect for Cedric and I can’t wait to play with him.”
Tillman said he was on the plane to Cleveland when is mom showed him the Browns had drafted his former quarterback.
“Life is funny sometimes, but it’s great.”
Berry said a week ago he would add to the defensive end group.
He did just that at pick No. 111, taking Missouri defensive end Isaiah McGuire in the fourth round.
McGuire is 6-4 3/8, 268 pounds with an 82-inch wingspan. He ran a 4.76-second 40-yard dash at the combine.
The 21-year-old started 33 of 41 games, including 25 the last two years when he totaled 13.5 sacks, 27 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a pass defensed.
“His natural power, both in the run game and pass game, and then also he’s got what I would call slipperiness as a rusher,” Berry said of McGuire’s best traits.
The Browns believe he can also rush from the inside in passing situations.
In the excitement of Friday night, Tillman almost missed a text from quarterback Deshaun Watson.
“I’m glad I saw it, because my phone was kind of blowing up and I was like, ‘Oh, snap. OK. I may need to answer this.’ It was cool,” Tillman said.
** The Browns didn’t draft a running back but reportedly agreed to a deal with undrafted free agent Hassan Hall from Georgia Tech. NFL Network reported the deal includes $125,000 guaranteed.
Jerome Ford, a fifth-round pick last year, is expected to be the top backup to Nick Chubb.
“We’re very fortunate where we got Jerome last year,” director of college scouting Max Paulus said. “He showed a lot of flashes in Year 1, both as kick returner and limited carries as a ball carrier. We are very much looking forward for him to take a big step here in Year 2.”
** Berry still wasn’t ready to say publicly if he would pick up the fifth-year option on left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr.’s rookie contract. The deadline is Tuesday.
** ESPN reported the Browns are signing undrafted Ohio State safety Ronnie Hickman.
** Citing his agents, NFL Network reported the Browns are signing undrafted Utah linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, including $250,000 guaranteed.