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BrownsZone: John Dorsey can use supplemental draft today to add to secondary

  • Western-Michigan-USC-Football

    Western Michigan defensive back Sam Beal, right, intercepts a pass intended for Southern California wide receiver Jalen Greene during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Sept. 2, in Los Angeles.

    MARK J. TERRILL / AP

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General manager John Dorsey loves adding talent to the roster.

He has another chance today.

He spent the offseason overhauling the secondary.

He might not be done.

The NFL’s annual supplemental draft starts this afternoon at 1 o’clock, and the most intriguing options are defensive backs. Dorsey has done his research — he attended the workout of Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal last month — and could take a chance on one or more.

Beal is considered the top prospect, followed by Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander and Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant. They were eligible for the draft in April but didn’t declare.

Dorsey, who was hired in December and inherited a defensive backfield short on speed and depth, must put a value on each prospect in the form of the round of the draft pick he’s willing to surrender in 2019.

Draft order is determined through a weighted lottery, so the Browns, who went 0-16, have the best chance of having the top pick in each round. The draft is held over email, with teams declaring if they want a specific player in that round and the player being awarded to the team with the best pick.

The Browns have two third-round picks next year — the second acquired from New England in a trade for nose tackle Danny Shelton — and might be willing to part with one. Beal could go as early as the second round but might still be there in the third.

Browns receiver Josh Gordon was the last player chosen as high as the second round, in 2012. A player hasn’t been picked in the supplemental draft the last two seasons but that’s expected to change.

Beal is 6-foot-1, 178 pounds and ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash. He has long arms and good ball skills.

“Beal is an impressive size/speed athlete who is comfortable in bump-and-run coverage and started to see things quicker with added experience last season as a junior,” NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler wrote in a scouting report. “While it is easy to appreciate his willingness to challenge routes, he tends to rely on athleticism and physicality over mechanics; experienced receivers will take advantage of his selective technique.

“Overall, Beal’s unsophisticated technique, anticipation and discipline need work before he is ready for a steady diet of NFL snaps, but he has coachable tools and impressive physical traits to be a ‘cover-and-clobber’ style of outside cornerback.”

Beal entered the supplemental draft because he was ruled academically ineligible for next season. He would add to a Browns secondary transformed since last season.

Dorsey drafted Ohio State’s Denzel Ward with the No. 4 pick, signed free agents TJ Carrie, E.J. Gaines and Terrance Mitchell and drafted Simeon Thomas in the sixth round. The depth would allow the Browns to bring along Beal slowly if he’s not ready to contribute immediately.

The same would apply for Alexander (6-3, 195), who’s physical and also academically ineligible. He would likely cost a midround pick.

Bryant (5-11, 207) runs a sub-4.5 40 and could be picked in the sixth or seventh round, if at all. If he isn’t drafted, he could sign with any team as a free agent.

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Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him @scottpetrak on Twitter.

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