The Browns selected Wisconsin linebacker Joe Schobert to open the fourth round (No. 99 overall) of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
Then they traded the No. 100 overall pick to the Oakland Raiders, who used the selection on Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, a Walsh Jesuit High School graduate. In return, the Browns received picks in the fourth (No. 114 overall) and fifth (No. 154) rounds.
Here are notes on the 6-foot-1 3/8, 244-pound Schobert from NFLDraftScout.com Dane Brugler's draft guide.
BACKGROUND: A no-star recruit, Joseph “Joe” Schobert was a productive running back and safety in high school, but didn’t receive much interest from Division-I programs. He was headed to FCS-level North Dakota State on a 50-percent scholarship, but Wisconsin offered him the opportunity to walk on a few weeks before the start of the 2012 season after seeing him during a summer camp. Instead of redshirting, Schobert proved to be too valuable as a true freshman in 2012, earning Scout Team Player of the Year award. He earned his first start at outside linebacker as a sophomore in 2013 and posted 24 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack. Schobert became a full-time starter as a junior in 2014 and recorded 69 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks. He had his best season as a senior in 2015 (13 starts), finishing with a team-best 19.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and five forced fumbles, which tied Chris Borland’s single-season school record. Schobert was named the Big Ten’s Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and earned First Team All-Big Ten honors and an invitation to the 2016 Senior Bowl.
STRENGTHS: Initial burst and closing speed to force offenses to quicken the play design…lateral range to work around blockers, hitting the jets when needed to chase and narrow the gap…outstanding secondary effort after initial block with a motor that is always revving – energizer bunny and the next play he takes off will be his first…aggressive edge blitzer with timing and snap anticipation to catch linemen off balance – effective on stunts, quickly finding gaps and maximizing angles…loose hips to skim and stay balanced near the line of scrimmage…comfortable dropping in space, following the eyes of the quarterback (12 career passes defended)…nose for the ball with natural instincts…playmaker on special teams coverages…competes with heart and passion, practicing as hard as he plays…violent play style and has stayed durable…above average starting production with 33.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles the past two seasons.
WEAKNESSES: Lean-framed and lacks ideal muscle definition…below average arm length and take-on strength to hold the point vs. NFL linemen…can be washed out in the run game and doesn’t have the body type or power to live in the trenches – too easily knocked off his feet by off-balance blocks…uncontrolled in space with wild break down skills, slipping off ballcarriers…quicker than fast and lacks ideal long-speed…requires a dash of patience, often attacking before diagnosing…tends to freelance and will be snake-bitten by low-risk chances…tight ends are able body him up in coverage…most of his production comes downhill and the Wisconsin defense schemed him to stay uncovered.
SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Wisconsin, Schobert lined up as the starting outside linebacker in the Badgers’ 3-4 base and was one of the most productive front-seven defenders at the college level the past two seasons. A former walk-on, he was put on scholarship prior to becoming a full-time starter (Feb. 2014) and developed into an intriguing NFL prospect due to his pass rush traits and unrelenting effort. Schobert has impressive play speed and light movements to challenge the edge and penetrate due to stunts, but offenses can run at him with ordinary size, strength and length. A Shea McClellin type of pro prospect, Schobert doesn’t have ideal athletic and physical skills, but he is a pesky rusher with the driven mentality to make plays – offers value on special teams with starting potential inside and outside in a 3-4 scheme.