Sashi Brown's draft picks are endangered species on a Browns roster controlled by his successor, General Manager John Dorsey.

Of the 24 players Brown selected in 2016 and 2017, when he served as the franchise's head of football operations, only six remain with the team.

Two of those six players are tight ends David Njoku and Seth DeValve.

Njoku, a first-round choice (No. 29 overall) in 2017, is a promising receiving weapon who has been publicly challenged by Dorsey this offseason to improve his run blocking and thereby become a better all-around player.

Still, all in all, Njoku's future with the Browns appears to be as solidified as any Sashi selection not named Myles Garrett, the defensive end who was picked first overall in 2017.

DeValve, a fourth-round pick (No. 138 overall) in 2016, does not enjoy the same degree of comfort. DeValve played just 98 of the offense's 1,091 snaps (9 percent) last season compared with starter Njoku's 871 snaps (79.84 percent) and Darren Fells' 420 snaps (38.5 percent).

In March, Dorsey cut Fells and secured his replacement by signing Demetrius Harris to a two-year, $6 million contract, which includes $3.25 million guaranteed, as an unrestricted free agent.

When Dorsey was the GM of the Kansas City Chiefs, he signed Harris as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where Harris played basketball. Dorsey is on record saying he views Harris as a No. 2 tight end and core special teams player for the Browns.

That leaves DeValve third on a depth chart that includes Pharaoh Brown and Orson Charles, who was primarily used as a fullback last season. And given Dorsey's track record of discarding Sashi guys, no one should blink if the Browns choose a replacement for DeValve in the April 25-27 NFL Draft.

The tight end class is headlined by Iowa teammates T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant and Alabama's Irv Smith Jr., all of whom are projected by many analysts to be drafted during a first round in which the Browns don't have a pick after trading the 17th overall choice to the New York Giants as part of the Odell Beckham Jr. deal.

Considering the Browns have more pressing needs than a No. 3 tight end, they probably wouldn't target the position in the second (No. 49 overall) or third (No. 80) rounds, when Texas A&M's Jace Sternberger, San Diego State's Kahale Warring, Mississippi's Dawson Knox, San Jose State's Josh Oliver and Louisiana State's Foster Moreau are projected by most analysts to come off the board.

Then again, if Dorsey feels strongly enough about a player, it shouldn't be ruled out. One of the best picks on his impressive resume is tight end Travis Kelce, a Cleveland Heights High School graduate who has made four Pro Bowls since being drafted in the third round (No. 63 overall) by the Chiefs in 2013.

Still, presumptive day three tight ends like Stanford's Kaden Smith, Georgia's Isaac Nauta, Washington's Drew Sample, Utah State's Dax Raymond, West Virginia's Trevon Wesco, Texas' Andrew Beck, Notre Dame's Alize Mack and Boston College's Tommy Sweeney seem to be more in the Browns' wheelhouse this year. Dorsey has picks in the fourth (No. 119 overall), fifth (Nos. 144, 155 and 170), sixth (No. 189) and seventh (No. 221) rounds.

If Dorsey seeks better blocking from the position, Sample and Wesco could have his attention.

NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote "Sample's size and lunch-pail demeanor are what NFL teams look for at the point of attack" and Wesco "has a terrific demeanor as a run-blocker and the footwork to become much more consistent in sustaining blocks once he gets his hand placement corrected."

 

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.