The Cleveland Browns aren’t likely to win many games this season. It’s the beginning of what seems to be another rebuilding phase for the team. However, there is a glimmer of hope for the team, as both Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib have impressed heavily throughout the preseason.
The defensive duo were both taken by the Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft. Ogbah, who many thought could have been a first-round pick, was taken in the second round. Meanwhile, Nassib, whose older brother is a quarterback for the New York Giants, was selected in the third round.
Before the NFL, Ogbah and Nassib showcased their dominance at the college level. During their final seasons of college play, Ogbah ( Oklahoma State ) and Nassib ( Penn State) combined for 29 sacks. And over the course of the Cleveland Browns four preseason games, they haven’t let up that momentum.
Ogbah has already locked up a starting roster spot at outside linebacker. He recorded two sacks during the team’s four preseason games. His emergence was one of the main factors why the Browns got rid of veteran linebacker Paul Kruger.
While Ogbah has been lights out, it may be Nassib that has had the best camp among any Brown on the defensive side of the ball. He was recently awarded the Lou Bassett Award, given to the best rookie of Cleveland Browns training camp. His play might force the team to re-adjust their depth chart to get him more playing time.
The play of Nassib and Ogbah has the Cleveland media buzzing. Terry Pluto is one of the cities most beloved sports writers, and he believes both Nassib and Ogbah are ready for the bright lights of the NFL, as he states to Cleveland.com
“The main point is Ogbah and Nassib look like NFL players and have not been
overmatched in the preseason,” he said.
The Browns haven’t had a dominant defensive unit in quite some time. They’ve tried to right that ship by drafting players such as Phil Taylor and Barkevious Mingo, but most of the talent hasn’t panned out. Even current cornerback, Joe Haden, who was a yearly Pro-Bowler, has seen his productivity drop in recent years.
The hope is that Nassib and Ogbah can reignite the Browns stagnant defense, and possibly provide a spark for the entire team as well. It’s not going to happen overnight, but the duo has the chance to be great for years to come.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on Twitter @dgentleman9288