Donnie Lewis Jersey

The Cleveland Browns used their seventh and final selection, No. 221 overall, to select Tulane cornerback Donnie Lewis.

Lewis was a four year starter at Tulane. He played cornerback, safety and nickelback for the Green Wave. The defensive back was named second-team All-American Athletic Conference this year. The 22 year old had 160 tackles, seven interceptions, 37 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and half a sack during his career. The 22 year old was third nationally in pass deflections this season.

The Browns hosted him for a Top-30 visit. He also participated in the East-West Shrine Game.

General Manager John Dorsey applied a BandAid to the position last off-season when he signed TJ Carrie, EJ Gaines and Mitchell in free agency. Gaines has since left the team. Mitchell and Ward battled injuries last season. They also return Juston Burris, Phillip Gaines and Tavierre Thomas from last year’s team.

Cleveland selected LSU cornerback Greedy Williams with their second round selection.

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The Browns have seven selections in the 2019 NFL Draft beginning with the No. 49 overall selection, which they used on Williams. Strong safety, offensive tackle, cornerback, outside linebacker and defensive tackle would seem to be the most pressing needs for the team to address. In the off-season, General Manager John Dorsey has traded for defensive end Olivier Vernon and Beckham. As part of those deals, they traded Zeitler and strong safety Jabrill Peppers.

The Cleveland Browns announced that they have signed cornerback Donnie Lewis Jr.

Browns used their seventh and final selection, No. 221 overall, to select Lewis.

Lewis was a four-year starter at Tulane. He played cornerback, safety and nickelback for the Green Wave. The defensive back was named second-team All-American Athletic Conference this year. The 22-years old had 160 tackles, seven interceptions, 37 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and half a sack during his career. The 22-year-old was third nationally in pass deflections this season.

The Browns hosted him for a Top-30 visit. He also participated in the East-West Shrine Game.

General Manager John Dorsey applied a BandAid to the position last off-season when he signed TJ Carrie, EJ Gaines and Mitchell in free agency. Gaines has since left the team. Mitchell and Ward battled injuries last season. They also return Juston Burris, Phillip Gaines and Tavierre Thomas from last year’s team.

The Browns also announced that they have signed fourth-round Miami safety Sheldrick Redwine and sixth-round offensive line selection Drew Forbes. Second-round cornerback Greedy Williams, third-round linebacker selection Sione Takitaki, fifth-round linebacker Mack Wilson and fifth-round kicker Austin Seibert remain unsigned.

The Cleveland Browns have completed their 2019 NFL Draft. With their final selection, the Browns chose cornerback Donnie Lewis of Tulane at pick No. 221 overall in the seventh round. Cleveland continued their focus on the defensive side of the ball, much like they did throughout the entire draft. Lewis is the fifth defensive player selected by the Browns, including three defensive backs. The Browns clearly wanted to add depth and talent in the secondary.

Lewis played four years at Tulane. In his final season last year, he notched 56 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, 21 passes defended and three interceptions. His senior season earned him All-AAC second-team honors. So, what can the Browns expect from their newest cornerback? Here is what NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had to say about the Tulane cornerback:

Four-year starter with an appetite for challenging throws and making plays on the football. Lewis has average size but the tape shows a lack of long speed that he was unable to dispel during his pro day due to a foot injury (Jones fracture) sustained during Shrine Game practices. He has the instincts and anticipation to compete as an outside corner in zone-heavy coverage or in man coverage over the slot. His ball production is intriguing, but his physical profile fails to stand out.

The Browns have finished the 2019 NFL Draft with seven selections. The team added five new defenders, one special teams player, and one offensive player. While there is a starter or two mixed in there, the picks add depth, if nothing else. Something that was badly needed on the defensive side of the ball. They may not have any picks remaining, but the draft process is not quite done yet for the orange and brown. Cleveland’s front office will now work the phones to add some undrafted free agents.

Joe has been writing for WFNY since April 2014. He is a diehard Cleveland sports fan, who is just looking for a winner in this town. He has been around sports his entire life by working with the basketball and football teams at St. Ignatius High School and also with the football team at Baldwin Wallace. Besides watching and writing about sports, Joe loves to spend time with his family and two dogs.

The wistfulness in the voice of Donnie Lewis Jr. was evident.

On Thursday during Tulane’s pro day at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center, the former Green Wave defensive back was thrust into the role of the kid sitting at the window, peering outside while his friends were allowed to play.

After a four-year career at Tulane during which he posted 160 tackles (129 solo), seven interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 37 passes defended, two fumble recoveries and a half-sack, Lewis earned an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. But during practice for that January all-star game, he suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot (a break between the base and middle part of the fifth metatarsal).

Gone was participating in that game. Gone was participating in Tulane’s pro day.

But he still was present, cheering on his teammates, administering advice where possible.

“It’s tough for me, especially,” said Lewis, who played cornerback, safety and nickelback during his final season at Tulane, and ranked third nationally with 15 passes defended. He was named second-team All-American Athletic Conference.

“Everything was going all good, and then everything just went left,” he said. “So I’ve just got to have faith at this point. I feel I was going to go to the (NFL) Combine, so I had to miss the Combine and I had to miss pro day. So I personally feel that I can’t even get that extra boost to show people. But I’ll keep my faith in God, let it all play out, be patient.”

The injury was expected to sideline him six to eight weeks.

“Within about the next two, three weeks, they said I’ll be back feeling even better than I was before,” he said. “As of right now I’m just continuing to go to physical therapy, and start back working out, gradually getting back to where I use to be.”

Still, Lewis understands the privilege it was to be invited to the East-West Shrine Game.

“It was very special being invited to one of those games, seeing that people have faith in me to give me an opportunity to play on a higher level,” he said. “I’m the type of guy to seize my moment, seize my opportunities and take advantage of my opportunities.”

“The East-West Shrine Game was a great experience. I was out there for a couple of days. It wasn’t all bad. Aside from the foot, everything else was great – got to meet with the coaches, I got to make a bunch of friends just out there playing ball, having fun.”

The experiences that were to be gained and shared Thursday we done so by his teammates, 11 of whom were slated to be put through the paces – heights, weights, bench presses, broad jumps, 40-yard dashes, etc. – during pro day. Joining the Tulane contingent were a combined 14 players from Nicholls State, McNeese State and Louisiana universities.

Among the Green Wave participants was receiver Teddy Encalade, who played at Belle Chasse High and started every game his final three seasons. Encalade caught 119 passes for 1,957 yards and 15 touchdowns during that stretch.

“It was fun, coming out here showing my skills to the scouts,” he said. “It’s a grateful opportunity for me. I felt like I could have done better in everything I did, but you’ve just got to be grateful. An attitude of gratitude.”

“I was nervous, pretty much, a week before. But I would always think to myself, ‘I trained for this, so I shouldn’t be nervous.’ And then when I got out here, my teammates are some really good teammates, so they take that nervousness out of you quick. It feels good to be around those guys and in the situation I’m in.”

Encalade said he believes he could have been more productive during his Tulane tenure, but that he’s confident in his abilities and is eager to showcase them.

“I know what I can do and I’m ready to prove myself to anybody,” he said.

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