Berea—The Browns used their first pick on Day Two of the draft to take Brandon McDonald, a cornerback/free safety from Memphis.
After giving up their third- and fourth-round picks to draft cornerback Eric Wright, McDonald was selected in the fifth-round (140th overall). He wasn’t surprised he didn’t go until the second day.
“I think I fell right about where I should’ve,” McDonald said. “I think when I get to camp I’ll prove what I need to prove and open up some eyes.”
McDonald (5-11, 181 pounds) is a cousin of Eagles running back Correll Buckhalter and Ravens quarterback Steve McNair. He looks forward to competing against McNair, since the Browns will face the Ravens twice.
“It will be exciting for me to go against high talent and get a chance to compete (with McNair),” he said.
Last season at Memphis, McDonald earned team Defensive MVP and second-team All-Conference USA honors. He started four games at left cornerback and eight others at free safety. He led the team with 84 tackles, blocked a kick and caused a fumble. He also had four interceptions.
McDonald ran a 4.61 in the 40-yard dash and had a 33-inch vertical jump.
The Browns could be eyeing McDonald as a possible punt returner to replace Dennis Northcutt. He returned 46 punts for 305 yards (6.6 avg.) while at Memphis.
“I’ve been returning punts since high school,” McDonald said.
He said he feels the Browns are targeting him as a nickel back.
“It doesn’t really matter to me, but I’ve been working at nickel back or cornerback,” he said. “I took a visit down (to Cleveland) and was waiting to see how things played out.”
McDonald says he feels he will come in and open some eyes.
“I’m the type of player who goes out there and does his job,” McDonald said. “I play hard and give it my all.
“I think wherever you go it’s going to be competitive,” he said. “It will be fun to compete with those guys when I get there.”