BEREA—There's a new "Assassin" coming to the Browns.
Not since the Browns drafted Eddie Johnson in the seventh-round of the 1981 draft have the Browns had a player with the nickname. Johnson played for over a decade with the Browns and was one of the most productive inside linebackers the Browns have had.
They hope Larry Asante lives up to his self proclaimed nickname according to NFLDraftScout.com.
The 6-0, 212 pound strong safety from Nebraska was first team All-Big 12 and he started 36 of 39 career games. He finished his career with 224 tackles, including three interceptions. He had 79 tackles, including 42 solo tackles.
Asante is known as more of a run defender than a pass defender. He agreed with the assessment. He was clocked at 4.66 and 4.68 in the 40 at the NFL Combine.
"I feel I need to improve upon my cover skills," Asante said. "But, I feel I can learn from the coaches in Cleveland and improve in that area."
Asante says he tries to emulate Brian Dawkins in his style of play.
"I bring toughness, being physical and being a leader," Asante said. "I have good leadership and toughness skills."
Asante said he can play both safety positions.
"We schemed everything we played and I came out most of the time in centerfield," Asante said. "I'm comfortable in doing whatever they want me to do."
The Browns drafted T.J. Ward, another safety in the second-round. Overall, the Browns have drafted three defensive backs with their first six picks of the 2010 draft.
"T.J. is a great player," Asante said. "I think we are similar in a lot of ways. I can't wait to get in there and compete with him."
The Browns used one of the picks they received from the Jets to select Asante with their first pick on Saturday.