Browns stockpiling Kent State talent

Matt Goul

Former Kent State football standouts Joshua Cribbs and Eric Mahl went undrafted after seven rounds of last weekend’s NFL draft were completed. But that does not mean their chances at playing professional football are over.

The two seniors from last season’s Kent State squad, which finished 5-6, were signed as rookie free agents by the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Cribbs, a four-year starter at quarterback for the Flashes, will likely get his chance to make the Browns’ squad as a wide receiver and special teams contributor. Mahl, a linebacker, gets a chance to fit in with new coach Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense. The Browns’ switch to a defensive set of only three defensive linemen and four linebackers led to the team letting go of former first-round draft choices Courtney Brown and Gerard Warren. Brown and Warren, both highlytouted defensive linemen out of college, are now with the Denver Broncos.

The Browns scouted Cribbs and Mahl at Kent State’s pro workout day late last month. Cribbs caught passes as a receiver exclusively during the workout. The Browns had worked out safety Abram Elam, who was also drawing attention from other teams.

The Browns already drafted Akron quarterback Charlie Frye with their pick in the third round Saturday. Frye is slated to compete with former Bowling Green quarterback Josh Harris to back up new starter Trent Dilfer. Cribbs will have to compete at receiver, a position the Browns addressed by taking Michigan receiver Braylon Edwards with the third-overall pick Saturday.

Contact assistant sports editor Matt Goul at [email protected].