After not making selections in the 2nd, 4th, and 5th rounds the Browns used their 6th round pick to draft safety Jamoris Slaughter from Notre Dame at pick 175. Slaughter was the Browns’ first selection since Leon McFadden at pick 68.
Slaughter tore his Achilles in Notre Dame’s third game of the year forcing him out for the remainder of his final season in South Bend. His appeal for a medical redshirt was denied by the NCAA forcing him into this year’s draft.
Slaughter says despite the injury he expects to be back when training camp opens at the end of July.
“With my injury I’m about 90 percent now,” he said. “I’m doing sprinting and cutting. It’s all coming back in line. The main thing for me is getting my power and explosion back. It’s coming along pretty well and I should be ready for training camp.”
Unlike Leon McFadden, Slaughter’s camp had been in contact with the Browns leading up the draft.
“My agent said the Browns contacted him a couple days before the draft and gave the indication they were very interested in me.”
In his junior season, the 6’0″ 195 pound Slaughter often played a hybrid safety/linebacker role close to the line of scrimmage in the slot. While he may not be an ideal fit for a free safety, he fits the mold of a special teams player, and if healthy adds versatility to Ray Horton’s defense.
Here is NFL.com’s analysis of Slaughter.
Solid pass defender. Knocks receivers off their route with a strong punch, and has the read-and-react skills to follow quarterbacks’ eyes and knock away passes in zone. Attacking blitzer, able to throw aside running backs and run under the shoulder of tackles trying to protect their quarterback. Also plays with strength against the run, fighting off receivers to contain on the edge. Brings attitude into head-on collisions in the open field, can stop backs in the hole. Contributes on special teams coverage units, using speed and intensity to fight through blocks.
Lacks a true position. Might not have the size to succeed against tight ends or the foot quickness to handle faster receivers. Spends a lot of time around the line, will needs to prove the range and ability to read routes in two-deep looks. Hasn’t been challenged in coverage often. Injuries.
Notre Dame coaches have used Slaughter’s excellent football instincts all over the field throughout his career. However, between his lack of a true position, season ending injury, and a deep defensive back class, Slaughter might not hear his name called on draft day.