The Browns elected to use the No. 185 overall pick on Florida DT Caleb Brantley Saturday, despite a pending legal case in which he has been charged on suspicion of misdemeanor battery for allegedly knocking a woman unconscious at a bar.
While Ian Rapoport reports that the Browns have researched the matter extensively, Browns executive VP Sashi Brown told reporters Saturday that they could decide not to keep Brantley.
Brown added that the misdemeanor charge against Brantley is “concerning”
“This may not be something we can get comfortable with,” Brown said.
Cleveland apparently felt that taking Brantley was worth the risk for them, even though a number of teams believed he may go undrafted, according to Rapoport.
The police report says that Brantley and the woman were engaged in a verbal altercation over some crude comments made by Brantley. The women pushed Brantley and he allegedly responded by striking her and ultimately knocking her unconscious. The women suffered dental injuries that included a displaced tooth, which will require a root canal.
According to the report, Brantley’s force was “clearly out of retaliation and not self-defense” and exceed what was considered “reasonable or necessary.”
When asked about whether a decision to pursue a case against Brantley, State Attorney Bill Cervone made it clear that a decision won’t come by Thursday.
“I don’t care about the NFL draft, and I don’t believe there’s any way we will make a decision before Thursday,” Cervone said. “The police filed their report with us Friday and we’re trying to figure out what’s what.”
Brantley was believed to be in the mix to be a second-round pick in this year’s NFL draft, but an incident such as this could very likely lead to him going undrafted.
During his three-year college career at Florida, Brantley recorded 80 tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and a recovery over the course of 31 games.
We’ll have more regarding Brantley and this situation as the news is available.