The Browns got a confident cornerback when they selected Justin Gilbert with the No. 8 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
BEREA, Ohio -- Confidence is key when you're out on an island.
If it is one thing a football team wants in its cornerbacks, it is confidence. And confidence is exactly what former Oklahoma State University cornerback Justin Gilbert plans to bring to the secondary of the Cleveland Browns, who selected him with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
"(They're getting) an every-down cornerback that can guard big receivers or small receivers," Gilbert said in a conference call shortly after becoming a top-10 pick in the draft. "I can pretty much do it all, and I'm a guy that can create turnovers, give the ball back to our offense a lot. I'm just an all-around cornerback."
Following the pick, fans at Radio City Music Hall in New York City expressed their displeasure with the selection.
Asked if he was worried Browns fans would not accept him because the team passed up on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Gilbert is not concerned with others' opinions of him or the choice.
"It's nothing I'm worried about," Gilbert said. "We play two different positions. I can give something from me that he can't give you. I think they made the right decision in getting me."
The 6-foot, 202-pound native of Huntsville, Texas, built a reputation as a ball-hawking defensive back after collecting 12 interceptions in his four years with Oklahoma State. Seven of those takeaways came in 2013, when Gilbert earned first-team All-American honors from several organizations and was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the best cornerback in college football.
"That's something that you can't really coach," Gilbert said. "I think you have to be born with it. I think I was born with that ability to make plays on the ball. It's something that I can work at, and get a little better, but I think I have that natural thing where I can go and take the ball out of the air at any moment."
While being chosen by the Browns "kind of crept up" on Gilbert, he plans on helping turn around the fortunes of a franchise that has had six double-digit losing seasons.
"I think I'll fit in well," Gilbert said. "It's something that I've been doing since I came to Oklahoma State, press coverage, man-to-man, and being able to run with receivers down the field and taking the ball out of the air or making plays on the ball.
"I think I can turn it around. It starts with the defense and we made the right decision with getting me, and we're going to continue to build and just work hard. I think it'll turn around in a couple years, so I'm looking forward to it."