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Cleveland Browns select Georgia safety Richard LeCounte with 169th pick in NFL Draft

LeCounte was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2020, despite playing just six games.

CLEVELAND — Defense continues to be the theme for the Browns in this year's NFL draft.

Cleveland used its second fifth-round selection (169th overall) to take Georgia safety Richard LeCounte, one of the best defensive backs in the SEC. Of the club's seven draft picks so far, five of them have been used on defenders.

LIVE BLOG: Final day of 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland

LeCounte was a key contributor during his entire career at UGA, including as a true freshman when he helped the Bulldogs reach the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. His best season came in 2019, when he tallied 61 tackles and picked off four passes.

LeCounte returned for his senior year in 2020, but unfortunately saw his final campaign in a Bulldog uniform cut short after two cars rammed into his motorcycle on Halloween night. He missed the next five games and all but one play of the Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati, but still recorded 26 tackles and three interceptions, enough to earn first-team All-SEC honors.

The Browns have made upgrading their depleted secondary a priority this offseason, signing John Johnson III and Troy Hill to significant contracts as free agents. They also drafted Northwestern corner Greg Newsome II with their first-round pick.

At safety, Karl Joseph left Cleveland for the Las Vegas Raiders, and Andrew Sendejo is not expected back. Ronnie Harrison Jr. and Sheldrick Redwine are among those returning, with Johnson new to the fold and Grant Delpit set to debut after missing his entire rookie season with a torn Achilles.

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