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Elgin native excited for NFL draft as a member of the Cleveland Browns

Apr. 25—The scouting and preparation is almost done for NFL coaching staffs and they are now just hours away from the annual draft.

Carson Walch of Elgin, who works for the Cleveland Browns, is ready for the draft to get underway. The event will be held today-Sunday in Detroit.

The Browns are coming off an 11-6 season in which they earned an AFC playoff berth.

"I think everyone's excited about what we have going on in Cleveland," Walch said.

Walch is starting his second season as the director of player development with the Browns. He works mostly with young skill-position players: Quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends and running backs in their first or second years in the league.

"Between that group, you're typically going to have a couple of guys who come out in the draft," Walch said. "But we still have guys from last year that I'll be working with this year."

Prior to the draft, each NFL team can bring 30 players into their facility for thorough interviews. Walch is part of that process, but he is not asked to evaluate players that the Browns may select.

"During that time, I had the opportunity to sit down with each one of those players for about 10 minutes and ask general questions," he said.

The Browns have just five picks in this year's draft. They are without a pick in the first and fourth rounds in the seven-round event. But Walch notes the team still puts a lot of work into the process and the excitement level is high.

"I don't think that changes anything just because there's so many great players through the second, third and fourth round," he said. "There's a lot of talent throughout (the draft), it's just finding the right fit for your organization."

The Browns did trade two lower round picks for veteran wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.

"He's a proven starter in the NFL," Walch said. "When you can add that to your wide receiver room, that just adds depth to the unit."

Walch does not sit in personnel meetings so he is unsure what positions or players the Browns might be targeting in the draft.

"I think people always go in with areas they want to improve," he said. "But I think at the end of the day, they always kind of hone in on who's the best player or you can bring the most value at that time in the draft."

The 46-year-old Walch is not part of the Browns on-site draft room and he will remain in Cleveland during the draft. He plans to monitor the event with other team coaches and staff members at the Browns' training facility.

Walch did a lot of traveling in the offseason, including taking his parents on a trip to Jamaica in March after spending time back home in Eglin in February.

"They really enjoyed it," he said. "It was nice to get on the beach and get some sun and show them a different part of the world that they had never been to."

He returned to Cleveland a few weeks ago as the Browns began meetings and strength and conditioning with players. Next week, following the draft, the players will also be allowed on the field with coaches, but not for competitive practices.

Starting June 11, the Browns will hold three-day organized team activities including a mandatory min-camp.

"Right now we're getting in the OTA phase where we'll be out in the grass and get to work with the players a little bit more which is always exciting," Walch said. "... Really focus on learning our schemes and improving their techniques and keeping everybody safe until we get back in July."

Training camp gets underway at the end of July.

Walch will have a five-week break during that stretch. He will return to Elgin after the final practice on June 13 for about a week. He will then do more traveling, perhaps to Taiwan.

"It's on my radar, but I haven't locked into that plan yet," he said.