“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” William Shakespeare
The quote for Shakespeare is an accurate description for the past and future fate of the Browns. Let’s be honest, most of the Browns issues have been self-inflicted. But there is a new day dawning and I choose to look at what can be, with a wary eye on past mistakes. I feel that if Cleveland handles the next few years right they can move into the level of NFL teams who have a shot each year to make the playoffs.
The browns are sitting on 9 picks in 2017 and 11 YES 11 in 2018. They hold the #1 overall pick this year. This is the kind of situation that can make a team if done correctly, but if done incorrectly you could continue to be the laughing stock of the NFL.
There have been a lot of rumors that the Browns plan to take Trubisky with the first pick. This is how you can continue to be the laughing stock. Don’t get me wrong he might make a good NFL QB but I doubt he will be an every year playoff QB. I am not sure any of the 2017 QB class will be “GREAT” but a few can be good to ok. Is this really what you want from the #1 overall pick. I suspect this is a bit of pre-draft subterfuge. Perhaps they are looking to trade out of the #1 spot with another team in the top 5, who all need a QB, except the Titans, you guy are good. Hue Jackson is a smart guy he knows good and well that it doesn’t matter if Peyton Manning was coming out of Tennessee this year, the Browns need a lot of help in a lot of places. I have been studying Dane Bruglers 2017 Mock and he has the Browns taking DE Myles Garrett #1 and with their second pick in the first-round Alabama’s TE O.J. Howard. To me this is the way to go. You have an impact player at the most important defensive position. Someone who can set the tone for the rest of your team. THAT is what you want from a #1 overall pick. The second pick has a little more flexibility, I like Howard here but you could go in a few directions and still be good. There are some WR’s that would be available, or if you have your heart set on trading back this would be the spot for it. The spot I would look at QB would be with the third pick 33 over all in round 2. I think one of the top 5 QBs will still be there. The rest of the draft they should use to sure up that defense. The two things you need to win the big one is a QB but almost as important is a defense.
If I was to give one word of advice to the Browns it is, patience. It did not take one season of bad picks, poor free agent moves and bad player behavior to get you to this point, and one season won’t fix it. But if you play it right 3 could. No matter who they take in 2017 they are still going to be bad next year. I think they will be better but not a lot. I am thinking like 3 wins. Which will put them in the hunt for the #1 overall again next year. Which most college experts are picking to be the next generational QB, USC phenom Sam Darnold. The real big advantage for the Browns are those 11 picks they hold. They will have enough capital to wow almost anyone. They must be disciplined enough to not reach this year for a lesser QB. Except the fact, you are at minimum 2 seasons away. Let’s look at another factor that may not be oblivious to most. The AFC north is a sinking division. The Bengal’s have been decimated by departures. A once strong team is now a shell of its former self and are in need of everything except QB and #1 WR, 2,3 and 4 WR they very much need. The O Line needs rebuilt if they expect Dalton to be able to do anything at all. The Ravens a once strong team is now just an also ran. No real stand outs on either side of the ball. “But Pop what about the mighty Steelers?” They are currently the best team in the division. They have the best RB and the best WR in football. They are one of only a couple of teams that can give the Patriots a challenge. Like a lot of strong teams, they are one key player injury away from total collapse. Roethlisberg has already let father time creep into his head. I do feel the offseason rumors of his retirement were silly, but let’s be honest. Would it be a stretch to think he hangs them up in say 3 seasons. Then how effective will Antonio Brown be with a lesser QB, and Bell like every RB is one blown knee away for the finish.
Let me say for the record I am not a Cleveland Browns fan. I have never even been to Ohio, but what I am is a football fan who loves a great redemption story. The story of a down and out team fighting against perception and their own past inadequacies. If they can overcome the pull of the drug that gets to many teams, a franchise QB. Their stars will hold their future and perhaps a shiny silver trophy.
Pop’s Fantasy Sports