One of the more interesting storylines in the upcoming NFL draft is whether the Cleveland Browns will blow it with their two high first round picks, including the number one overall spot.
By virtue of their horrendous 2016 record of 1-15, the Browns won the dubious honor of leading off this week’s draft on Thursday night in Philadelphia. The Browns also have the 12th pick along with two second rounders that would seemingly offer a really bad team a chance to get better quickly through an infusion of top college talent.
These are the Browns though, a woebegone and moribund franchise that has been mired in the nether regions of the NFL ever since their reincarnation as an expansion franchise back in 1999 after the original Browns fled to Baltimore where they became the Ravens. The Ravens have since won two Super Bowls, a fact that must be particularly galling to loyal Browns fans.
Since 1999 the Browns have had only two winning seasons and one playoff berth which came way back in 2002, a far cry from the glory days of Jim Brown and Otto Graham or even Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar.
The Brownies would be wise to avoid the temptation to trade down and instead snag the consensus number one pick in Texas A & M defensive end Myles Garrett who is the most disruptive force to come out of Aggieland since Denver Broncos wrecking ball Von Miller.
"I want to show that I'm in a league of my own."
Potential No. 1 pick Myles Garrett graces the cover of ESPN the Mag's NFL Draft Issue. pic.twitter.com/UEnA6eZgKk
— ESPN (@espn) April 10, 2017
The addition of Garrett would immediately shore up a defense with a guy who could be a Pro Bowler for the next decade. With the twelfth pick the team could address either their rancid quarterbacking or snag a game changing running back like Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey or Florida State’s Dalvin Cook. LSU bulldozer Leonard Fournette would be an option but likely won’t last past the top ten picks.
Reports have emerged that the Browns are waffling on Garrett and could instead land Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina. While Trubisky will likely be long gone by the time that Cleveland’s second first rounder comes around he is arguably the top quarterback prospect in this year’s draft class.
The Browns would do well to remember two words if they are looking to use the top pick on the raw Trubisky – Tim Couch. The former Kentucky Wildcat was the last quarterback that the Browns took when they had the top pick and to say that his short career was a dumpster fire would be an understatement. It was a massive screw-up by the team’s brain trust, compounded by the matter that a guy named Donovan McNabb was taken with the second pick and went on to become the all-time passing leader for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Whoever the Browns choose to draft would be preferable to them being fleeced by their former head coach Bill Belichick who has built the once lousy New England Patriots into an enduring dynasty. The wily Belichick has been dangling Tom Brady’s backup Jimmy Garoppolo to the Browns in the hope that the suckers will lunge for the hook. That would be a cataclysmic mistake as Brady’s understudy has played but three games in his career and is massively overvalued.
Forget about all of that hogwash about the quarterback being worth his weight in gold solely because he has played in the Patriots system. So did Matt Cassel and Bryan Hoyer who went on to become middling career backups, something that likely awaits Garoppolo as well.
Cleveland would probably be wise to just do nothing at quarterback in the early rounds. They did manage to engineer a trade with the Houston Texans for the underwhelming Brock Osweiller but the lanky and erratic thrower would be a lot cheaper than blowing a high pick or two on Belichick’s fool’s gold.
Considering some of the other first round flops like massive flop running back Trent Richardson, career bench warmer QB Brandon Weeden and drunken miscreant Johnny Manziel the Browns should do their long-suffering fans a favor and just draft Myles Garrett. They won’t likely regret it.
The presumed first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, EDGE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M looks GREAT in a Cleveland Browns uniform! pic.twitter.com/ZH7dh39WyI
— Cleveland Sports Chalk Talk (@CLESportsChalk) April 20, 2017
The first round of the 2017 NFL draft will take place this coming Thursday followed by rounds 2-3 on Friday and the remainder next Saturday.