Hats off to the Cleveland Browns who took a big step towards rebuilding in last week’s NFL draft.
The Browns ensured a successful draft by simply not blowing it. Despite rumors that they would use the first overall pick to snag quarterback Mitch Trubisky – a far from sure thing – they stayed put and wisely picked the consensus number one in Texas A&M defensive lineman Myles Garrett.
The Cleveland brain trust then did something unusually savvy by swapping their number twelve overall pick with the quarterback starved Houston Texans to drop down a dozen spots where they snagged Michigan safety and jack of all trades Jabril Peppers AND Houston’s top 2018 pick.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 3, 2017
The decision to not succumb to Bill Belichick’s siren song to fleece the Browns for New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who has started a total of three games was a disciplined and wise choice for a team not accustomed to such things. At one point it was reported that Belichick wanted BOTH of Cleveland’s first rounders for a guy who could turn out to be the next Brian Hoyer or Matt Cassel.
They then moved back into the first round to grab University of Miami tight end David Njoku, the second ranked tight end in the draft and despite some character questions and being raw, could be a long-term solution at the position.
It was a great first round for the Browns.
In round two, the Brownies picked former Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer who may be able to develop as long as recently acquired Brock Osweiler doesn’t stink out loud. There is really no way that the 6’7” stork can possibly be as bad as he was during his ill-fated tenure in Texas or is there?
The Browns rounded out the draft with depth picks along both lines and in the defensive backfield. And in a memo to the 2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they chose a kicker in the 7th round which is still high for the position but they didn’t squander extra picks on a dude that can’t kick like Roberto Aguayo.
The good news is that the Browns will be better than last year’s atrocious 1-15. The bad news is that it doesn’t look like they will be much better due to a schedule in which they will play eight prospective playoff teams in their first nine games and still will have to play the Packers, Ravens and Steelers.
Head coach Hue Jackson should bet coach of the year honors if he is able to go 5-11 but the upside is that another horrible season would put the Browns in prime position to snap up USC’s stud quarterback Sam Darnold who will go very high in the 2018 draft.