Welcome to the first day and piece of this years TGH Draftmas! A merry time where we will be breaking down the draft profiles for every team for the next 32 days until draft day! So buckle up because we are starting with a fun one in the Cleveland Browns!
In case you were living under a rock, let me shock you by saying the Browns went 1-15 last year. Hue Jackson is a good coach that has been given a team that needs a lot of work. One can only hope that he will be able to stick around long enough to see his project all the way through to the end. The Browns have trade away many players and traded for (Brock Osweiler) draft picks in order to stock pile them to try and get the best values they can from young players. They are doing what teams like the 76ers and Cubs have done most recently in the NBA and MLB respectively.
For the first time in many years the Browns have been very active in trying to grab Free Agents that they value. This includes Kenny Britt, Kevin Zietler, JC Tretter and more. These are major improvements for a team that has struggled for a long time, but they are starting in the right spots. Grabbing a deep threat in Britt was much needed with the departure of last years biggest surprise in Terrelle Pryor. Also building in the trenches at guard and center with Zietler and Tretter are the start to what should be a solid line for the Browns.
Alas, their biggest problem is they have no one to captain the ship at Quarterback. While Cody Kessler showed flashes many do not believe he is a franchise Quarterback. They also trade for Brock Osweiler. The rumor has been that they are trying to flip him, I honestly do not know if he has even flown up to Cleveland yet or ever plans to.
The defense also has seen improvements in their recent draft picks. Danny Shelton, Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib were all nice pieces added in recent years. Also do not forget about Jamie Collins. Joe Hayden is slowing down but is still solid.
Picks and Needs
Next we will look into the 11 draft picks the Browns have stock piled.
First round: (2) No. 1, No. 12
Second round: (2) No. 33, No. 52
Third round: (1) No. 65
Fourth round: (1) No. 108.
Fifth round: (3) No. 145, No. 175 No. 181
Sixth round: (2) No. 185, No. 188
Seventh round: No picks.
As one can see, they have a lot of picks in the first 5 rounds, 8 to be exact. This is generally a good sign for rebuilding teams, IF, they are able to hit on their picks.
In my opinion there are many needs for the team overall but, definitely less than last year. I will start with the Offense.
I see the major needs in no particular order as:
Wide Receiver (Preferably one with great hands)
Now on to the Defense:
Edge Rusher at Defensive End or Linebacker
Linebackers in General (Specifically Outside)
Both Safety Positions
Targets and Thoughts
I will pick who I believe the Browns will be targeting in their first three rounds. This will be without trades since they are so unpredictable although, I will say that I think the Browns trade the first overall pick.
Pick #1: Myles Garrett DE, Texas A&M
If they do make this pick I believe it will be Garrett along with basically everyone else. Do you really need me to go into why? Everyone else has so I will spare you.
Pick #12: Marshon Lattimore CB, Ohio State
While I do think they will end up picking a Quarterback in the real draft, I personally would pick Lattimore if he’s still available. He is an explosive athlete and in a passing league I believe the Browns need to target DB’s early and often in this draft. I also am not a huge fan of this Quarterback class and believe that the Browns are much more than a Quarterback away from contending.
Pick #33: JuJu Smith-Schuster WR, USC
While Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman are great options they can be a little inconsistent. Terrelle Pryor was a major contributor to the team last year due to his size and play-making ability. JuJu is a similar player. He will body up smaller DBs and make them work to make a play on the ball. He may not be the flashiest pick but, at 33 I think hes the best WR still available.
Pick #52: Josh Jones SS, NC State
Safety was another position the Browns got little production out of last season. They need an upgrade and Jones should be a solid answer for that. He is a tough kid with great closing speed and can tackle well in the open field.
Pick #65: Brad Kaaya QB, Miami (FL)
Yes, I am finally addressing the elephant in the room. Again I am not a huge fan of any of the Quarterbacks in this class mostly due to their draft value. I do not believe any of them can start day one. I believe this is true of Kaaya but, Kessler will need a back up and at this point I think Kaaya might be worth it. He has the arm and is the all-time passing leader at a storied program like Miami. He has things to work on but, if given time (which the Browns have) I believe he could develop into something special.
The Browns have an opportunity to really have an incredible draft. This is one that they can pass on the Quarterbacks and get great value in their first two rounds of picks. I believe that this team is on the up and drafting for the best talent at positions they desperately need it at is the smartest decision.
Thank you for joining us on our first day of Draftmas! Please make sure to check back tomorrow for our look at the San Francisco 49ers!