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Monday, May 2, 2016

My Thoughts On The Browns' 2016 NFL Draft? Receive Freely, And Frequently

Yes, I am still nursing a small grudge about the Browns bypassing quality Ohio State Buckeyes in the most recent NFL Draft...again.  But overall, I am pleased with the Browns' 2016 NFL Draft results.

Are there players I would have chosen instead, if I was the person in charge?  Sure.  I am quite confident I can find other Browns fans who would have a similar mindset.

Am I happy with the direction taken by the new management regime?  Very much so.

Was I surprised that Cody Kessler was the quarterback picked by the Browns, especially when most draft analysts had pegged Kessler as a 3rd day pick (4th-7th round)?  Certainly.  But I do like this quote from new Browns head coach Hue Jackson ~ "I understand where everybody's coming from, you've got to trust me on this one..." 

When I think about the quarterbacks Coach Jackson has coached in his past, and I think about the dreadful quarterbacks who have paraded through Berea since the Browns returned in 1999...just let me say that I am going to give Coach Jackson the benefit of the doubt.  Hey, it's not as though the Browns just mortgaged their future on Kessler, as Los Angeles did with Jared Goff and Philadelphia did with Carson Wentz.

How do I believe the quarterback spot will shake out?  At first, I believed Josh McCown would be traded during the weekend of the draft, but it makes no sense to trade McCown at this point of the year.  What if someone gets hurt for another team during the preseason?  What if RGIII gets hurt?  At least hold onto McCown through the preseason.  I am guessing the final quarterback depth chart will be RGIII as the starter, Kessler as the backup, and former quarterback-turned wide receiver Terrelle Pryor will be the emergency quarterback, allowing the Browns to save a roster spot for wide receiver...provided Pryor develops into a better wide receiver than he showed in 2015.

Other observations - any time an organization selects four wide receivers in the draft does not just speak volumes about what the front office and coaching staff think about the veteran depth chart, it blasts the stereo so loud that the neighbors are going to be calling the police.  With Corey Coleman and Ricardo Louis, the Browns added two speedy wide receivers to stretch the field; with Jordan Payton and Rashard Higgins, the Browns added two quality possession receivers, something the franchise has lacked since Joe Jurevicius' career with Cleveland ended after the 2008 season.

While Scooby Wright seems to be the early choice for a Browns fan favorite of the 2016 NFL Draft, I am going to be rooting for Penn State DE Carl Nassib.  Maybe I am mistaken, but Nassib strikes me as the type of player who has a tremendous hunger and passion for the game.

The sleeper?  None bigger than 4th round pick Seth DeValve from Princeton, the highest draft choice in his illustrious school's football history.  DeValve is a WR who is being converted to TE, to give the offense the type of athletic tight end that Coach Jackson is used to highlighting within his offense.

Do I believe the Browns will become a miracle turnaround team in 2016?  Not at all.  The schedule is brutal, the quarterback spot will be a question mark, based on RGIII's injury history, and the team is going to be decidedly young.

Do I believe the 2016 NFL Draft by the Browns is a step in the right direction, to turning this team around?  Emphatically yes.

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