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Why The Browns Must Nail the 2017 NFL Draft



Every year Browns fans ask “is this the year?” regarding if the Browns will FINALLY have the draft that will turn this franchise — one that hasn’t made the postseason since the 1994 season, into something other than what has been the laughing stock of the NFL for the past couple of decades.

But it’s so much more important than that. It’s year two of the Sashi Brown-Hue Jackson Era, and they need to build off of what they’ve done in the offseason and last year’s draft.

I applauded Brown for moving back in last year’s draft and drafting Corey Coleman with their first pick — he showed flashes of greatness in year one before suffering a hand injury earlier in the season, but I think he and newly acquired Kenny Britt, are two nice weapons to build around the offense.

Not to mention, their second round pick Emmanuel Ogbah, gave the Browns a decent pass rusher on the edge — something they’ve lacked forever. Yes, and I mean forever.

But guess what?

Coleman, Ogbah and the rest of the Browns 2016 draft class will be worthless if they don’t get this draft right because this is truly is “The Big One.”

It’s year two of the rebuilding stage in Cleveland. I was absolutely on board with the hire of Jackson and I believe this team will be successful if he is given the proper time to turn to get this sinking ship afloat.

But, as we all know, in all sports, especially the NFL, you have to see on-the-field improvement sooner than later. That means if Jackson and Brown, who don’t need to be reminded of how close this team was going winless just a year ago, will begin to feel the pressure from ownership if they can’t turn the ship.

So now that brings us to April 27th, 2017. The night that the Browns supposedly solve all their problems — beginning with the quarterback position. But I’m here to remind you if they spend too much time worrying about what they do at quarterback, that could be their eventual downfall in this year’s draft and here’s why:

Don’t overthink it, Myles Garrett is your No.1 choice

In one of my most recent articles, I said that the Browns shouldn’t force a bad pick at No. 1. Garrett is the premier player in this year’s draft and to me is a no-brainer. writer Mary Kay Cabot wrote earlier today that Garrett, not Trubisky, remains the consensus No. 1 overall pick tonight.

“Head of football operations Sashi Brown told NFL Network’s Mike Silver on Wednesday that he’s known the pick for two weeks, and Brown told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the Browns are looking for a game-changer at No.1,” Cabot said. “That says Garrett, not Trubisky, who will need time to develop.”

If this report stands to be true, which I have to believe because of Brown’s value of analytics and taking the best player available, then Garrett’s name should be the first one called tonight.

But, of course with the Browns, that’s a big IF.

Why Hue Jackson’s love for Mitchell Trubisky could be our downfall

13 starts. That’s how many college starts Trubisky has, which has been highlighted as the biggest weakness to his overall draft stock.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy, a lot. I believe that Jackson can mentor any quarterback that has any potential of being a decent NFL starter. But is he worth it at No. 1? Absolutely not.

But over the course of the best day or so, ESPN’s Adam Schefter as reported major speculation that Trubisky will be the No. 1 pick tonight, Cabot wrote in her article.

“Speculation over the last 24 hours, including some by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, has pointed to North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky being the top pick, but the Browns have continued to try to trade up into the top eight, presumably to draft Trubisky, and have indicated they’re still set to take Garrett first overall,” Cabot said.

Let’s hope that this is smoke-screen and the Browns aren’t possibly about to reach for a quarterback who is not heads and shoulders above the rest. Let’s hope.

Best case scenario

Obviously, the best case scenario for the Browns is to select Garrett at No. 1 and then have Trubisky “fall” in their lap at No. 12, even though I think No. 12 is a very reasonable landing spot for him.

But let’s be real. Do the Browns ever get their “dream scenario?” Never. Never. Never.

So, the REAL dream scenario is Garrett at No. 1 and then a trade up for Trubisky inside the top 10. Brown and the front office win with following the analytics and taking Garrett, who will make an impact on day one, and Jackson gets his quarterback of the future with Trubisky.

Happy GM, happy coach and happy Browns fans right? We didn’t reach for a quarterback, we got a quarterback and we got the presumed best player in the draft.

But something still doesn’t sit well with me, and that’s the fact that the Browns will most likely have to give up their second round pick this year, pick No. 33, in order to move into the top five with the Titans being the team looking to move back.

Brown and the front office have made it clear that they value their draft picks, but in this scenario, they would lose an extremely valuable pick. To me, Trubisky is not worth packaging up picks 12 and 33 to make it happen.

But to me, No. 33 could be used to trade back into the first round to get a quarterback they want. Why not take the gamble that we might see a slide in quarterbacks in the first round? It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened.

Is it risky? Absolutely, and to be honest, it shouldn’t be a risk that the Browns should take given their recent failures. But, I think the opportunity to land Garrett at No. 1, a playmaker at No. 12 and trade back into the first round to get a quarterback t in the first round that slid in the first round, that’s an opportunity to be had.

But at the end of the day, I along with so many Browns fans, want that franchise guy to watch every Sunday’s. So, take Garrett at No. 1 and if they’re really sold on Trubisky, do what it takes to get him and the Browns leave tonight with hopefully, their future.