As the NFL Draft on Thursday nears, I thought it was a good time to assess the Brown’s options. Once again, Cleveland is coming off of a disappointing year and will draft fourth overall. Luckily the Browns have seven picks in the first four rounds to help improve the team. Cleveland filled some of their team needs by signing Ben Tate (RB), Karlos Dansby (LB), and Donte Whitner (CB) during the offseason, but still have a glaring hole at QB. While Brian Hoyer showed some flashes last season, the Browns could draft a QB for the long term future.
Drafting in the first round has not been Cleveland’s strong suit recently since their return in 1999. If you take a quick glance at the players below, you can see why the Browns might be best served by trading down in the first round while still getting a QB later in the draft.
Given this putrid history, there is no guarantee a non-QB will be successful anyways, so why not go for the polarizing QB Johnny “Football” Manziel? While WR Sammy Watkins is another rumored pick, who is going to throw the ball to him and All-Pro Josh Gordon? Drafting the former Heisman winner will certainly boost interest and sales for a franchise that has averaged 24th in attendance the past five years and has not had a player in the top 25 in jersey sales in three years. There are certainly plenty of positives to his game, including making/extending plays with his feet, while still throwing 63 TDs/22 Ints with 69% completion % in the SEC. His detractors point out his 6’1” height and the increased abilities of NFL defenders to track him down and cause turnovers. Will he be the next Russell Wilson or the next Tim Tebow? Only time will tell. He certainly will join an exclusive club: