The Cleveland Browns, in my opinion just completed their best draft since their return to the NFL. Sure they passed on one of the best Wide Receivers in the Draft, sure they traded 2 times in the 1st round and what do they have to show it… Well I tell you what; they have a lot to show for it. The Browns did exactly what I say all teams in the 8 picks of the draft should do… THEY TRADED DOWN and they added more picks.
The Browns moved around and grabbed the best Cornerback in the draft with Justin Gilbert, they line him up opposite Joe Haden and in the same backfield as Donte Whitner and you have yourself a recipe for locking down deep passes and slants. Gilbert is young and feisty; he is extremely athletic and also moonlights as a return specialist. While I am discussing the Defensive Backs I can’t leave out 4th round pick and possible STEAL of the draft, Pierre Desir from Lindenwood, yes Lindenwood. Desir can play Corner or Safety or whatever hybrid position they line him up at. He is big and rangy and a true ballhawk. I project this Cleveland Browns defense to break records for INT’s and pick 6’s for the season.
Later in the 1st round the Browns landed a QB that I’ve been very critical of in the past and will remain a skeptic until proven otherwise. Johnny Manziel was drafted and by my assumption will end up being the Browns starting QB by the Bye week. I think the Browns surrounded him with enough protection on the offensive line to keep him from getting pounded into the ground over and over, and I think the Running Game, which I will discuss shortly is the key to the team’s success.
If Manziel shines, the Browns finally can say they did it right, if he fails, it’s just par for the course and the Browns can use one their 2 first round picks next year on another QB and so on and so forth. Manziel has 2 of the best veteran lineman in front of him and if he is smart he will listen and take it all in.
Joel Bitonio… Who? Joel Bitonio, who I will nickname, the MANGLER!!! This dude has a nasty disposition and is turbo aggressive in the trenches. He can really play any of the 5 spots on the line but I think he will be playing at the Guard. He is smart and agile which are the two most important things to have in the Zone Blocking Scheme that the Browns will be running this year, and for years to come. Mack, Thomas and Bitonio together will work the Line of scrimmage like no other line the Browns have had in over 20 years.
In the 3rd round the Browns took ILB/OLB… but mostly ILB Christian Kirksey, I know you ask yourself WHO? Well this kid is a perfect fit for the hybrid defense the Browns will be running under Coach Pettine. Kirksey can drop into coverage and close the distance on players in the blink of an eye, he has a motor that doesn’t stop and from what has been said about him, a true Leader and General on and off the field. Later in 3rd round the Browns moved around again and got a balling ball of a running back that just happens to have tunnel vision for the end zone. Don’t expect to Terrance West to do much tap dancing or side stepping while running, he is more of pure NORTH/SOUTH guy that lowers his shoulders and runs people over. Having him and Ben Tate is a dynamic duo of backs. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!! The Browns grabbed another Running Back, Isaiah Crowell, after the draft. Crowell is a kid that has the some of the most natural skills and incredible footwork I’ve seen in years. Granted he might be head case but he will not be the feature back and he will be there to learn and run on situational formations until he proves himself and in this system he should flourish. The Browns have a 3 headed monster in the backfield and the possibilities are endless.
Nope the Browns didn’t grab a WR in the draft, they did however grab a few track stars after the draft, to me it looks like the Browns will be running and pounding the ball, old school smash mouth ground and pound. They will do they with the help of the 3 Headed Monsters on the Offensive Line and the 3 Headed Monster they will have running the ball. The Defense will break records due to the 3 Headed Monster they have at the Cornerback slot, so what I am saying is you may have wanted Sammy Watkins at number 4 but I’d rather have the Three 3 Headed Monsters they now have.
The Browns have something called DEPTH at many positions, something they have not had in years. The Browns also added more draft picks for next year, 10 as of right now and 2 if those in the 1st round. You wanted 1 player in Sammy Watkins; I want a TEAM that has depth and an identity, the way it looks to me the Browns will be a hard hitting, fast moving and in your face style of defense, and the offensive will be a ground and pound running game with Wide Receivers that a fast and pure downfield threats, with or without Sir Smoke A Lot (Gordon). I don’t care who the QB is, Hoyer or Manziel, the ground game will set the tempo and the Defense will keep teams from scoring, much like the team from Seattle, you know the team that just won the Super Bowl with an undersized QB and no true Number 1 Wide Receiver.