Cleveland Browns 4 Round Mock Draft. Predictions and Preferences.

It’s March 13th, 2019. NFL fans around the globe are anxious about the first day of free agency. It has become a holiday for football fans for several years now, but particularly for Cleveland Browns fans. It tends to be the only consistent time the Browns look good in front of the rest of the league. They’ll walk away with 2 or 3 of the top 10 free agents in hopes these players can change their environment for good. Little did the fans know, the Browns were about to make their big move the night before the new offseason began.

Right before many fans went to bed that night, news broke that shook Cleveland, the NFL, and all the world of sports. The Browns just traded for star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. This would be the biggest name in professional sports to come to Cleveland since LeBron James returned in 2014. Christmas came early to The Land. Browns fans began fantasizing about another championship parade for Cleveland. This time in February with the streets filled with orange and brown. The float with the team is coming down Euclid Avenue and fans cheer as Baker Mayfield lifts the Lombardi Trophy to the sky. It would finally happen!! The time of suffering for the Dawg Pound is over!! It’s our turn! Right?!

Right?!

Well, hopefully one day soon.

It’s December 29th, 2019. Browns fans continue to guzzle down alcohol with their dinner to help ease the pain of a disappointing season. The hopes for a Super Bowl title will have to wait another year. The team only won 6 games and didn’t make the playoffs for what would be the 17th straight season. They ended their 2019 campaign with a loss to the 1-14 Cincinnati Bengals.

Local news erupts during the evenings hours. Owner Jimmy Haslam has fired head coach Freddie Kitchens after one season. This would mean for many of the players it would be their 4th different coach in 3 seasons. But this time, it seems the players are very upbeat about the move. A few days later, general manager John Dorsey resigns. Cleveland would face another Haslam full reset.

It’s March 20th, 2020. The COVID-19 epidemic has cancelled all sporting events. Cleveland sports fans saw the Cavaliers’ season come to a halt and the Indians having to delay Opening Day. New head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry have the opportunity to bring the city hope again. The new regime was already different from the others. This Browns team had answer at quarterback and star power many teams would love to acquire. They just needed to fill the rest of the puzzle of what would hopefully be a consistent winner. Easier said then done.

Berry and Stefanski hit the ground running in free agency. They added key veterans to both the offensive line and the defense. They gave Baker Mayfield another offensive weapon in Austin Hooper, who became the highest paid tight end in NFL history when he signed. And just like many other offseasons, the fans were starting to become optimistic again. Once again, the Browns make Cleveland proud. At least for the time being.

Now comes the biggest challenge for the new regime: Draft Day. The past two drafts, John Dorsey was able to find a handful of impactful players that would help change the course of the franchise. However, he also made some bad picks in the mid-rounds that would cost the team an opportunity to add more quality talent to an overall strong roster. Not every team is going to get all their picks right, but the better teams walk away making the best of their picks. It’s been a long time since Cleveland had an overall great draft.

Cleveland’s offseason priority should always be to capitalize on the draft. This draft could be one of the most important moments for the young careers of Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry. They have the pieces to be a playoff team now, but need more talent to help guarentee it happens. If they want to see that championship parade sometime in the next 3 years, it starts here. Here my predictions and preferences for the first 4 rounds of the Cleveland Browns 2020 draft:

Key Additions: TE Austin Hooper, T Jake Conklin, FB Andy Janovich, LB B.J. Goodson, QB Case Keenum, CB Donovan Olumba, DT Andrew Billings, S Karl Joseph, CB Kevin Johnson, and DE Adrian Clayborn.

Key Departures: LB Christian Kirksey, LB Joe Schobert, S Damarius Randall, CB TJ Carrie, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, and S Morgan Burnett.

Key Needs: LT, RG, LB, S, and WR

Browns, Round 1 Pick 10

**TRADE**

Browns send the 10th and the 97th overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 21st, 53rd, and the 168th pick along with a 2021 1st rounder.

Making a mock draft is similar to making predictions in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. You think you have a somewhat idea what will happen, and one trade or selection completely throws most of it off. Not that anyone was going to get a multi round prediction 100% correct anyway. Rarely I include trades for the sake of trying not to over complicate things, but this year I’m pretty certain we will see one when the Browns are on the clock.

Let me explain this trade. Browns are sitting in a pretty position in this draft. The mainstream analysts will go on and on about the quarterback class in this draft. What you haven’t heard enough is how deep this year is for offensive tackles and wide receivers. From the 1st round to the 4th round it is loaded with potential starter talent. When the Browns are on the clock they have a critical choice. They have a major hole at left tackle that hasn’t been filled since Joe Thomas retired. There is a good chance that one if not two of the top offensive tackles will be taken before their pick. On the other hand, all the wide receivers are still in play. They could select the top receiver and pair them with Beckham and Landry. Think about it. That’s tempting. Baker wouldn’t know where to start with all that talent. However, the Browns have multiple needs and could use more picks. It is in the front office best interest to trade down.

In Philadelphia, their front office has been working for a while to find Carson Wentz a dynamic wide receiver. There has been plenty of trade talk but no luck. They decide it’s time to go all in and make one of the biggest splashes of the weekend. They want to trade up and select the next star wide receiver that will help bloster their offense for the next 5 or more years. They are moving up 11 spots so they have to send a hefty package of picks to tempt the Browns in trading down to the 21st pick. They will need to present the Browns a similar offer the Atlanta Falcons gave Cleveland in 2011 when they moved up from 27th to 6th to select Julio Jones. Eagles call the Browns to make their aggressive move to get their guy. They will send the 21st pick, their 1st rounder in 2021, their 3rd round pick, and their 5th round pick from New England. Cleveland offers their 97th pick from Houston in the deal for Eagles 2nd round pick instead of taking their 3rd rounder. Philly accepts the edited trade offer and the deal is done. Eagles will land either Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb and the city of brotherly love will celebrate. Fast forward a little later, the Browns are on the clock at the 21st pick.

Browns, Round 1 Pick 21: T Josh Jones, Houston

One of the top reasons the Browns had such a disappointing season in 2019 was the 29th ranked offensive line. Despite Nick Chubb’s Pro Bowl performance, the offensive line was tough to watch. The Browns can’t walk away from this draft without an answer at left tackle. If they do, you can already write of the next season. Sure you could trade for Trent Williams who wants way too much money or you could offer Jason Peterson a short term deal, but I think it would be best to find an affordable long term answer now.

Jones’ name has remained under the radar as far as offensive tackles go in this draft. An aggressive player with a high motor that gives 100% on every play. No quit in style. He was recruited by former Houston coach Tom Herman and stayed after Herman left for the University of Texas job. His teammates appreciated his loyalty to the program and voted to make him captain his senior season.

Analysts and scouts have stressed he has serious potential but needs to get stronger. Fortunately, Kevin Stefanski hired one of the best offensive line coaches in Bill Callahan who can help prepare Jones for the pro level. He has solid speed but needs to improve on his foot work.

So out of all the offensive line prospects, what made me believe the Browns would select Josh Jones here? Andrew Berry has stated recently he wants to build the team around football players that fit well on and off the field. Jones’ personality and playing style already fits the mold Berry is describing. An upbeat player who is pushing himself and his teammates to perform at the top of their game each day. That includes practice. A perfect locker room guy. On top of that, he is heavily favored in the analytics department. Pro Football Focus rated him the 14th overall player in the class and 4th among offensive line men. Jones is also 1 out of 3 potential 1st round offensive tackles that primary played the left side last season.

There are a few other options here including Boise State tackle Ezra Cleveland and Bama safety Xavier McKinney. Let’s say for a second I’m wrong about the trade with the Eagles and they only trade down a few spots, is Josh Jones still a serious option for Cleveland at that point? Absolutely, but they may trade down again to add some more picks and then select him.

Browns, 2nd Round Pick 41: WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado

I do believe Cleveland will be picking a receiver early in the draft. Outside the LSU brothers they don’t have any serious depth. Shenault is 6’1 with great mix of speed, size, and strength. Highlight reel hands and averaged 24 yards a reception. On paper he looks like a quality addition. The only unfortunate thing about him is the comparisons he’s drawing which include Sammy Watkins and Greg Little. Two college receivers that burned competition in space but didn’t develop well in the NFL.

Browns take a chance on Shenault due to his size and hands. His explosiveness could be useful when defenses are covering Landry and Beckham close. Giving Baker another playmaker on the field should make defenses frustrated.

Browns, 2nd Round Pick 53 (from Eagles): DT Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M

Browns defensive line faced injury issues last season which hurt them the last 6 games. Andrew Berry has added depth via free agency for both defensive end and tackle, but they could use a younger, long-term option on the inside. Sheldon Richardson had a solid first season with Cleveland but who knows how much he has left in the tank. Larry Ogunjobi continues to stay consistent and former Bengal Andrew Billings signed a one year deal. Madubuike is undersized for an NFL defensive tackle but what scouts like about him is his speed and athleticism. One of the better defensive linemen in the class when it comes to pass rush and containing scrambling quarterbacks. Some analysts believe he could be more productive if moved to defensive end. He brings plenty of options but also has plenty of work to prepare for the next level.

Browns, Round 3 Pick 74: LB Akeem Davis Gaither, Appalachian State

As of right now, the Browns have 2 for sure starting linebackers in Mack Wilson and newly acquired B.J. Goodson. Gaither is a tad undersized but makes it up with his speed and athleticism. He had at least 5.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss in both his junior and senior season. A Texas kid who was a former 5 star high school recruit. He would be useful on the outside to help with the pass rush. An explosive prospect that could help Cleveland in the long run.

Browns, Round 4 Pick 115: CB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi St.

Cleveland added more cornerback back depth in free agency but could use a younger, long-term option. Terrence Mitchell isn’t guarenteed to be on the team on week 1 and Denzel Ward continues to deal with injury issues. Dantzler was one of the toughest cornerbacks in the SEC. He gave both Alabama and LSU issues last season. His man to man coverage ability is off the charts. Analytics department really digs his potential. Some analysts believe he could be picked higher than the 4th round but his tackling issues could make him drop to the lower rounds. There are some questions whether or not he would be a better dime corner than an every down option. If available, Browns take the chance on him here.

Alright, now it’s my turn to be the Browns the first four rounds.

Me, Round 1 Pick 10: T Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Once upon a time, there was a Browns general manager named Phil Savage. He sat in the war room as an assistant gm to the Baltimore Ravens in 1996 when they selected soon-to-be Hall of Famer Jonathan Odgen. The attitude in the room with that pick was to get someone to solidify the offensive line and would be part of the team the next 10 years. Fast forward to 2007 when Savage was running the Browns war room. They are sitting with the 3rd overall pick with some critical roster holes to fill. Despite a questionable quarterback situation, the front office came down to two decisions, Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson and Wisconsin left tackle Joe Thomas. Little did they know they were deciding between two soon-to-be Hall of Famers. When it came down to decision time, Savage told the room if they didn’t solidify the offensive line it wouldn’t matter what else they did that offseason. They wanted a permanent answer for their left tackle position and someone who would be there for the next 10 years. After the Browns selected Joe Thomas with the 3rd overall pick, they went on to have the best offensive line in 2007. Savage’s era in Cleveland did not end well, but he remains one of the better scouts at evaluating talent in the league. His comment about solidifying the offensive line will always remain true when it comes to building a great football team. Browns have not seen an o-line work that well since. Well, it’s time to change that.

Browns haven’t found their answer to left tackle since Joe Thomas retired. It absolutely hurt Baker Mayfield’s game last season and it will continue to until there is some legit protection there. I’m honestly not against trading down due to the Browns have multiple holes that need to be filled. But it is mandatory to find the answer to left tackle this coming draft weekend. If you can find a guarenteed answer at ten then lock him up.

Andrew Thomas was a force in the SEC. The former teammate of Nick Chubb’s excelled in the run game and was solid in pass protection. In Stefanski’s system the Browns will be running the ball more often than the previous few seasons. You won’t see better run blocker in this class than Thomas. I sat and watched much film on the top tackles in this draft. While Tristian Wirfs and Jedrick Willis are hot names, they struggled in key games. While Andrew Thomas gave Alabama and LSU headaches. They struggled to get through the left edge the whole game. On top of all this, the analytics are in his favor as he is rated the top offensive tackle in the class.

Hypothetically, if a team did want to trade up for the pick and the offer was too good to pass up then I would do it. In that scenario, Alabama safety Xavier McKinney would be my pick and I would trade back up to the 1st round to get either Josh Jones or Ezra Cleveland. But all temptation aside, if I’m the Browns sitting at ten and decide to use the pick, I’m putting a Thomas on the left side again. You’re welcome, Baker.

Me, Round 2 Pick 41: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

I agree with getting a receiver here early in the draft. You need all the receiver depth you can get in this league. Higgins is 6’4 target with decent speed and possession hands. He came in clutch for Clemson down the stretch. He would fit well as the second receiver so the Browns could move Landry in the slot.

Me, Round 3 Pick 74: LB Malik Harrison , Ohio State

As previously mentioned, Browns have a hole at linebacker. Harrison is the makings of a sexy pick. Most Browns fans are Buckeyes fans, he hits really hard, and could fit in either linebacker position. There is some concern about his size but that’s what they said about my dude Mack Wilson last year. Bring in a young force with plenty of potential that will be a fan favorite for the next 5 years or more.

Me, Round 3 Pick 97 (from Texans): S Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois

Every year there is a draft prospect I really like that could go as high as the first round or as low as the sixth. This year, it’s Jeremy Chinn. I have seen some mock drafts where he falls around the 3rd or 4th round. I did see one claiming the Tennessee Titans were drafting him with their first pick. No matter where he goes, he has the physical gifts to be a dynamic safety in the NFL. The issue that’s putting his stock in limbo is his extremely low football IQ. Usually, that is something I would ask the Browns to move on from a prospect at that point. They’ve been hurt enough by that in the past. But not many of these players with low football IQs have the skill set this kid provides. Cleveland needs a long term option at safety and more playmakers on defense. Draft him and have him spend extra time with coaches, veterans, and in the film room. In the case he is not available here, I would go with Kentucky guard Logan Stenberg.

Me, Round 4 Pick 115: LB Joe Bachie, Michigan State

Back in 2016, the Browns were linebacker needy and there was a Big Ten prospect out of Wisconsin named Joe Schobert I really liked. Watching his film I just thought he would fit perfectly in Cleveland. As luck would have it, the Browns agreed with me and took him in the 4th round. He was an impact player and a leader in the locker room. Unfortunately, Andrew Berry was unwilling to meet his price and he signed with Jacksonville. I’m encouraging the Browns again to go with a Big Ten linebacker in the 4th round. Bachie meets the standard of a Browns linebacker. Hard hitting, leader, and has played his whole playing career in nasty mid-west weather. A group with him, Malik Harrison, B.J. Goodson, and Mack Wilson gives the linebacker group a serious chance. Other options to consider with this pick or later rounds include Oregon guard Shane Lemieux and Fresno State guard Netane Muti. Browns still need answer for right guard.

Cleveland Browns 2020 Offseason Needs

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stafanski photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Alright. You know the story! Browns owner Jimmy Haslam pushes the reset button AGAIN! You have a new coach, general manager, and direction. The players try to find a way to manage, the other fans make fun of the team, the local sports analysts act as comedians towards the whole thing, and the fans resume excitement when training camp starts as if nothing catastrophic happened. Again, you know the story. The fans will be sitting through yet another Haslam experiment.

However, it’s still the Cleveland Browns and somehow we still care. Maybe it’s because instead of back to back 4 win seasons the team has had at least 6 wins the past 2 seasons. Maybe it’s because they have the quarterback with the most commercials since Peyton Manning. Or maybe it’s because the defender who slammed a Steeler with their own helmet is eligible to return. Honestly, I don’t 100% know why we care so much. I won’t tell you Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry are a for sure thing, but I can tell you the team is a good offseason away from the playoffs. Still one of the most talented rosters in the league. They just needed some better leadership. So here’s a quick breakdown of their top offseason needs:

OFFENSIVE LINE

There is a good reason I capitalized this one. Despite Nick Chubb’s impressive season and Baker Mayfield being the first Browns quarterback since Tim Couch to start all 16 games, the o-line was trash. Rated 29th overall in the league and was the biggest eye sore on the team all season. Despite all the praise the former general manager got, offensive line was never John Dorsey’s strong point. For starters, the team lacked depth from the beginning. After injuries the team struggled to keep any protection for Mayfield, not that it made much of a difference anyway. They drafted one lineman and he was injured most of the season. The rest were players just fighting to keep their careers going. Looking ahead, they have 2 starters worth keeping around, Pro Bowler Joe Bitonio and center Jason Tretter, who signed a 3 year extension in the middle of the season. Other than that they don’t really have anyone. Chris Hubbard is on an expiring contract, Greg Robinson could go to prison for 20 years, and anyone who played right guard last season is pretty much cut.

Recent reports have stated the team could potentially spend large amounts of money on a few free agents to improve the line. In the past, they have had success with signing veteran o-linemen to long, expensive deals. But now and then you’ll get that one that doesn’t pan out. Browns need to avoid that at all cost, but still should spend for quality. The draft has a few star potential left tackles in the first round this year. They’re still looking for a permanent replacement for Joe Thomas. Some big trade rumors have emerged about Redskins’ Trent Williams and Eagles’ Jason Peters, but I wouldn’t bank on either one happening. Then again, I doubted the Odell Beckham rumors too and looked what happened. Bottom line, Cleveland needs to pick 3 new starters and plenty of back up options if they want to see this line succeed right away.

Safety

During the Hugh Jackson era, safety was a big concern. Teams were making passing plays over the weak backfield like it was nothing. When John Dorsey took over it got fixed. Now it’s an issue again. Damarious Randall will test free agency and most likely will be gone. It is a toss up whether Andrew Berry decides to retain Morgan Burnett or not. Juston Burris and Sheldrick Redwine were decent during the last few games of the season, but didn’t show too much promise as long term options. They don’t want to overlook this position. Every great team has a duo of safeties that help contain the pass game. Unless the Browns want to get lit up again like in 2016 and 17, I suggest grab a few guys that can consistently hold down the role.

Linebacker

Browns will be back to using 3 linebackers and, unfortunately, Joe Schobert is on his way out. Mack Wilson is the only guaranteed starter left on the team. Christian Kirkseyhas been cut and signed with the Packers. Grabbing a few free agents and trying to find a gem in the draft would be one way to go. A good mix of veteran leadership and youth tends to go well for defenses. Browns could use all the help they can get on the defensive side of the ball.

A 3rd and 4th Wide Receiver

Browns marched into the 2019 season believing to have the best wide receiver group in the NFL. Turned out to be a little disappointing. Odell Beckham Jr had a decent season and his best friend Jarvis Landry was a Pro Bowler again. However, they were the only receivers that really did anything all season. Rishard Higgins never really saw the field and isn’t expected to return this season. Antonio Callaway was cut, failed another drug test, and signed with the XFL. Damion Ratley made some noise but never got too many chances. These days, the 3rd wide receiver is critical for most offenses. With all the injuries, it’s important to have mad depth at all positions especially the ones who get knocked around the most. Both Beckham and Landry had surgeries recently. It would be fitting to make sure there is quality back up in case they would need more procedures.

Backup Quarterback

One of the biggest fears for Browns fans is to have the team go on a run and suddenly Baker takes a hit that takes him out for long period of time, or worse, the season. Browns dodged a major bullet last season with Baker staying healthy. Garrett Gilbert was the only backup option and had very little experience at the pro level.

Thankfully, recent reports state that the new front office has signing quarterback number 2 as a high priority when free agency opens. Case Keenum, Chase Daniels, and Marcus Mariota have been a few names mentioned as options. Looking back at the past few seasons, it should be noted when the Eagles won the Super Bowl with Nick Foles in 2018 and the Titans going to the AFC Championship with Ryan Tannehill this past January. The right man could save an entire season should they need him.

Beef Up the Defensive Line

Watching the Browns defensive line was like a rollercoaster. Some games went well and others not so much. Myles Garrett had a disappointing season but was suspended the last 6 games of the season. Olivier Vernon was injured much of the season but didn’t perform up to par when he did play. Sheldon Richardson was solid on and off the field. One of the few bright spots on the line. Larry Ogunjobi put up almost the exact same statistics as he did in 2018.

Last draft, John Dorsey did not take advantage of a deep defensive line class. The team is entering the offseason with minimal depth and potentially a need for a new starting defensive end. Every top NFL team has a strong front 7 on the defensive side of the ball. It is vital to address these positions if they plan on competing for playoff position. Otherwise, they’ll continue to struggle to pressure opposing team quarterbacks and have issues against the run.

Backup Cornerbacks

One of John Dorsey’s strong points was giving his teams quality cornerback depth. It had helped the Browns plenty while dealing with Denzel Ward’s consistent injuries. As of right now, Ward and Greedy Williams are penciled as the starters with veteran Terrance Mitchell as the only reliable backup. It isn’t for sure Mitchell will make the team after the preseason and Ward’s multiple concussions give the organization plenty of concern about his future. It would be wise to grab a couple quality free agents and a sleeper in the draft to help be prepared for anything. It’s a passing league so they need to have as talented of a cornerback squad as possible.

Resign Kareem Hunt

Running back careers seem to be getting shorter with every new generation. Browns have a special player in Nick Chubb. But every good back needs a reliable backup. One of the few things that did go right for the Browns last year was the Chubb and Hunt rotation. It was weapon that irritated defenses and was, unfortunately, not used enough. John Dorseyz who was the reason Hunt signed with the team, is gone. But the Cleveland kid wants to stay home the rest of his career.

There are many different directions Andrew Berry could go with this, but hear me out. Hunt is still young, he is healthy with no history of injuries at the pro level, he wants to make his hometown proud, he produced when he played, and he seems to have a great relationship with the other players. There is a case to be made that he may go cheaper than many expected 2 seasons ago when he was tearing it up in Kansas City. Chubb likes working along side him. Seriously?! What’s the argument against it?! I am aware there was a recent legal problem, but nothing major. Keep him before he goes somewhere where he can hurt you.

*On March 16th, Browns put a 2nd round tender on Hunt.

Tight End depth

One of the few things the Browns have done right since their return in 1999 is always having a reliable tight end or two. Last season, Austin Seferian-Jenkins came out as the top tight end until his injury. Former 1st rounder David Njoku can’t stay healthy and has burned bridges within the organization. Recently, Demetrius Harris was cut. Keeping Jenkins makes sense but they need to make sure they have plenty of backup in case he goes down again. In Minnesota, Stefanski preferred to use blocking tight ends with possession hands for the red zone. Kyle Rudolph thrived in his system. It would be best for Cleveland to sign a veteran or two and draft a young prospect.

*On March 16th, Browns agreed to terms with former Atlanta Falcon Austin Hooper, making him the best paid tight end in the league.

Cleveland Browns: Top 10 Offseason Acquisitions

After a successful offseason, the Cleveland Browns are set to start training camp. Fans are hopeful that this will be the season that ends the 17 year playoff drought and the start of a dynasty. With all that being said, here are my top 10 additions to the team roster:

10. K Austin Seibert

Last season was possibly the worst season for kickers in NFL history. More extra points and field goals were missed than in previous seasons, and there were more kickers consistently on the injury list. That in itself showed the importance and value of a good kicker in the game.

Browns have not had an established starting kicker since they let Phil Dawson (who is currently a free agent) go in 2013. Four of the Browns losses last season were by 3 points or less. Obviously, the Browns entered the offseason trying to find a long term answer for the position.

Austin Seibert had much success at Oklahoma, but just because the Browns used a draft pick on him does not hand him the job. He will have to battle it out against last season’s starter Greg Joseph, who came in mid-season after Zane Gonzalez was cut. Seibert has great kicking accuracy, and holds the college football record for most extra points and field goal attempts. Only time will tell if Seibert can be a new fan favorite in Cleveland.

9. S Morgan Burnett

Browns had a hole at safety after trading Jabrill Peppers to the Giants. Since then they have added plenty of options. They traded for Eric Murray from the Cheifs, they drafted Sheldrick Redwine out of Miami, and Jermaine Whitehead turned some heads at mini camp. But let’s not forget about a key veteran they added in free agency in Morgan Burnett.

In case you don’t know the story, Burnett started for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season and decided he didn’t want to deal with the team’s locker room issues any longer. He demanded a trade but ended up getting waived instead. As a result, he signed a three year deal with the good guys in Cleveland! Mainly because he was familiar with the front office that drafted him in Green Bay.

As of right now, it is a toss up who starts opposite of Damarius Randall. But Burnett brings experience and leadership that can help the Browns on the defensive side of the ball. If he does indeed make the week 1 roster, he may have an important role on the team.

8. DT Sheldon Richardson

Browns needed to add some power next to Larry Ogunjobi, and they did just that. Richardson is joining the Browns after a solid season with the Minnesota Vikings where he registered 48 total tackles including 4.5 sacks. Browns defensive line was inconsistent blocking up the middle last season. Hopefully adding Richardson will change that.

7. LB Mack Wilson

I must warn you, I’m being very bias with this one. Wilson was one of my favorite players in the draft. When the Browns selected Sione Takitaki in the 3rd round, I thought for sure Wilson was not in the Browns’ plans. As luck would have it, he slipped to the 5th round where Cleveland selected him.

Wilson may not do much early in the regular season but in due time he will be a fan favorite. Above average speed and field awareness for a linebacker his size. He stood out among rookies in minicamp. Hopefully my expectations are right and fans get to see what I’ve been preaching about since the draft.

6. TE Demetrius Harris

Possibly the most underrated acquisition this offseason. Browns hands down have one of the best receiving groups in the league, and Harris could be a secret weapon for Baker. In Kansas City, he was mainly used for the red zone where he caught 3 touchdowns last season. But in Freddie Kitchens offensive scheme it will be easy to assume he could take on a bigger role. Possibly similar to what Darren Fells did last season. At 6’7 with better speed and hands than most tight ends, it’s obvious why Harris would be favorable target down the stretch.

5. CB Greedy Williams

Browns 1st pick in the draft did not come until the 2nd round due to the Odell Beckham trade. John Dorsey hit a home run drafting Denzel Ward with the 4th overall pick in the 2018 draft. He was determined to find a long term starter on the opposite end of Ward. With many cornerbacks already taken in the first 2 rounds, Williams somehow slipped to the Browns on the 46th overall pick.

Williams was an All-SEC player with 71 tackles, 8 interceptions, and 28 pass deflections in the 2 seasons he started in LSU. He played all 24 games.

It is still up in the air if Williams earns a starting spot right out of the gate. With Terrance Mitchell and T.J. Carrie also in the mix, coaching staff may lean towards starting the season off with more experienced players. However, if he has fantastic camp and preseason, he could convince the team to start him week one just like Ward did last season.

4. DE Oliver Vernon

Browns needed to give Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi some more help on the defensive line. They gave them a big boost adding Vernon in the mix. He is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he had 23 tackles 7 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.

Vernon was overshadowed by the Odell Beckham hype, but provides an extremely important part to the team’s success. Browns defense was inconsistent pressuring opposing quarterbacks last season. They’re coverage squad was worn down as a result. With Vernon on the opposite side of Garrett, it should create a nightmare for offensive lines.

3. RB Kareem Hunt

Even though Browns fell short of making the playoffs, they made headlines last January when they signed troubled running back Kareem Hunt. Every football fan knows the story. Hunt was having a memorable season with the Kansas City Chiefs, when videos surfaced of him committing violent actions towards a woman. As a result, Chiefs decided to part ways with their young star leaving his career in question. Lucky for him, the guy who drafted him was willing to give him a second chance with his new team.

Hunt will start the season off with an 8 game suspension due to his actions. That will make it about a full year since he last took the field. Since his signing he has pushed himself to better himself. One more bad slip could cost him his career.

This is a low risk, high reward situation for Cleveland. They’re not paying him money players of his caliber get and they have another star studded back in Nick Chubb. Best case scenario, after the suspension Hunt helps lead his hometown team to a playoff run. Worst case scenario, he is rusty and not to his peak in ability in which Chubb would take over. There is also a chance it could be Josh Gordon all over again and another fine player destroys everything he worked for.

But I would like a happy ending here and I believe in grace. The organization has his back and there is no doubt he wants to join the hype with his city. The positives are he is working hard on himself and he’s healthy. Any team in the league would benefit to have his talent.

2. WR Odell Beckham Jr.

I know, you’re probably shocked he’s not number 1, but I’ll get to that. A few seasons ago the Browns didn’t have a consistent realiable wide receiver. The first trade John Dorsey did as general manager was trade for Jarvis Laundry. He then drafted Antonio Callaway and the team continued to use Rashard Higgins as the second receiver. Even though things looked better on the field, Dorsey knew Baker Mayfield would need more weapons if the offense was going to succeed. Last March, Dorsey put all his chips in and acquired one of the top receivers in the league.

Along with all the hype, there are also plenty of questions surrounding Beckham’s new situation. Here are things football fans have to remember:

1. He knows his teammates. Landry is a close friend and he has been hanging around Mayfield since before he was traded. Before he was a Cleveland Brown he was aware that the team was building something special. The new leadership and direction will help him mentally, on and off the field.

2. Despite some of the drama in New York, he did not give up. We have seen superstars before when things get messy in an organization. They refuse to play, they whine to the media, and they demand trades. Beckham was the exact opposite. He tried to make it work. The hustle on every play, trying to connect with players and coaches, and do whatever he could to improve the direction of the team. He signed long term to be a Giant for his career and lead the team to their next super bowl victory. Fortunately for the Browns, Giants had other ideas.

3. Beckham is about winning and only winning! This is a guy who still hasn’t let go of the junior high basketball championship he lost. It’s win or go home, which is the attitude every successful NFL franchise has to have. The only thing on his mind is winning Cleveland a super bowl. The biggest star athlete since LeBron James returned in 2014. Can OBJ do the same thing James did in 2016?!

1. Coach Freddie Kitchens

I know he isn’t technically a acquisition and he doesn’t play on the field. But given the circumstances, this team needed a head coach more than anything else. Look at every successful winning team in the history of pro football. What did they all have in common? A leader on the sidelines.

A former All-Pro Browns player once told me that the team’s main problem for over a decade was that there were no “football guys” running the team. He was exactly right. They had tried business executives, men knowledgeable about the game, but never anyone who breathed it. When Jimmy Haslam hired John Dorsey, not only was it his first good move but that was the first time since 2002 the team had a front office run by a football guy.

Dorsey had played the game and was head of scouting and player personnel on successful teams. Bottomline, he is a football guy. He knows talent when he sees it and he knows what it takes to create a winning organization.

It took the Browns 30 different starting quarterbacks to find their franchise quarterback. Why? There are many reasons, but what made Baker Mayfield different from all the others? His accuracy? His throws outside the pocket? His vision? All of those really do stand out compared to the others, but there is one thing in particular: he’s a football guy.

Mayfield isn’t just good at throwing a football and reading defenses. He is a leader that helps improve his teammates around him along with himself. He knows the game and what it takes to win. There are skilled quarterbacks that can win you games and lose focus when it matters the most. Then there are quarterbacks that lead dynasties.

Browns are on their 6th new head coach the past decade and 9th since the 1999 revival (not including interims). That is a terrible stretch. No stability. Even though those men loved the game, they were not cut out to be head coaches. Pat Shurmur is the only one out of that group that is currently a head coach somewhere else, but is only entering his second season with the team. Romeo Crennel did get a second chance at head coaching with the Kansas City Chiefs but it was worse than his stint with the Browns.

Freddie Kitchens successful coaching career goes beyond his offensive coordinator duties from last season. He learned under the likes of Nick Saban, Bill Parcel, and Bruce Arians. He worked with many successful assistant coaches as well. When the Browns hired him they were the only team that did not struggle to fill their coaching staff. Many coaches left great situations to join Kitchens. Why? They know him and believe in him. They were also on board with the direction of the front office.

Browns needed a football guy on the sidelines and in the locker room. They got that with hiring Freddie Kitchens. One step closer to bringing back a winning football franchise in Cleveland.

Cleveland Browns 2019 Draft Recap

Cleveland_Browns

For the very first time I decided to write a recap following my Cleveland Browns mock draft. We’ll take a look and see how John Dorsey improved the roster. But first let’s look back on my predictions and preferences.

Players I thought the Browns would draft in the first 4 rounds:

DT Dre’mont Jones, Ohio State (Broncos, Rnd 3, Pick 8)

CB Justin Layne, Michigan State (Steelers, Rnd 3, Pick 20)

G Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin (undrafted, signed with Lions)

For starters, my bold prediction of the Browns trading Duke Johnson and their 3rd round pick to Eagles for their 2nd rounder did not happen. Surprisingly, Browns didn’t trade Johnson at all, and Coach Kitchens expects him at training camp this summer. Not a loss for Cleveland since Johnson is a great weapon to have in the backfield. Both players I thought Cleveland would pick in the 2nd round slipped to the third round. Broncos blossom their defensive line with Jones from THE Ohio State University. One prediction I had was right. If the Browns didn’t pick Layne, the Steelers were going to scoop him up. Not a fan of that. Layne could be valuable in Pittsburgh. I was surprised Benzschawel wasn’t drafted at all. Thought for sure he was a solid Day 3 selection. Browns did not draft o-line until the 6th round with OT Drew Forbes.

Players I wanted the Browns to draft in the first 4 rounds:

LB Mack Wilson, Alabama (Browns, Rnd 5, Pick 17)

CB JoeJuan Williams, Vanderbilt (Patriots, Rnd 2, Pick 13)

T Isaiah Prince, Ohio State (Dolphins, Rnd 6, Pick 30)

Browns grabbed my dude Wilson but not until the 5th round. Bill Belichick saw the potential with Williams and traded up to grab him. I’m calling it, Williams will be a multi Pro Bowler with New England. Prince fell to the near bottom of the 6th round when Miami decided to grab him. A solid pick for the Dolphins that late in the draft.

Day 3 players I encouraged the Browns to consider:

QB Will Grier, West Virginia (Panthers, Rnd 3, Pick 37)

RB Bennie Snell, Kentucky (Steelers, Rnd 4, Pick 20)

DE Joe Jackson, Miami (Cowboys, Rnd 5, Pick 27)

DT Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois (Chiefs, Rnd 3, Pick 21)

EDGE Jalen Jelks, Oregon (Cowboys, Rnd 7, Pick 27)

S Jaquan Johnson, Miami (Bills, Rnd 6, Pick 8)

Panthers got a solid back up picking Grier with their conditional 3rd round pick. It should give Carolina some good insurance for the next few years. God forbid something happens to Newton. I was NOT HAPPY to see Snell go to Pittsburgh. I have preached about his potential since mid-season. To see a player of his caliber go to the rival hurts. Snell went higher than I expected. One thing the Cowboys do well is find defensive gems in the draft and develop them. They continued to do that this past weekend drafting both Jackson and Jelks. They went with power and speed with those picks which will only improve their defensive game in due time. Saunders was picked much earlier than I anticipated, and to a team that will be a major threat to the Browns in the AFC. Chiefs get a potential major weapon next to Frank Clark on that defensive line. Browns did not draft Jaquan Johnson, but did draft his former teammate Sheldrick Redwine. Bills obtained a valuable pick with Johnson in the 6th round. He may not start out of the gate, but I see him making the roster.

Cleveland Browns 2019 Draft Picks:

CB Greedy Williams, LSU (Rnd 2, Pick 14)

I am still shocked Williams slipped this far in the draft. I thought for sure he was going to be picked in the 1st round. Not only that, their were a few cornerbacks taken before him in the 2nd round. Dorsey had to make the aggressive move and trade up a few spots to get their guy. Browns needed to get a long term plan opposite of Denzel Ward. Williams has speed and athletic ability to start in the NFL. He was one of if not the best cornerback in this draft with man coverage. One of the reasons he may have slipped was because of his lack of playing time in college. He did start his sophomore and junior season, but sat out the bowl game for the draft. I think some teams felt they needed to see more before they were sold on him, but I’m just speculating. THEIR LOSS! Browns picked a potential star on the defensive side of the ball. We know fellow LSU Tigers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry approve.

Pick Grade: A

LB Sione Takitaki, BYU (Rnd 3, Pick 17)

This was an interesting pick right here. Takitaki started his college career on a bad note. Getting in fights, missing practice, and stealing from campus almost ruined his football career. He then settled down with a good woman and left the game for a season to focus on academics. When he returned, his reputation was completely changed and the team made him captain his senior season. He led the Cougars in 2018 with 118 tackles (9 for a loss and 3 sacks). Takitaki has great burst of energy and tackling ability. Something the Browns have struggled with defensively for the past few seasons. However, his lack of speed and use of space in the game need to be recognized. Many scouts saw him as a 7th round pick or an undrafted free agent. There were some that suggested his skills being more valuable on special teams. I trust John Dorsey and I’m rooting for this kid. But in a few years will the team be looking back on this pick and wish they went with someone else? Only time will tell.

Pick Grade: C

S Sheldrick Redwine, Miami (Rnd 4, Pick 17)

I previously mentioned that I really dug Redwine’s former teammate Jaquan Johnson. However, I can’t argue with the Browns here. Redwine was a safer pick that helps add depth in that defensive backfield. He mostly played safety, but also played well at corner for the Hurricanes. That gives the Browns an option to move him around if needed. He has good size, ball awareness, and power to hit receivers. Coaches will work on his ability to close out on receivers and playing with his back to the ball. All in all, a solid pick for Cleveland.

Pick Grade: B

LB Mack Wilson, Alabama (Rnd 5, Pick 17)

It was odd watching Wilson fall to the 5th round, and I thought for sure one of the Browns rivals would snag him. But as luck would have it, the good guys picked him with their first 5th round pick. Freddie Kitchens is a big fan and seized the opportunity to make him a Brown. Many analysts had him as a late 1st round to a mid 2nd round pick. I honestly don’t know what went down in Nashville, but the Browns may have potentially drafted their future starting linebacker with this pick. Wilson is great with the blitz and in coverage. He would fit perfectly in the middle with their 4-3 scheme. I’m going to be biased and say this was the Browns 2nd best pick in the draft next to Greedy Williams.

Pick Grade: A

K Austin Seibert, Oklahoma (Rnd 5, Pick 32)

Browns did something I didn’t think they would do, but I’m glad they did. DRAFTED A KICKER!!! Not just a kicker, but handled Oklahoma’s kickoffs, punts, and placekicker duties during his sophomore season. He’s the whole special teams package! With Oklahoma being the offensive power house they were during his tenure there, he really didn’t get many chances to kick from distance. His longest field goal was 56 in his senior season. Most of his misses were due to bad ball placement. Four out of eight of the Browns losses last season came from 4 points or less. We won’t know until the fall if Seibert works out or not, but Browns needed some options outside of Greg Joseph. We’re still hurting after letting Phil Dawson (who is currently a free agent) go six years ago.

Pick Grade: B

OT Drew Forbes, Southeast Missouri State (Rnd 6, Pick 17)

Browns finally pick an offensive linemen late in the draft. Forbes played left tackle for the Red Hawks. He has been praised for toughness and athletic ability. There is a chance he will be more valuable in the pros at guard than tackle. Forbes will be a project for sure, but if he can continue to bring that determination and toughness to Cleveland, we may see him help protect Baker one day.

Pick Grade: C

CB Donnie Lewis, Tulane (Rnd 7, Pick 7)

If Lewis makes the team in September, it will most likely be on the practice squad. He was great at getting to the ball, but struggled constantly keeping up with receivers. Lewis gave up a high number of touchdowns his whole collegiate career. Browns may use him more on special teams if anything.

Pick Grade: C-

Draft Pros:
Browns entered the draft with lack of depth at linebacker and defensive back. No more! Greedy Williams could potentially start Week 1, but will have competition with Terrance Mitchell and T.J. Carrie. Christian Kirksey, Joe Schobert, and Genard Avery are most likely the starting linebackers as of right now, but that could change with Takitaki and Wilson in the mix. The preseason will decide if Austin Seibert will be part of the Browns 2019 plans. It is vitally important to have a consistent starting kicker on the team. Overall, Dorsey added important building blocks to help continue to mold the team into a winner.

Draft Cons:

There is still plenty of time to address other roster needs either in undrafted free agency and in preseason cuts. I wasn’t concerned that a quarterback was not picked this past weekend, but they need to find a solid backup for Baker. Anything could happen and it is best to be prepared. I was surprised an offensive lineman wasn’t taken until the 6th round. Dorsey did add a few in free agency, but with Zeitler no longer on the team and Austin Corbett’s status unknown, that leaves some concern for the right guard position. Not drafting a defensive linemen was interesting. The starting defensive line is stacked, but it lacks depth on both the sides and interior. There is no for sure replacement for Emmanuel Ogbah at the moment. Hopefully 2018 3rd round pick Chad Thomas can come in and be valuable asset after spending all last season on the practice squad. Anthony Zettel is another option that could fill the void. Only time will tell if Trevon Conley will be able to be a reliable back up to the defensive tackles.

Even though some positions were not addressed during the draft, it’s better to go with talent you believe in as a front office than reach and take a major risk. The Cleveland Browns had a top ten draft if not a top five in the league. Personally, I don’t like to say it but I’m just being honest, I think they were second ranked in the division with Pissburgh having a slightly better draft. That team just east of Cleveland drafted more players that will be able to make an immediate impact sooner than later. But my opinion could change with time just like everyone else. All in all, it was another successful draft from John Dorsey and his crew.

Draft Grade: B+

Cleveland Browns needs going into the 2019 offseason

For the first time in what feels like an eternity, the Cleveland Browns ended their season with plenty of optimism. Rookie of the Year winner Baker Mayfield put on a performance Cleveland hasn’t seen from a star rookie since LeBron James. He helped change an environment and a city. So were does the team go on from here? Let’s make a check list:

Functional front office with football minds- check

New head coach- check

Quarterback- wait . . . Let’s see if we still feeling dangerous. . . . . Ok, check!

The only thing left to do now is improve this team through free agency and the draft. There are much less needs than last year, but some critical positions need addressed if the Browns have any chance at making the postseason next year.

GET A DAMN KICKER!!!

It took 30 different starting quarterbacks for the Browns to find their guy. Let’s not let the same thing happen to the kicker position. Since Joe Banner let Phil Dawson walk in 2013, the Browns have not had a reliable kicker. It was a rough year for kickers overall in the NFL, but that shouldn’t mean the Browns should over look the position. If they had a solid kicker all season they may have made the playoffs. Dorsey filled the quarterback hole. Now it’s time to fill this one. Even if it means signing one of Haslam’s players from the Columbus Crew.

Get another stud receiver

The group consisting Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, Rashard Higgins, and Bradshad Perriman is a solid receiving core. However, injuries happen and if you can do better, you do better. I say give Baker a group that gives defenses headaches. I like to reflect back to the 3 Super Bowls that Kurt Warner was in. How did he get there? One of the big reasons is that he was LOADED with receiving talent. Get another guy opposite of Landry. Either in free agency or early in the draft. The Antonio Brown fantasy is nice but it’s unrealistic. Pittsburgh won’t give their arch rival the best receiver in the game.

Offensive line depth

Browns o-line was solid this season but could use a tune up. The interior headlined by Kevin Zeitler, JC Tretter, and pro bowler Joel Bitonio was one of the best in the league. They’re looking to sign left tackle Greg Robinson to a new contract and Chris Hubbard was decent at right tackle. You need to make sure Baker is protected at all times. I say get a prospect back up center, continue to develop Austin Corbett, and draft a few tackles. They have plenty of picks and its a good o-line class. Take advantage of it.

Backup quarterback

Tyrod Taylor will be testing free agency which leaves the second quarterback spot open. Good news is that saves Cleveland $15 million on the salary cap. The last thing Freddie Kitchens needs is to loose Baker for a period time and without a reliable back up. The Eagles were prepared a season ago and their back up delivered a championship. I am not huge on Drew Stanton. I say get a veteran like Ryan Fitzpatrick and draft one in the mid to late rounds. Be prepared for anything.

Defensive tackle

Browns defensive line was their best in several years. Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi lead the pack with sacks (19 combines). But Emmanuel Ogbah’s injury problems continued and Browns couldn’t any consistency from their other defensive tackles. It would be HUGE for the team to add a playmaker in the middle of that line. Look how much help Ndamukong Suh was to Aaron Donald. The upcoming draft has plenty of quality defensive tackle talent. Only time will tell if 3rd round pick Chad Thomas can be a factor at the end of the line. It wouldn’t hurt to look at any other options just in case Ogbah’s injuries persist.

More depth at defensive back

Before John Dorsey joined the Browns, the team would consistently go into training camp with a lack of depth with defensive backs. Injuries to starters led to more problems on the field. But last year Dorsey loaded up on defensive back talent, and we saw a big differnce. The secondary unit struggled near the end of the season when Terrence Mitchell, E.J. Gains, and Denzel Ward were ailing injuries. One of the factors in their loss to the Raiders was serious fatigue late in the game due to lack of substitutes. Fortunately for Cleveland, Damrious Randall and Jabrill Peppers were healthy most of the season. But that may not be the story next season. Dorsey may need to load up the back field again to help improve the defense. I wouldn’t be against adding a stud corner back to play opposite of Ward, and having Mitchell and Carrie as the backups. It would be similar to when Broncos signed Aqib Talib to put opposite of Chris Harris, which helped them win a Super Bowl a year later. Browns got the money to spend and could use it to make their secondary deadly.

Great Lakes Brewery coolers in case of Super Bowl victory.

I’m not jumping the gun and saying the Browns will be Super Bowl champs next year. But, if hell freezes over and it does happen we need to be prepared, right? The Bud Light victory fridges were hit after the Browns first win in over a year. So wouldn’t it be fitting to have a free Cleveland craft beer giveaway if they won it all? After all the years of turmoil the fans would deserve a chance to slam some brews on the greatest night of their lives. Let’s make it happen. GO BROWNS!!!

Cleveland Browns Coaching Carousel

Is there any beer left in that free Bud Light fridge? Here . . . .we go . . . . again!!!! As of October 29th, 2019, the Cleveland Browns fired their 5th coach in 7 and a half seasons. Hue Jackson was canned after going 4-36-1 in 2 and a half seasons. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley was also shown the door. This is after an offseason where John Dorsey added significant role players to the defense, added some offensive weapons, and actually found a franchise quarterback. But the coaching staff was still in shambles. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams will now serve as interim head coach. I personally don’t see him sticking around beyond this season. And just when you thought things were getting better. The silver lining in the dark cloud is Dorsey. He has successfully hired great head coaches before. He probably would have done it again last offseason if it wasn’t for Haslam’s wishes to keep Jackson around. Here are some potential options for the Browns:

Dave Toub, assistant HC and ST coordinator for Kansas City Chiefs

Toub is rumored to be on the top Dorsey’s list. He had been with the Chiefs since Andy Reid hired him in 2013. That started his second stint with Reid. I know special teams coordinator may not sound like a sexy option for head coach but the guy has made a serious name for himself around the league. Especially with that dominate Bears special teams squad from 2006. The last special teams coordinator to be hired as head coach was John Harbaugh. The Ravens eventually got a Super Bowl title out of him. Toub was promoted this season to assistant head coach, along with his special teams duties. Kansas City is having a hell of a season to say the least, and 4 teams the past few seasons have hired their head coaches from there. Maybe it’s time for Toub to reunite with Dorsey.

John DeFilippo, offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings

Browns fans may remember DeFilippo when he was their offensive coordinator in 2015. Mike Pettine hired him to replace Kyle Shanahan and he actually did a solid job. He had a good mix of run and pass. Helped Josh McCown beat some of Bernie Kosar’s passing records. Even Manziel played well under him. After Pettine was axed, DeFilippo went on to Philadelphia to be quarterback coach. There he spent two seasons helping develop a little name called Carson Wentz. After the Eagkes won their Super Bowl, he left to become the Vikings offensive coordinator. Even with a new quarterback, he helped pick up where Pat Shurmur left off. The Vikings currently have one of the best offenses in the league. Despite Dalvin Cook’s injuries they continue to run the ball successfully. Adam Thielen continues to have a record breaking season. Imagine Baker Mayfield running offense under this guy. Maybe it’s time to bring the Youngstown kid home.

Matt LaFleur, offensive coordinator for Tennessee Titans

One of the hot commodities in the NFL these days is young offensive gurus. LaFleur is prime example. He has worked with quarterbacks and offense his whole coaching career. Recently he was the Falcons quarterback coach in 2016 when Matt Ryan won his MVP. He became offensive coordinator for the Rams in 2017 and turned them into a top 10 offense. He left for Tennessee when they hired Vrabel. I know right now Tennessee doesn’t run the best offense, but they still compete with what they got. They also have a quarterback issue. It shouldn’t take away from LaFleur’s expertise. I think he has a lot to offer.

Bruce Arians

The man said goodbye to coaching last January. However, Arians is your stereotypical football guy. He lives and breathes the sport. Coaching was what he was good at and what he enjoyed. The Browns were his dream job. At one point Urban Meyer also retired. But when his dream job called he put the head set back on. Would Arians unretire for his dream job?

College option #1, Kirk Ferentz of Iowa

I would like to add I don’t believe for one second Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley will be an option for the Browns head coaching gig. Just because he coached Mayfield doesn’t mean he should be in Cleveland. Fans said the same thing with Manziel. STOP!!!

Now the case for Ferentz. The hiring of Dorsey was significant for the Browns. The past decade they have lacked football guys in the organization. Dorsey is a football guy. He signed and drafted football guys. Ferentz is a football guy. I know one of his former players personally and he couldn’t stress enough how much Ferentz could help this team. A reunion of Ferentz in Cleveland could set the team in the right direction for years to come. The last time he coached in Cleveland he was the linebackers coach with Bill Belichick as head coach and Nick Saban as defensive coordinator. Yeah, he comes from a long line of successful coaches and worked with many great players.

College option #2, Greg Schiano, defensive coordinator of Ohio State

The story has been told that when Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner were on their second head coaching search in 2014, they had a discussion with Bill Belichick. In that conversation, Belichick had recommended Greg Schiano as the next head coach of the Browns. Long story short, they didn’t listen. Mike Pettine was hired, Joe Banner was fired, and the new cluster fuck began. So here they are in need of a coach again. Why not look into the possibility of Schiano coaching in Cleveland? He has done a fantastic job coordinating Ohio State’s defense the past few seasons. He was actually offered the job at University of Tennessee until the student’s protested (which I personally thought was over exaggerated). What I like about him is that he’s a hard ass type coach. He is all about winning football games and nothing less. Similar attitudes of coaches like Belichick and Tom Coughlin. Maybe the Browns need a tough coach to put them in place.

Current coach option, Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers

I do personally believe there is a chance McCarthy could find his way to Cleveland. Whether after he gets fired or via trade. Most of the Browns front office came from Green Bay. They may crave a reunion in order to help the Browns win a Super Bowl someday. McCarthy has done a fine job in Green Bay but the organization maybe ready to go another direction if they don’t make the playoffs this year. If he does become the next head coach for the Browns, don’t be surprise if Clay Matthews Jr. follows him. He would be a Brown just like his dad.

Longshot option, Joe Thomas

NFL teams seem to be hiring younger coaches these days to connect with this new generation of players. What Cleveland Brown knows everything about the struggles of the past 11 seasons? That’s were big Joe comes in. He is extremely knowledgeable about the game and every position in it. He has experienced every wrong way to manage a team. He connects well with players and knows how to hype them. He is a Cleveland Brown. Maybe its time for the future Hall of Famer to lead the team in a different way. It would be a Hollywood story. The all-pro that never saw the playoffs after 11 seasons, but coached them to Super Bowl victory. We can only imagine.

Cleveland Browns Roster Breakdown Following 2018 Offseason

John Dorsey has just wrapped up his first offseason as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns. A team that has seen only one win in the past two seasons and is desperate for a turnaround. Dorsey has a history of developing a winning culture to any franchise he has been a part, but never has he inherited a mess like the Browns. A team that hasn’t seen a winning season in eleven years and a playoff game in sixteen. Will fans finally see a competitve team in Cleveland? Or will they continue to implode in a weak division? Only time will tell. Here’s a roster breakdown a month before training camp.

Quarterback

Any professional football fan could tell you about the plague that is the Cleveland Browns quarterback situation. Tyrod Taylor is set to become the 29th starter since 1999. Dorsey was determined to help end that streak for good. I will give the man credit. I personally believe he put together the best QB group the new franchise has ever acquired. Let’s start with Taylor. He is a proven winner that helped lead the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs in 2017. He is physically and mentally tough. He has a great balance of arm strength and accuracy. Buffalo felt the need to move forward without him and traded him to Cleveland, which may come in the Browns favor. Dorsey then added Drew Stanton who has a reputation of being solid backup and winning record when filling in for injured starters. Then you have the number 1 pick overall of the 2018 NFL Draft, Baker Mayfield. The kid that will hopefully lead the Browns to the Lombardi Trophy someday. But Browns fans have seen it all. Local players Charlie Frye and Brady Quinn fell short of expectations. Along with Quinn, 1st round quarterbacks Tim Couch, Brandon Weeden, and Johnny Manziel’s careers were short lived on the shores of Lake Erie. Couch was the only one to lead the team to playoffs, and due to injury couldn’t play. Fans pray the Heisman winner from Oklahoma is their savior. The best case scenario is that Tyrod plays the whole season and Mayfield takes his time to develop. Coach Jackson has already started a rookie on week 1 before. He won’t rush to do it again. On paper, Browns kick off training camp with a solid QB group.

Current QB Grade: B

Running Back

Stating the obvious, Browns have lacked a lot of things the past few seasons. One of their biggest issues is the lack of the run game. They haven’t had a running back rush for 1,000 yards since Peyton Hillis in 2010. The past few seasons, fans and fantasy football owners were patiently waiting for Isaiah Crowell to break out into one of the top rushers in the league. It never happened. As a result, Crowell never received an extension and signed with the Jets this past March. Browns front office was determined to find the right pieces to bring back that old school Cleveland running game. They went out and signed former Ohio State Buckeye, Carlos Hyde, and drafted Nick Chubb from Georgia. Hyde brings plenty of speed, finesse, and the ability to catch the ball. Hyde rushed for over 1,000 yards last year with San Francisco. Chubb is a power runner that will plow his way through defenses. Browns were able to sign Duke Johnson to a 3 year extension. Johnson was hands down the team’s best offensive playmaker of last season. If this group can stay healthy, they could do some serious damage to opposing offenses.

Current RB Grade: B, but could potentially be an A.

Offensive Line

Cleveland’s quarterback struggles don’t get any better with lack of offensive line performance. Last year was an odd year for offensive lines in the NFL. The league’s new contact practice restrictions really hurt the development of each offensive line unit in the league. The Browns suffered greatly because of it. Overall, the Browns line was healthy all season with an exception of one major injury: Joe Thomas. An injury that played a part in the future Hall of Famer’s retirement. The team goes into the 2018 season with a strong interior made up of Kevin Zeitler, Joe Bitonio, and J.C. Tretter. John Dorsey was able to pry Chris Hubbard away from Pittsburgh to fill the hole at right tackle. The big question is, who will fill the void at left tackle? The training camp matchup looks to be between Shone Coleman (who struggled at right tackle last year but is being trained by Joe Thomas), newly acquired Donald Stephenson (who will serve a 2 game suspension), 2nd round pick Austin Corbett, and former number 2 overall pick Greg Robinson (signed on June 18th). As of right now, most of the o-line is set. But the Browns saw how much the loss of Joe Thomas hurt them on the field. Do they have the right guys to properly protect Tyrod Taylor this season?

Current OL Grade: B

Wide Receiver

In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns loaded up on wide receivers hoping to end their receiving woes. Well, it didn’t work. The 1st rounder Corey Coleman has yet to prove to the Browns that he belongs in the NFL, which means potentially the Browns could have wasted another 1st round pick. Rashard Higgins may have actually been the only good receiver pick Cleveland made that whole draft. The rest of them are no longer on the team. Josh Gordon made his triumphant return last season and was in great shape. As longs as he can stay clean, he has the possibility of having a season similar to 2012. Dorsey did something that no Browns GM in recent memory has done. He went out and got a top receiver. For years, fans have suggested bringing in a top receiver to help the quarterbacks out. John Dorsey answered that request by trading for Jarvis Landry. Dorsey continued adding receiving depth by drafting Florida’s Antonio Calloway in the 4th round. Some experts had Calloway as the best receiver in the draft class. But due to legal issues and failed drug tests, Calloway was suspened his final season at Florida. It seems to be a low risk, high reward situation for the Browns. I probably should add he was being trained by Antonio Brown. That could come back and bite Pittsburgh. Let’s hope. Worst case scenario, it’s Josh Gordon all over again. Don’t rule out the additions of Jeff Janis and rookie Damien Ratley helping the team in more ways than one. The big question going into the preseason, will Corey Coleman help or hurt this receiving group? Or should Cleveland invest into one more receiver on the market like a Dez Bryant?

Current WR Grade: B

Tight End

No matter how much the Browns have struggled in my life time, they have always been able to have a reliable tight end on the team. Steve Heiden, Aaron Shea, Kellen Winslow Jr., Jordan Cameron, Ben Watson, and Gary Barnidge just to name a few. Last season the tight ends showed flashes of promise but also showed they had a lot to learn at the pro level. This past offseason the Browns only added Darren Fells who is more known for blocking than receiving. This may show that the front office wants to move forward with Seth DeValve and 1st round pick David Njoku. Both have shown they can be serious weapons on the receiving end. It will be a case of how Todd Haley decides to use them.

Current TE Grade: B

Defensive Line

Statistically last season the Browns were at the bottom of almost every category. Run defense was a different story. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams’ group were one of the top run stoppers in the league last year. At one point in the season, they were compared to past super bowl winners (seriously, look it up). The defensive line was young and athletic. Led by 2017 1st overall pick Myles Garrett, who showed some serious promise in his rookie season. But late in the season, injuries plagued the line and it became harder to contain the run game. Going into the offseason, John Dorsey knew he had to add talent with speed and strength if they were going to compete at the line of scrimmage. He started by trading 1st round pick Danny Shelton to the New England Patriots for a 2019 3rd round pick. Which meant a few things. One, the Browns had given up on another 1st round pick. Two, the team was going with a faster approach at defensive tackle. Instead of getting a guy to clog the middle and take up space, they want to use speed to get to the ball carrier. A strategy many teams in the league are embracing. Trevon Coley and Larry Ogunjobi are the players they’re expected to build the middle around. Both players showed great finesse and speed last season. Caleb Brantley’s future in Cleveland is still up in the air. On the opposite side of Garrett you have the very talented Emmanuel Ogbah, who continues to struggle with injuries in the early part of his pro career. It was mandatory Browns had to add depth in order to avoid imploding after injuries. Dorsey added former Bengal Chris Smith early in the free agency period. Smith was one of the best in the league with pass rushing. Browns went into the drsft wanting to add another pass rusher, and drafted Miami defensive end Chad Thomas in the 3rd round. Thomas was one of the fastest defensive linemen in the class and had a knack for disrupting the quarterback. On paper, the Browns defensive line got younger and faster. However, I was disappointed in the lack of depth at defensive tackle. Dorsey was able to add serious depth in every position this offseason, but seemed to push aside the defensive tackle. Came away from free agency and the draft without picking up one. Maybe we’ll see an undrafted free agent step up and fill the void. The line sounds good on paper but has a lot to prove. Hopefully enough moves were made to improve from last year.

Current DL Grade: C

Linebackers

The only position the Browns may be the best at in the league is linebacker. A stacked group which includes Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey, and pro bowler Joe Shobert. Browns drafted Genard Avery out of Memphis in the 5th round. He is expected to start out in special teams with his hard hitting playing style. One of the Browns best moves of the offseason came after the draft, and really made heads turn around the the league. The Eagles cut Mychal Kendricks due to cap reasons, and Cleveland signed him to a one year deal. No one actually thought Kendricks would be headed to the shores of Lake Erie. If they can stay healthy, the Browns could have the most elite group of linebackers in the league.

Current LB Grade: A

Defensive Backs

Despite the Browns past issues, they have always been able to put together a decent defensive backs group. That hasn’t been the case the past few seasons. They have struggled to put anything together against the passing attack. Just miserable performances after another. The cornerbacks were unable to match up against receivers. For some reason Jabrill Peppers played his rookie season as a free safety as oppose to a strong safety. That puzzled many fans. Dorsey went defensive back crazy in the spring adding veterans T.J. Carrie, Terrance Mitchell, and E.J. Gaines. He made a trade with the Green Bay Packers to land CB Damarious Randall, who will start at free safety which will move Peppers to strong safety. On draft day, Browns made Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward the 4th overall pick. A sexy pick that was in favor of the fans and the front office. The Browns not only landed a Buckeye but the best cornerback in the draft. Ward is expected to be a starter the first week and hopefully help end the defensive woes for the Browns. Right now it looks like a solid group, many questions still remain. Can Randall adjust at free safety? Will Peppers bounce back after a disappointing rookie season? Browns can’t afford another weak season from their defensive backs.

Current DB Grade: B

Special Teams

There was a time when the Browns special teams squad was consistently one of the best in the league. Cleveland has still not recovered from the departures of Phil Dawson and Josh Cribbs several seasons ago. There has been a new kicker every season since Dawson was let go. They struggle to find any legit returner the past few seasons. Travis Benjamin was their last solid returner before he left for the Chargers. Even if the NFL screwed up the kick return rules, you have to have someone who can help give your offense good starting position. Coordinator Chris Tabor left the Browns for the Bears this past offseason. Tabor was with Cleveland since 2011 and worked with four different head coaches. He was replaced with Amos Jones who coached the Cardinals special teams for six seasons. Hopefully Jones can bring in a positive difference to the team. Roster wise, punter Britton Colquitt seems to be the only bright spot. Browns seem to be entering the 2018 training camp without a for sure answer to kicker and returner. It would be nice to see a new face step up and change that.

Current Special Teams Grade: D