The rebuilding process is well and truly underway for the Cleveland Browns. By trading out of the number two pick with the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland will now pick at eight and will have a total of 12 picks this draft.
For most franchises, 12 picks would be seen as a major coup and a chance to improve the side in ways other teams would be envious of. For the Browns and their fans however, 12 picks is seen as 12 more ways to mess things up and 12 more players that will be traded or cut within the next three years.
The Browns had the same amount of picks last year and as guest blogger Joe Sparshatt correctly pointed out, the franchise have “drafted and missed out on” a number of players and that “the list of busts compared to genuinely good draft picks is again, staggering for the Browns.”
With the trade, Hue Jackson and Sashi Brown now have six picks in the top 100 of the 2016 NFL Draft, as mentioned earlier the number eight overall pick, third and fourth-round picks in this draft, next year’s first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2018.
Despite picking up Robert Griffin III during the off-season, many observers felt that a young quarterback needed to be drafted to be the face of the franchise. However, moving back to eight means that Jared Goff and Carson Wentz will almost certainly be selected one and two by the LA Rams and the Eagles.
At eight, the Browns could go best player available and hope that someone like Myles Jack or Jalen Ramsey is available. Both sides of the ball needs addressing and with so many picks, they can really take their time at eight and bring in a blue chip player to drastically change their fortunes on the field.
This allows the Browns to address their QB need at the top of the second or later in the draft, with many believing that Connor Cook or Paxton Lynch are the true gems this year and have a bigger ceiling than Goff and Wentz.
There is also next year’s draft, which already looks like a stronger QB class. A combination of RGIII and Josh McCown could be enough to get Jackson through his first season in Cleveland and if they draft smart and knock a few picks out the park, the team will be in better shape 12 months down the line.
Who knows, RGIII could have a season similar to his rookie one and a new signal caller may not be needed at all.
However, it would be a huge surprise, and mistake, if the Browns didn’t take someone to compete for the starting job with the QBs they already have in the locker room.
Jackson did a wonderful job with Andy Dalton in Cincinnati and there is no reason he couldn’t do the same with RGIII or a fourth round QB, using the earlier rounds to bring in some skill players on offence and defence.
“These picks will play a major role in building our team for long-term sustained success,” said Brown. “We want to assemble a young nucleus of talented players and this trade positions us really well. There is a good depth of talent in the first round and we felt we could make a larger impact to our roster by adding more draft picks and that’s why we made the decision to trade down.” Operation rebuild Cleveland has started.