I already know that most people will see this as a clickbait or a joke article. Everyone wants to clown on the Browns because it’s an easy thing to do. People laugh in my face when I say the Browns didn’t deserve to go 0-16 and 1-15 the previous two seasons, and that Hue Jackson should keep his job. Although, they laugh at the Browns for cycling through coaches and never sticking to one, they’re also the same people who think the Browns should draft a quarterback every year (knowing fully well that the quarterback is not set up to succeed and then they’ll laugh at the fact they cycle through quarterbacks). Of course most of these fans either don’t really understand how football works, or are internet trolls. Success in the NFL is a hard thing to accomplish, but no team is ever terrible forever. Cleveland will see the rise of their beloved football team and this is how it’ll go down.
First off I’m a big fan of general manager John Dorsey, and head coach Hue Jackson. John Dorsey knows how to build a football team, and he did build Kansas City an excellent team for Andy Reid. I believed the Chiefs had the most talented roster at parts throughout his time in Kansas City. He knows how to make all the right moves, and I believe he can bring in the right personnel for Hue Jackson to work with. His work in the draft last year was fantastic. Dorsey made excellent picks in last year’s draft that included Jabrill Peppers, Myles Garrett, and David Njoku. We will get into the stats for these players later, and why I like them among other players.
Hue Jackson is the other guy that I like a lot for the Browns. His record does not show it, but the Browns have played harder in a lot of games the past two seasons than Mike Pettine’s Browns ever did. Simply look at the scores for the games the past two seasons. A lot of them were close either leading into the second half or the 4th quarter. Literally the only reason they went 0-16 this last season is because Corey Coleman dropped a wide open easy catch on 4th down against the Pittsburgh Steelers. As a Steelers fan I was definitely rooting for the Browns to win because I didn’t think they were that bad of a team. Hue Jackson has a good record when it comes to coaching. In Oakland and Cincinnati he was able to make those teams place in the top 16 at the very least in yards and points. It may not be the most eye popping stat, but it shows that Hue Jackson is not a bad football coach. He’s not the reason for their struggles. It should be noted that the Browns are almost always one of the younger teams in the NFL, but nobody wants to talk about how inexperience may be the reason they are 0-16. Yes it’s the coach’s responsibility to prepare them for these situations, but people expect Hue Jackson to flip the switch automatically for the Browns. I personally think Mike Pettine was never a good coach (he’s not coaching in the NFL for a reason), but Hue Jackson is a proven guy who will probably get a coaching job somewhere else and succeed if the Browns give up on him.
Now let’s get to the offseason additions they have made so far this season. As of right now they have acquired the talents of Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry, Carlos Hyde, Damarious Randall, and Chris Hubbard. These are the major acquisitions they have made at the time I’m writing this. Cleveland has upgraded at the majority of their skill positions on offense.
Jarvis Landry will be a big part in Tyrod Taylor’s step forward. He is a consistent wide receiver, and despite not reaching 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since his rookie year, still scored a career high 9 touchdowns with one of the shakiest quarterback rotations this season. He has the potential to be one of the best receivers Cleveland has ever seen. He is only 25, and his best years are ahead of him. Just look at his highlight reel this past season, and it’ll show you what I mean. Landry consistently gets first downs if given any space at all. Jarvis Landry will get plenty of opportunities to make splash plays with Josh Gordon attracting defenders on him. Speaking of Josh Gordon, let’s get to him. His stats don’t look all too impressive considering he only played 5 games, but everyone knows that the 26 year old is talented. If Flash Gordon can stay clean and out of trouble, he can give the Browns possibly one of the best wide receiver corps in the league. They also have young players in Corey Coleman and David Njoku who gives the Browns depth.
Finally on the defensive side of the ball they have a lot of talent to work with. Let’s begin with their first round picks from last year. Myles Garrett played only 11 games yet still managed to rack up 7 sacks and 31 tackles as rookie in this league. Those are solid stats for a rookie, nonetheless somebody who missed 5 games and had lingering injury concerns. Give him an offseason to get himself right, and the Browns are looking at a dangerous weapon to use on defense. On the other hand we have Jabrill Peppers who tend to struggle at times. At the end of the year though he ended up with 57 tackles and an interception. Time may be Pepper’s best friend in this case because it’ll give him the opportunity to figure out the NFL a little bit more. Also solidifying the position he will be playing instead of confusing him by giving him too much to handle will be good too.
The Browns low key have a pretty good linebacker corps. It should be taken into consideration that Jamie Collins tore his ACL early this past season, but fellow linebackers Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert definitely took off. Schobert actually made his first pro bowl this year replacing Ryan Shazier. His stats definitely backed up his selection as he tied for the most tackles in the league with 144 tackles. The young middle linebacker is obviously a tackling machine, and he solidifies that middle linebacker spot. Christian Kirksey on the other hand had 138 tackles, and was 5th in the NFL in tackles. Just imagine these two with a healthy Jamie Collins, and the Browns linebacker core begins to look very promising and young. Kirksey is only 25 years old while Schobert is only 24 years old. That means both of these linebackers are about to enter their prime years. This Browns front 7 can be deadly if either Emmanuel Ogbah takes another step forward in his development, or if the Browns draft a deadly pass rusher opposite of Myles Garrett.
Last but not least we now have the Browns draft picks. If the Browns can hit on 4 or 5 of the players in this draft than they will make the playoffs consistently for the next couple years. Personally I think the Browns can jump the Ravens and Bengals this year, if they play their cards right in the draft. I don’t think the Browns should mess around with their two 1st round picks. As stated in my mock draft, just take Saquon Barkley first (no need to risk anybody else taking him if he truly is the best prospect like his combine suggests), and then take a defensive back whether it be Minkah Fitzpatrick or Denzel Ward to solidify that secondary at number 4. Those two picks should be guaranteed home run picks. Saquon Barkley would add another dynamic to an already good looking offense, and literally any defensive back taken at number 4 will add yet another piece to that potentially problematic defense. After that this is where the Browns can afford to experiment a little. Despite getting players like Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry they did not give up any of their second round picks, and any third or fourth round pick they traded was replaced with another pick in those rounds. It’s almost like they didn’t give anything up besides position in a round.
Expect John Dorsey and Hue Jackson to pull off some magic like they did last year. Like I said, I think the Browns can easily win with Tyrod Taylor and be competitive. Except the Browns are like that one college student who always gives in to peer pressure. If they were to draft a quarterback I personally think no other quarterback would be better than Lamar Jackson. Hear me out. Tyrod Taylor is a mobile quarterback who has put up steady numbers for all the years he has started. It makes sense to think that Tyrod can mentor Lamar Jackson who has a similar (maybe even better) skill set than him. Everyone compares Lamar Jackson to Michael Vick, but people seem to forget that it was Tyrod Taylor who broke all of Vick’s records at Virginia Tech. What better a quarterback to mentor a Michael Vick type of a guy than the guy who broke Michael Vick’s records? The Browns can easily trade up, and select Lamar Jackson late in the first round if they need to. If they get Lamar Jackson I see this being a great pick for the Browns down the line. Like I said if the Browns can do well with their picks in this draft, than look for the rise of the Cleveland Browns to begin. All it takes in my opinion is for the Browns to just get a couple picks right in this year’s draft.
Article Written by Simon Villanoz.