2017 Season Previews: Cleveland Browns

Is this the year? Could this be it? Are the Browns actually going to not be the automatic W on the schedule for the NFL? Will we actually get a commercial break before the Browns pick?

Offense: The Browns made an amazing move to get a QB, no they didn’t use the top overall pick on one, or trade up to get one, they got someone to give them one as a salary cap dump, and picked up a pick to go with it. I’ve been watching football since the early 80s, and I can’t think of a deal that comes close to this one. Brock isn’t going to lead the Browns to a playoff win, but I do think he is going to lead the team for 2017. If he sucks, then he can be dumped with no problem, and second rounder DeShone Kizer starts day 1 in 2018, if he is any good, or Cody Kessler outplays him, he can simply sit. Personally I would wrap Kizer in foil and tell him he’s not playing at all this year. He’s getting all the second team snaps, and his own QB coach, and see you next year.
The Browns are in trouble as far as weapons are concerned, as the top 3 leaders in yards are, in order, gone, gone, third down backup running back. There is some talent here, as Kenny Britt has been good but never a number 1 guy, Corey Coleman is former number 1 pick in 2016, and a number 1 pick this year. Good luck whomever is the QB. Isaiah Crowell is a solid RB, who on a better team would be a star, the Browns have to hope that in this environment, Crowell doesn’t leave after this contract year.
Joe Thomas is going to the Hall of Fame. Period. Everyone else? Well, Kevin Zeitler came over from the Bengals, and he is a great Guard who is going to allow the Browns to run on the right side for once. JC Tretter is over from the Packers. The other guard is the guy getting a who just got a 5 year deal who played 5 games last year. But if Joel Bitino can play all 16 games, this is a very good line.

Defense: Myles Garrett was a man among boys and I think he makes a much better pro than the last SEC super hero, Jadaveon Clowney. The only question is that there is a bit of a question if he cares or not. I personally think if the Browns start doing well, he will care, if not he’s going to be decent for a few years, then end up a Patriot. The other side is Emmanuel Ogbah, who is a solid, if unspectacular player. Danny Shelton is the guy in the middle, and while he’s not a huge run stopper, he does plug the middle and is hard to move. In case you were wondering this threesome goes R1, R1 R2, picks.

There was no trade.. .Browns took Garrett #1 …

The next level is anchored by former Pat Jamie Collins who resigned, that alone should tell you that these are new Browns. This level doesn’t really live up to the talent, as we go with 2 second rounders and 2 third rounders here. If Nate Orchard is healthy, this could be a sneaky good unit.
The Secondary continues the downward slide. The further you get from the ball, the worse we get. Joe Hayden is been a massive problem on one side and Jamar Taylor was a massive bust in Miami, but has been decent in Cleveland. Jabrill Peppers has to fit in here somewhere, as he has too much talent to sit on the bench, but not really sure where. As you can see above, all the high picks went to the front seven, as Hayden is the only top pick here and at 10th overall was and is a massive bust.

Special Teams: The return game stinks, and Peppers might even see the field here as well. The Browns spent a seventh rounders on a kicker, but got the best kicker in football from Arizona State. Britton Colquitt is a solid punter.

Overall: This really comes down to the running game. The Browns have a solid O-Line, and a ton of talent on defense. There is no reason why they can’t win some 21-17 games if either the limp-armed QB or the FA Bust doesn’t give the other team the ball inside their own 30.
I give the Browns 1 wins in the division, 2 vs the NFC Central but the AFC South is the fun one. I they could get 2 here, but 3 would not stun me. Count another win vs the Jets and loss to the Chargers since they go out there. 6-10. Sad thing is, I could see 8-8 with a quality receiver. You know if Josh Gordon is doing anything?

Three Questions

I. Are you surprised that Brock Osweiler is still on the roster?

Joe: I’m surprised they even traded for him in the first place. So, yeah, in a big way, I am.

But since they traded for him I guess the now have to afford him every chance they can until it becomes apparent he ain’t the guy they need at QB and he needs to go.

Dan: Yes and no. I’m surprised based on their comments and the multiple rumors that were flying around everywhere regarding Osweiler getting cut and not making it to training camp. I’m not surprised because the Browns aren’t going to compete this season, still are a major work in progress, and Osweiler has starting experience. He has playoff experience. Keep him on the roster. He definitely can help their young team a lot with his experience.

David: This is a pretty good option for the Browns. They are going to pay him anyway, they have another young QB on the roster, and they can let the future sit for a year. I said at the time I would keep Brock. Let him get a year to audition for another team, and keep in mind, if he leaves in Free Agency, thats ANOTHER COMP DRAFT PICK!

II. Is this the year the Browns climb out of the basement?

Joe: Ya know I am not a Browns’ fan by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe back when Jim Brown was on the team, I kind of sort of liked them but outside of that off chance … naw.

But, I damn well hope they get the hell out of the basement. I really do. And, with their draft this year… peeps like Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, David Njoku… I think just maybe they actually do that this year.

So, yes, this is the year they rise from the depths of last place in their division.

Dan: No. They did make some improvements, but the team still isn’t good. The Ravens, Bengals and Steelers are all much better than the Browns and I see the Browns returning to a top five draft selection once again.

David: I have the Bengals and Browns both at 6-10, can one sweep the other? Maybe. I will say right now, that in 2018, the Browns will be better than the Bengals. If Big Ben retires, and I can the Browns competing with them in 2019, unless they sign Kirk Cousins.

III. Is Hue Jackson the right choice here?

Joe: He certainly has paid his dues throughout his coaching career through the assistant coach ranks. And, he got a so-so Oakland team to an 8-8 record in 2011 and seems that he lost that job because of some front office new hire and “he wanted to go with his own coach” decision. So, maybe yes and maybe not…

They need to let him do his job and judge him by the what the team does going forward. At this point, the Browns got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Dan: I think so. He can help guide this rebuild a little bit and he doesn’t have much pressure on him to succeed immediately either. It fits him and the Browns nicely.

David: This depends on one thing. Nov 19, Jacksonville will be in the Dog Pound. The Browns should be about 2-7 or 3-6 and looking at next year, and this is the last chance for a home game. If Kizer hits the feild for anything but a coin flip, I fire him on the spot.

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