Top Three Priorities for the Cleveland Browns
As we are underway in the free agency period, there are a couple of positional groups that are in dire need of upgrading for the Cleveland Browns. Some of these will be addressed by acquiring free agents (from other squads), while other positions will be improved upon (hopefully) via the draft. Which are the most vital areas of the team that the front office should supplement with better athletes? Let’s break it down below…
This is an obvious no-brainer, as Josh McCown is the only signal caller currently on the roster who could even have a shot at winning an NFL game. It should be apparent that the team will select their next guy under center in April’s draft. I would like to see the team secure their new athlete with the second overall pick, insert him in the lineup to play immediately, and see what happens from there. Unlike much of the fan base, I understand developing a franchise quarterback takes time – so the wins might not be there in 2016 but that could change down the road.
Another apparent spot to upgrade is at wide out. Unlike quarterback, I want to see the Browns sign a guy in free agency (Mohamed Sanu is a likely candidate) as well as draft one in the second round. Drafting a young signal caller is a good start for this team, however finding large, fast targets to help him out is something that the Browns need to accomplish as well. The Browns were riddled last season with small receivers who got hurt easily and were not physically gifted to match up with their opponents. I’m tired of seeing the team not scoring touchdowns in the fall; great wide receivers should help with this problem.
Both inside and outside linebackers need to be substantially better in 2016 than they have been in prior seasons. Karlos Dansby is not getting any younger and Craig Robertson is solid but might not remain with this team. The Browns need to find a guy who can not only cover receivers up the middle, but also be fundamentally sound with his ability to tackle. On the outside, at least one dominant pass rusher is needed for this defense. Nate Orchard is the only young athlete who showed promise in 2015 – everyone else either underachieved or has an unknown status. The Browns might be able to scoop up a diamond in the rough (at linebacker) in the middle rounds of the draft; hopefully they are able to utilize him effectively in Ray Horton’s defense.
Conclusion: I am looking forward to the Browns finally being able to make this roster better than it was a season ago. I understand that they actually have to make the correct decisions, but I would like to believe they will do a better job than their predecessors. The team needs to improve their quarterback, wide receiver, and linebacker positions – whichever way possible. If the Browns can successfully accomplish this, perhaps they could actually make a leap towards respectability one year after seventeen weeks of misery.