Dos and Don’ts for the Cleveland Browns – Rounds 1 thru 3 for the NFL Draft
Here are a few nuggets of information that the Browns would be wise to employ when on the clock for their first three rounds. Obviously, the draft is not an exact science – but the guys making picks have got to start choosing great athletes. Let’s look at the rule.
Round 1 (Pick #8)
This is under the assumption that the Browns do not make another trade; they went down to number eight while acquiring additional selections.
Do: Draft an Impact Player
It doesn’t matter if this means Ezekiel Elliot, Joey Bosa, or Myles Jack – the Browns desperately need a guy who not only is exceptional, but will also be the focus of opposing team’s game plans. It’s an offensive league, so naturally I would prefer the running back of the three listed – but the Browns cannot trot out a similar defense to the mess that was the 2015 unit.
Don’t: Trade Up or Take Linemen
Trading up appears to be a foreign concept to analytics, so that is of little concern. Nonetheless, I do not see anyone that bowls me over where the orange and brown would have to secure a few picks earlier. Laremy Tunsil, Ronny Stanley, and DeForest Buckner appear to be solid picks – but they are not helpers. They will not be the reason why the Browns win games in the fall. I understand the Bosa is a lineman as well, but his pass rushing ability puts him in a separate category (a draft-able one at number eight).
Round 2 (Pick #32)
This pick number is usually designated in the first round, but thanks to the Patriots cheating – everyone’s selection are move up one choice. This is a coveted spot and will be an interesting decision.
Do: Get a Wide Receiver or Trade Down
I preface with the fact that the wide outs are Josh Doctson, Michael Thomas, and maybe Will Fuller. This falls into the playmaker category that the team vitally needs. The Browns must score touchdowns, and a large (or fast) can largely assist with this long-term problem.
Don’t: Draft a Quarterback
Here the Browns would be settling for Connor Cook, Paxton Lynch, or possibly Christian Hackenburg. I don’t find any of the three as franchise signal callers, so using such an early pick on this trio does not make a ton of sense.
Round 3 (Picks #65 and 77)
This is where the trade with the Eagles starts to take shape. Now, the Browns have a pair of choices in the third round – and can potentially draft two reliable athletes for this team.
Do: Get a Defender
Both choices do not have to be spent on defensive guys; but it would be wise to get a cornerback, defensive lineman, or possible linebacker with one of their third round choices. The other can be another wide out (a shorter speedster to complement a larger one taken earlier), offensive lineman, or tight end.
Don’t: Trade Down
The Browns got their haul already. Trading down in the first round will help both for years to come, as well as in later rounds. Dropping down in the third round might night a future second round pick, but that type of move appears to be foolish. Sure an earlier pick would be nice, but the Browns would be wise to get great players in 2016.