The Latest in the League
The day after the Browns’ season ended, pretty much everyone involved with the franchise was ready to turn the page and look forward to the 2017 campaign. This past week, there were several debating points verbalized extensively by the media and fans of the Browns. Two of these relate to April’s draft and where the Browns should focus their early picks. Meanwhile, yet another move will occur in the NFL and a franchise will be playing home games in a different city beginning next fall.
DeShaun Watson Chatter
The Clemson quarterback navigated a game winning draft in the National Championship game in the NCAA this past week. It was an incredible performance, which prompted talk about the signal caller’s future. A season ago many felt Watson was a top-five draft pick. His 2016 season overall was not tremendous (filled primarily with interceptions and passes which missed their targets) and his draft stock fell. Did his late push allow him to get back into the early part of the first round? Personally, I am hesitant to trust this type of signal caller in the NFL – a run-first guy who is not exceptionally big while not displaying touch or accuracy. However, that could change over time but one thing is for certain; DeShaun Watson will be talked about in detail prior to the NFL Draft.
Chargers Heading North
Reading that the San Diego Chargers will now become the Los Angeles Chargers irked me to a degree. Los Angeles is not a football town and does not deserve one professional football team (let alone two). It appears that the league is forcing something that simply is not there. Why not tap into another market that would more than likely support their team? I could think of five off the top of my head, but since they are smaller markets, they were not options.
The all-mighty dollar still rules and a new stadium, another opportunity for new branding/merchandising, and an opportunity for the second largest city in the nation to be on the big stage were too big to pass up. It will be sad to see away teams running the Chargers’ stadium and support for the LA team to be minimal. Perhaps victories could change this, but I have my reservations.
Defensive Options in the Draft
Many have stated that there are several tremendous options on the defensive side of the football, who could come in as rookies and improve franchises immediately. That begs the question, will the Browns agree with this opinion (and more importantly – who will they choose)? With the top selection overall, the Browns could opt for an excellent pass rusher or a stalwart interior defensive lineman. With their second choice, they could focus again on their front seven or secure one of the better safety prospects seen in quite some time. Personally, getting the quarterback right should be the team’s priority. If the Browns do this via free agency/trade, then by all means – draft the best player available and bolster the unit for Gregg Williams.
Conclusion: Many unknowns still remain as we head into this offseason in the NFL. The Browns should be formulating their plan to vastly improve their roster. I do not care how the front office does it, but they must get it right for a change. Also, the Chargers will be playing the Browns in Los Angeles next season. Depending on how the Browns’ offseason and regular season are at that point, the stadium (of only 30,000) could be mostly donning orange and brown or it could be nearly empty.