Is all this talk of the 2012 NFL Draft making you nuts?
Are you suffering from heartburn, indigestion, fatigue, Tannehillitis, anxiety, nausea, or blurred vision?
Are you tired of speculating what other people are thinking, and arguing over something in which you have no control?
If you answered YES to any of the above, we have the cure – the Bizzaro Mock Draft.
Instead of wondering what the Cleveland Browns might do with their picks, the bizzaro draft looks at what another team actually did, with similar choices, in a recent draft. This won’t give us any answers per se – the class of prospects and needs of the two teams are different.
However, as with any historical exercise, this might help us catch a glimpse of the future.
- How much impact can Browns fans expect from a big draft like this?
- How many hits can we expect out of the 13 choices?
- How many new starters is the team getting?
Our bizzaro draft features the Kansas City Chiefs, whose array of picks in 2008 set up a lot like the Browns’ picks will this year.
First of all, the Chiefs had two first-round picks in 2008 just like the Browns do now. They owned the No. 5 overall pick after finishing 4-12 in 2007, and acquired another first-rounder (No. 17 overall) courtesy of the Jared Allen trade to Minnesota.
They naturally had a high second-rounder too, No. 35 overall (compared to the Browns’ pick at No. 37).
And like the Browns, the Chiefs entered with the most picks in the draft, 13 overall. They stockpiled third-round choices (two extra again via Jared Allen) and a fifth-round pick. The majority of the Browns’ bunnies are loaded towards the later rounds due to supplemental choices and that extra fourth-rounder via Julio Jones.
Welcome to Bizzaro World— The 2008 Kansas City Chiefs Draft
- With their first first-rounder (No. 5 overall), the Chiefs select Glenn Dorsey, defensive tackle from LSU. He is a solid but not spectacular selection, a trench body for years to come. Tom Heckert would have been proud.
- With their second first-rounder, the Chiefs trade up from No. 17 to No. 15 to take another lineman, left tackle Branden Albert from Virginia. They give up a fifth-round pick while swapping first- and third-round picks with Detroit to move up. Albert is not a household name, but he’s been the Chiefs’ everyday left tackle for the past four years. Many pundits are picking the Browns to draft offensive line help with the later of their first-round choices as well. Tom Heckert also likes to target players in this manner, trading up marginally to get his man. If wide receiver Kendall Wright is getting close to the Browns at No. 22, might he part with a mid-round pick to jump up and grab him? He’s done it before.
- The Chiefs use their high second-round pick (No. 35) to select cornerback Brandon Flowers out of Virginia Tech. Flowers has been a starter for the Chiefs since day one at a premium position – a very good choice.
- But the showstopper comes in the third round. At No. 73 overall, they use a third-rounder obtained from Minnesota to select running back Jamaal Charles out of Texas – a Pro Bowler and legitimate fantasy name. This caps a nice run to start the Chiefs’ draft while providing a little rain for the Trent Richardson parade.
- But the run ends here. They use their swapped third-rounder from Detroit to select tight end Brad Cottam out of Tennessee next. He lasts only two NFL seasons, providing 16 career receptions and zero touchdowns. At No. 82, they miss on defensive back DaJuan Morgan with their last third-rounder via Jared Allen. Morgan starts just two games in two seasons for the Chiefs.
- All told, Jared Allen racked up 14.5 sacks in his first year with the Vikings in exchange for an everyday left tackle and a Pro Bowl running back. Will the Browns see a similar return from the Julio Jones trade?
- The Chiefs don’t get anything out of their fourth-rounder, either. They take wide receiver Will Franklin at No. 105 and he plays just one NFL season, catching seven balls.
- In the fifth round, the Chiefs select cornerback Brandon Carr out of Grand Valley State at No. 140, and he’s finally a hit. Carr started opposite Brandon Flowers every season since this draft and hasn’t missed a game. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent this offseason.
- In the sixth round the Chiefs hit again. They take tackle Barry Richardson out of Clemson at No. 170. After two years as a backup, he’s served as Kansas City’s right tackle for two seasons. The rest of the draft is a wash.
- Sixth-round wide receiver Kevin Robinson (No. 182) out of Utah State plays only eight games in the league as Kansas City’s punt returner.
- Of the Chiefs’ two seventh-rounders, defensive end Brian Johnston at No. 210, plays only parts of two seasons, and tight end Mike Merritt, out of Central Florida, never plays a down in the NFL.
After the draft, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper would give the Chiefs his only “A” of 2008. They respond with a 2-14 record that season.
So what do you think? Was this a good draft or a bad draft?
The Chiefs traded their picks around to get the guys they liked, and confined their misses to the late rounds.
Overall, six of their 12 selections panned out. Five of those six players are either linemen or defensive backs. The only skill position player of that group, Jamaal Charles, is recovering from ACL surgery.
Now, the Chiefs are not a great team, but that’s hard for a Browns fan to say after Kansas City’s playoff appearance two years ago. This was a foundation draft for the Chiefs. Their only Pro Bowler from 2008 is Charles and they made their move (trading a second-rounder for Matt Cassel) the following offseason.
It should also be noted that this Chiefs class did not produce immediate results. Finishing 2-14 their first year out got general manager Carl Peterson and head coach Herm Edwards fired (and if you haven’t seen the Browns’ 2012 schedule, don’t look now).
The funny thing is that the Browns fired their coach following the 2008 season as well. That man, Romeo Crennel, now coaches the Chiefs, who fired Herm Edwards’ replacement, Todd Haley, last season.
Alas, even the bizarro mock draft brings us back to the unfortunate difference between having, and not having, a star quarterback. Without one, all the foundation pieces in the world don’t make a difference and you’re left to recycle coaches.
People are saying this is a turning-point draft for the Browns’ organization, but can that really be true? The Browns have lots of holes to fill, a hazy quarterback situation, and a grizzly 2012 schedule.
How much of a difference do you think the 2012 draft will make?