2015 NFL Draft: 5 Questions on the Cleveland Browns

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Aug 15, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson (33) is tackled by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) in the first quarter of a preseason game at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Question: Since 1978, the Browns have had two picks in the first round five times: 1978 (Clay Matthews and Ozzie Newsome), 1994 (Antonio Langham and Derrick Alexander), 2007 (Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn), 2012 (Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden), and 2014 (Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel). Which of those drafts will this year’s first round most resemble?

Janik: Most importantly, it should not resemble 2012. If it resembles any of the previous first rounds, I hope it is 1978. Drafting two players that can make an impact as rookies and spend a big chunk of their careers with the Browns, carrying them to more successful times, would obviously be the best case scenario. Knowing the history of the post-1999 Browns, I am just keeping my fingers crossed for a better draft than 2012.

Jesse: This year’s first round will most likely resemble the 1978 draft for the Browns. The reason for this is that the Browns drafted help on the front seven in Clay Matthews, and they also drafted a reliable pass catcher in Ozzie Newsome. This year, I think the Browns will take a similar approach, although the positions will be swapped a little bit. I believe Cleveland will add a defensive lineman and a wide receiver in the first round.

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Paul: Fingers crossed it resembles the 1978 draft class of Clay Matthews and Ozzie Newsome. Those others were just plain average, besides Joe Thomas in 2007. The 1994 pairing almost shouldn’t even count because they were in Cleveland for just long enough for Art Modell to announce the move. Matthews and Newsome will always be fan favorites of the Browns faithful, and if the Browns could go out in this draft class and get players that live up to the caliber of those two, I would be ecstatic.

Tom: While we’re not as down on general manager Ray Farmer’s first round from last year’s draft as some are — we still believe Justin Gilbert will prove worthy of his selection — there’s no denying that things haven’t worked out as planned.

While it is unlikely that Farmer can pull off a first round that will produce a Hall of Fame player and a player who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, he needs to head back to his Chicago hotel room on Thursday night with two players (or one if a trade is made) that can be ready to go when the season opens against the Jets.

Next: The Quarterback Conundrum