2015 NFL Draft Is Crucial For the Cleveland Browns


This year’s NFL draft is particularly important for the Cleveland Browns franchise. Why? Well, simply put, because looking good isn’t everything. Because the football field is not a catwalk. Because the Vince Lombardi Trophy is not handed out to the team that looks the prettiest.

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For fans of most NFL teams, draft weekend is fun. You sit at home, at a bar, or at a buddy’s place, crack some beers, maybe have the first barbecue of the year, and simply enjoy a good time. It’s like the off-season’s very own Super Bowl. But for fans of the Cleveland Browns, it is often everything but a good time. Browns fans watch their team give up a bunch of draft picks, trade around every pick they have, and draft a player that has got a lot of hype, knowing that there is a great chance that the new guy will fail in Cleveland.

But this year will be different. We got a great, er, “new” logo for our Browns, that goes along with actually overhauled uniforms. Those may very well be in the top five of the league. The team will also shine bright on the field when they wear their new all-orange uniforms that may make the team look a little bit like a bunch of tabasco bottles. Now here comes the problem. Our team will look fiery in their tabasco-bottle-orange. But that will also have to translate into their play. The Browns must be fiery, not just look like it. The new uniforms are the beginning of a new era. We have seen the team play in basically the exact same jerseys for so long. Now, finally if you ask me, there is a change. A change in look should certainly go along with a better team — with a team that wins games, one that wins championships. For all that I care, the Browns could wear pink tutus as long as they finally start being a winning team.

The Cleveland Browns have been talked about as the front-runner to trade up for Mariota. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

So how do we get to that? Well, there are several options. Some very risky, others less risky. The Browns currently hold an NFL-high ten picks, two of which are in the first round of the draft. One thing that has been talked about a lot (I would say I read seventeen different rumors about this one a day), is trading the two first round draft picks plus another asset to the Tennessee Titans, in order to land 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. My evaluation? It’s risky. It could pay off, but it’s very risky. Mariota is not ready to play in the NFL and we don’t know if he ever will be. He might just become Tim Couch V (after Tim Couch himself, Brady Quinn aka. Tim Couch II, Brandon Weeden aka. Tim Couch III, and Johnny Manziel aka. Tim Couch IV).

There is no way that [Manziel] isn’t talented enough.

So how can we get that team, that comes off of their best season since 2007, to play better? In my opinion, we should hope that Johnny Manziel does pan out eventually. When you go back and watch games he played at Texas A&M, you will realize that there is no way that he isn’t talented enough. It is all about being focused on what he gets paid for — playing football.
With Johnny Manziel turning into a great starting quarterback for years to come, we can focus on other big needs that we certainly have in Cleveland. Wide receiver DeVante Parker from Louisville and defensive tackle Malcolm Brown from the University of Texas could fill big needs. Instead of getting one player that may perhaps possibly be good one day, the Browns could get two players that can make an immediate impact. Doesn’t seem like a question to me.

So whatever way the Browns are going to go about the draft, it is extremely important that they do not fail. Not again. Fans won’t stop being fans if the team keeps losing. But how much fun is that? Not a lot. If there has ever been a perfect time for the Browns to turn it around, it is now. The 2015 off-season has been characterized by bad headlines about the franchise and its players. Josh Gordon suspended, Johnny Manziel in rehab. Coming out of the draft as a much improved team would be huge for the franchise and its fans. The new Cleveland Browns in their new gorgeous uniforms, helmets that are even cooler than they used to be, and a team that can finally win.

For now, we can only wait and hope for the best. Maybe we can indeed enjoy the draft like other fans do this year. Crack some beers, have a barbecue, and cheer for our newest roster additions.

What are your hopes for the 2015 NFL draft? What do the Browns need to do to turn it around? Let us know in the comment section!

Next: Browns covet quarterback Marcus Mariota