Analyzing the roster heading into the 2017 Draft
It is never too early to start thinking about the draft for the Cleveland Browns. That time has arrived after their 0-11 start to the 2016 NFL season.
There have been constant questions and skepticism surrounding the Cleveland Browns organization since the team moved back in 1999. It is difficult to find another team in professional sports even comparable in terms of unsuccessful seasons over a span of 17 seasons. For perspective, here is a list of facts about the Browns since their first season returning to Cleveland.
- Only two winning seasons (2002, 2007).
- Eight seasons with four or less wins.
- Nine head coaches including Hue Jackson.
- 21 first-round draft picks — six of those within the first and third picks.
- 26 starting quarterbacks.
My sincerest apologies for raising these points, although, as Browns fans do every season, there is always a draft to concentrate on. The Browns currently have two first-round selections including the Philadelphia Eagles (5-5, last in NFC East). Cleveland is currently slated for the No. 1 overall pick with five games remaining on their schedule. It is not a certainty yet as there are several teams in the NFL with only a handful of wins.
Teams challenging the Browns for the first pick are the San Francisco 49ers (1-9), Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8), Chicago Bears (2-8), New York Jets (3-7), Carolina Panthers (4-6), and Cincinnati Bengals (3-6-1). However, the way the Browns have performed in 2016 it is difficult to predict anyone else having the No. 1 pick come April of 2017.
The Browns have two first rounders as well as two second rounders including the Tennessee Titans’ pick. With four of the first 60 picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, it’s essential to hit on these selections in a rebuilding phase. Documenting the areas of emphasis is also critical in determining what positions to fill via the draft. That being said, let’s dive into how the Browns will approach the draft.