The offense added some new pieces in 2016, but the 0-11 start has shown that this team needs several reinforcements in 2017.
Cody Kessler very well could be shut down for the season after suffering his second concussion of 2016. The rookie quarterback has put up average numbers in surprising fashion despite the poor talent surrounding him, and the Browns might consider keeping him as starter for another season.
This is not to say the team will avoid a quarterback early in the 2017 NFL Draft but unless a prospect is screaming at them – the Browns are likely to begin building the defense and cement their offensive line.
That brings us to the dysfunctional offensive line, however it is not as bad as many believe. Joe Thomas remains an elite left tackle and John Greco is a quality right guard. That leaves Austin Pasztor, Cam Erving and Spencer Drango starting beside them, and it hasn’t quite worked out.
It’s clear the line needs reshaping and the Browns will undoubtedly attack this position in the draft. Although, expect Erving to continue to see a role simply due to his physical attributes and skill set that can translate to his high ceiling if worked at.
Drango and Shon Coleman, both rookies, will each have a shot to earn a starting role in 2017 but it’s clear that the both of them (Erving too) struggled to figure out the talent-level in the NFL coming out of college. The transfer is difficult for everyone, but offensive linemen face great scrutiny even though it’s arguably the toughest position to play.
In conclusion, Cleveland Browns fans completely understand that this roster is among the worst in the NFL in recent memory. Talent upgrades could be used for almost every position making the draft not only increasingly laborious but critical as well. Hue Jackson, Sashi Brown and Co. will analyze the roster at the conclusion of the 2016 season and immediately move into draft mode.
The 2017 NFL Draft is perhaps the most important in franchise history considering the continuous failing efforts and the amount of high-round picks the team attains. If used correctly, the Browns are looking at an aging AFC North and would be in prime position to compete in 2018 and 2019.