The Cleveland Browns are still paying for past draft mistakes. In Part 2 of a series, we look at how things could have gone differently in the 2014 NFL Draft.
In Part 1 of this series, we started the process of fixing the Cleveland Browns draft mistakes from the 2013 NFL Draft. Today, we’ll do the heavy lifting of fixing the 2014 NFL Draft, a weekend when the Browns really swung and missed on several picks.
Related: Revisiting the Browns 2013 NFL Draft
When Browns fans see who the team could have had, they may start to cry.
Going into the 2014 NFL draft, the team was looking for a new quarterback with Brandon Weeden proven to not be the guy, and an additional first-round pick after trading Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts. And somehow, someway, Cleveland managed to screw up both first-round picks. The alternate options are ridiculously deep.
CB Justin Gilbert, QB Johnny Manziel
Other Options: OLB Anthony Barr, OT Taylor Lewan, WR Odell Beckham Jr., DT Aaron Donald, LB Ryan Shazier, G Zack Martin, LB C.J. Mosely, WR Brandin Cooks, DE Dee Ford, WR Kelvin Benjamin
New Pick(s): DT Aaron Donald, DE Dee Ford
Offense ruled the previous re-draft, so apologies to any Odell Beckham Jr. fans out there. However, no apologies needed for saying that if the Browns had a chance to grab the best defensive tackle in the game they should take it. Ford gives the team a good pass rusher to play alongside Donald, and makes the men up front very formidable and deadly.
G Joel Bitonio
Other Options: QB Derek Carr, WR Jordan Matthews, RB Jeremy Hills, WR Allen Robinson, WR Jarvis Landry
New Pick: QB Derek Carr
This one is obvious. The Browns long search for their franchise quarterback is over with the selection of Carr, the league’s next elite quarterback. If you paid attention to the previous re-draft, the Browns selected wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and tight end Jordan Reed. Now imagine those two and Carr all in Browns uniforms, scoring over everybody.
LB Christian Kirksey, RB Terrance West
Other Options: G Gabe Jackson, G Trai Turner, CB Bashaud Breeland, RB Devonta Freeman
New Pick: LB Christian Kirksey, G Trai Turner
Kirksey was the right pick as he filled a need and has shown how much potential he has, quickly becoming a building block for the Browns defense. Turner, on the other hand, is a result of passing on Zack Martin in the first round, but still managing to obtain a Pro Bowl guard in the process.
CB Pierre Desir
Other Options: S Tre Boston, RB James White, CB Malcolm Butler, TE Cameron Brate
New Pick: CB Malcolm Butler
To cap off a very successful draft, the Browns select a future star cornerback in Malcolm Butler. Now, to be fair, Butler was an undrafted free agent, but if we turned back the clock he probably is a first-round pick. However, In this look we know that cornerback depth is a need and Butler gives the Browns improved play in the slot as well as someone who can play outside when he needs to.
Rounds 5-7: No Selections
The 2014 NFL Draft ends after only six picks and four rounds, but look how magical they are. Sorry if this made for a rough read, but you were warned. Except it’s not over just yet. In Part 3, we will look at the 2015 NFL Draft and, at the end, an overview will show all the picks in these three drafts, revealing what the Browns could have been.