Browns looking good for the 2018 NFL Draft

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates his touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the third quarter at Ford Field on November 12, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates his touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the third quarter at Ford Field on November 12, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns may not have won on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but they still found something to be positive about.

Outside of picking up an actual win, something that is a foreign concept under head coach Hue Jackson, and losing linebacker Jamie Collins to a season-ending injury, Sunday didn’t go all that bad for the Cleveland Browns.

The team walked out of Ford Field having rolled up 413 yards of offense, including 201 rushing yards, and broke 20 points for just the second time this season. (Just don’t look too closely at that audible at the end of the first half or Jackson’s dubious play calling in the fourth quarter.)

The defense was active for stretches of the game, sacking Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford four times and limiting the Lions to just five-of-11 on third down.

Elsewhere around the NFL, the New York Giants did the Browns a solid by dropping their game to the San Francisco 49ers, who by virtue of their victory join the Giants in the league’s one-win club.

That, in turn, helped clear the way for the Browns to take a firm hold on the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. As the league’s lone winless team, and one that has started 0-9 in consecutive seasons under Jackson, the Browns now control their own destiny when it comes to securing the draft’s top pick.

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There was more good news out of Los Angeles, where the Houston Texans dropped their third consecutive game to fall to 3-6 on the season. It is unfortunate that it took a season-ending knee injury to Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson for the Texans’ season to fall apart, Houston’s dark cloud is Cleveland’s silver lining.

In addition to currently holding the No. 1 overall selection, the Browns also hold Houston’s first-round pick in the upcoming draft. If the season were to end today, the Browns would be picking at No. 1 and No. 8 in the first round, and No. 33 and No. 39 in the second round, thanks to also having Houston’s second-round pick in their pocket.

That’s right, the Browns will not only enter the offseason with a tidy amount of cap space, but they will also have four picks in the first 40 selections of the draft.

Not a bad way to soothe some hurt feelings after another rough season and imminent coaching change.

That is still a few weeks off as the Browns still have seven more games to play, so for now let’s occupy our time with a look at the weekly power rankings.


"No. 32 (no change): It’s really hard to lose this much, but even the projections don’t think the Browns are going to find the win column frequently down the stretch. They haven’t won the turnover battle in any game this season and have the worst team Total QBR. (Pittsburgh No. 4, Baltimore No. 20, Cincinnati No. 27)"

Pete Prisco at CBS Sports:

"No. 32 (no change): t looks like it’s going to be a potential 0-16 season. They do show some fight, but they just aren’t good enough. (Pittsburgh No. 3, Baltimore No. 17, Cincinnati No. 26)"

Frank Schwab at Yahoo Sports:

"No. 32 (no change): Lions safety Glover Quin said the Browns “probably” have more athletes than 25 of the 32 teams in the NFL, according to It seems he meant it as a compliment to their roster and not a shot at Hue Jackson, but it ends up reflecting poorly on Jackson. So does the debacle at the end of the first half Sunday, which is more evidence the Browns are a sloppy, poorly-coached team. Even if Quin is way off on his assessment and the Browns don’t have that much talent, this coaching staff obviously is not getting the most out of what talent it does have. The problem is if the Browns fire Jackson, who is going to want that job? (Pittsburgh No. 5, Baltimore No. 18, Cincinnati No. 24)"

Elliot Harrison at

"No. 32 (no change): Need to rewatch some of Sunday’s loss on Game Pass. I want to see what went terribly wrong in the second half. At one stage of the third quarter, the Brownies were up seven and moving the ball. Hue Jackson’s offense piled up 413 yards on the road, which is no joke (only the Falcons have gained more in Detroit this season). Rarely do I get a not-sarcastic Browns take on Twitter. Send any you might have along to me. Feel the offense is best when Isaiah Crowell gets going and Duke Johnson is heck-on-wheels on third down. Defensively, team brass needs another pass rusher and a cover corner. You? (Pittsburgh No. 5, Baltimore No. 20, Cincinnati No. 27)"

Next: Browns: 3 offensive takeaways from Detroit game

The Browns are back in action this Sunday when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars, the first of just three remaining home games for the Browns this season.