As you all probably may know, we have this little thing coming up in about two weeks. This thing where NFL teams select college players to join their teams. I think it’s called the Draft. Or something. I’m not all that familiar with it. It’s definitely not the second biggest Cleveland sports event to opening day for the Indians. Definitely, definitely not. Definitely not.
In all seriousness though, the Draft is a huge thing for the Browns this year, as it is every year that we wallow in the barren wasteland of football irrelevance (on the field). The silly season of the NFL Draft is approaching beyond absurd at this point, but it’s what we all have to deal with. So as we come up on this monumental event, I feel like I need to address something that I’ve heard a lot of this offseason. That is that the Browns have so many holes that they need to fill.
This is something that has been out there, and something the no one seems to challenge when it’s brought up. I think it’s a product of everything Cleveland Browns being obliterated by any and all who talk or write about sports. And, thus, it has seeped into the psyche of the fans of the team. But I don’t think it’s even close to being true.
As much as it’s stylish to destroy the Browns over anything and everything right now, this team does not have nearly the amount of holes that many may claim. Remember, after all, that this team was 7–9 with very questionable play at the most important position, and without significant contribution from most of the players on the roster who had been to the Pro Bowl the year before. Does that mean that the Browns have a roster flush with talent? Of course not. But it’s not the hole-ridden, barren wasteland that some would make it out to be.
There are certainly positions that need to be addressed and need to be upgraded. But I have news for you. That’s the case with just about every single team in the NFL in the salary cap era. The Browns could use some help at wide receiver, tight end, maybe at linebacker and along the defensive line in some capacity, and potentially on the right side of the offensive line. Those would be the positions that I would say some major upgrades would be needed. Not counting, of course, quarterback which is the enigma that the franchise has been trying to crack forever.
But, if you forget about quarterback for a second, the holes of this current team mirror the kind of holes that almost every team in the NFL has. And you also need to take into account the positions where the Browns have good and great players. You can go look at the roster. Those positions do exist. We’re not devoid of talent like we have been in years past. This is an almost .500 team as it stands, and that’s without a quarterback. This team is not completely full of holes like some would have you think. The positions that need addressed are right in line with the rest of the teams in the NFL.
Now, we obviously need to solve the problem that has plagued this franchise for over twenty years. We need a great player under center. This is not news to anyone, but it’s still the biggest thing that the Browns need to figure out. Will they be able to solve it this year? I don’t know. The only chance I see outside of trading for an established legitimate quarterback, would be trading up for one of the two major prospects in this year’s Draft. Either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. Personally, I don’t know that I’m sold on either of those two guys to the point that I’d advocate a trade up, but those are your two options.
Sadly, that’s the reality. We know that we have this great problem, but it may just not be plausible to solve that problem right now. One of those players may just be the answer. Or, maybe, someone like Philip Rivers will somehow end up on the trading block and we can pounce. It’s incredibly unlikely, but I suppose you never know. And if the Browns aren’t able to solve this problem this offseason, I would say it’s not their fault. And they’ll still be in the position to add some significant starting talent to this team that, by the way, wasn’t all that bad last year.
I may just be insane (definitely in play), but I don’t see the Browns having that many holes, outside from the biggest and most obvious one. And that’s not a hole that the Browns can just go ahead and fill because they want it and they need it and, doggone, they deserve it. They have to live in reality and it just might not be there. Maybe something will materialize in the next couple weeks, but if it doesn’t, I would say that we’re primed to add some significant pieces to the mix. And then get down on our knees and pray to the heavens that Johnny Manziel can be the answer to the quarterback problem that we’ve been trying to figure out for over two decades.