There were reasons Farmer went after the positions he did. While his hatred for wide receivers was obvious, the Browns still could be in a great position if only he had drafted these players at these positions.
Just think what the team would look like under Hue Jackson if Farmer had only made these picks. (You have to forget that Farmer would likely still be around if he had made these picks.)
Time to start with the 2014 NFL Draft. We will assume all the trades and moves made and only draft in the same place and the same player positions as Farmer, only this time we plan to get it right.
2014 NFL Draft
Rd. 1 Pick 8 - CB Bradley Roby - (Justin Gilbert) In some OSU/Browns fans fantasy, Cleveland gets a corner that, while not perfect, was drafted in the 1st Round by the Broncos and has played well. Roby, across from Joe Haden, would be a very good #2 corner for a Browns team that is lacking anything looking like pass coverage.
Rd. 1 Pick 22 - QB Teddy Bridgewater - (Johnny Manziel) While the Vikings star may be out for the season, Bridgewater has been a great QB. He has played well with a solid run game but has been able to pass with the best of them. Many would pick Derek Carr here, for good reason, but Bridgewater's accuracy and professionalism is a perfect fit with Hue.
Rd 2. Pick 35 - OL Joel Bitonio - (Bitonio) While many, including this writer, were upset that the Browns spent another high draft pick on an offensive lineman, Bitonio was the right pick. He has been a great guard since entering the league and could succeed at one of the tackle positions.
Rd. 3, Pick 71 - LB Telvin Smith - (Christian Kirksey) While Christian Kirksey has been a solid LB, he hasn't stood out or grabbed his spot by the horns. Instead, Browns fans really like him but he hasn't earned that love yet. Smith has. He has over 100 tackles in each of his first two seasons along with four sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and eleven pass deflections. A very good LB, drafted in the 5th Round.
Rd. 3, Pick 94 - RB Devonta Freeman - (Terrance West) Freeman is the fantasy football stud for the upcoming season. Falling to the 4th Round, Freeman put up a 1,000 yard season last year after a very limited rookie season. West is on the rival Ravens after flunking out quickly in Cleveland and Tennessee.
Rd. 4, Pick 127 - CB E.J. Gaines - (Pierre Desir) While I think the Browns have misused Desir, Gaines would be a very good corner to join Roby and Haden. Gaines played very well his rookie year but missed all of last season with a foot injury.
Recap - In one draft, we have given the Browns a full starting group of corners, a real QB, a solid starting running back and a leader at LB. Not a bad start but we have one more draft to fix from Farmer's issues.
2015 NFL Draft
Rd. 1, Pick 12 - DL Malcom Brown - (Danny Shelton) Outside of Marcus Mariota, I thought Shelton was a perfect fit for the Browns who needed to stop the run. Instead, the dancing bear dances too much and has struggled to hold his spot to an undrafted Jamie Meder. Brown, drafted at the end of the 1st Round, has been very good for the Pats and was someone who looked like a good fit for the team even at the time. Now he would be perfect even if he isn't a nose tackle exactly.
Rd. 1, Pick 19 - OL Jake Fisher - (Cameron Erving) Erving made sense at the time with his versatility but it hasn't played out that way. He hasn't been versatile, just positionless. Fisher has some flexibility as well and would solve the Browns right tackle need this season after Mitchell Schwartz's departure. John Greco could slide to center with Fisher at guard or tackle this season with Alex Mack.
Rd. 2, Pick 51 - LB Kwon Alexander - (Nate Orchard) - Orchard hasn't proven much either in his rookie season or Training Camp so far. Alexander, a 4th Rounder, has been great for Tampa Bay and could pair up with Telvin Smith to give the Browns two great linebackers.
Rd. 3, Pick 77 - RB David Johnson - (Duke Johnson) - While pairing Freeman with Duke is exciting, Johnson is a great overall back and works well with Freeman as well. Browns fans can't complain either way at this point obviously. Johnson had 8 TDs in his first season in the league after being drafted nine picks after Johnson.
Rd. 3, Pick 96 - DL Grady Jarrett - (Xavier Cooper) - While Cooper has some excited, Jarrett fills the Browns need for a nose tackle. Jarrett and Brown together would give the Browns an amazing amount of young talent up front. They would just need a 5-tech, like Carl Nassib to finish it off.
Rd. 4, Pick 115 - S Kyshoen Jarrett - (Ibraheim Campbell) - Campbell is likely to start for the Browns this season but Jarrett has already shown what the Browns hope to see from their 2nd year safety this year. Not a lot of other safety options at this point but Jarrett added to Jarrett looks good.
Rd. 4, Pick 123 - WR Stefon Diggs - (Vince Mayle) - Diggs isn't huge but his route running, hands and acceleration is great. Selected in the 5th Round, Diggs would be dynamic out of the slot or on the outside. At least Diggs wouldn't have been cut.
Rd. 6, Pick 189 - CB Quandre Diggs - (Charles Gaines) - Diggs put in a decent rookie season with the Lions while Gaines looked lost at times. Diggs, at 5'9", plays well in the slot to replace the recently cut K'Waun Williams.
Rd. 6, Pick 195 - FB Malcolm Johnson - (Johnson) - While the Browns FB hasn't been anything close to amazing, rookie FBs don't tend to and Johnson has some upside as a blocker and pass catcher.
Rd. 6, Pick 198 - TE Randall Telfer - (Telfer) - While Telfer didn't get a chance to show anything as a rookie, he has impressed in his first real chance with the Browns. Not a lot of talent this late in the draft that has shown itself already in the NFL. Telfer may get a chance to do so this season as the Browns backup tight end or he could still be cut. Expect the former.
Rd. 7, Pick 219 - LB Hayes Pullard - (Pullard) - We draft Pullard, a great leader and solid ILB, and this time we keep him. He joins his Jag teammate Smith and Alexander to give the Browns great options.
Rd. 7, Pick 241 - CB Dexter McDonald - (Ifo Ekpre-Olomu) - Poor Ifo just didn't get lucky, get reinjured with the Dolphins. McDonald has a few snaps under his belt and at 6'1" can develop behind Haden and Roby on the outside.
Recap: By fixing Farmer's second draft, we have given the Browns a very good defensive line that should be able to stop the run while pushing the pocket in the pass, add another solid set of linebackers, a good slot receiver, a starting running back and an offensive lineman that will start at a couple positions.
Fixing Farmer: In the span of 2 drafts, Farmer drafted a ton of corners and has struggled to find anyone who can make a big impact. We have fixed the secondary, the running backs and the defensive line. Oh yeah, and Bridgewater gives the Browns their franchise QB instead of Manziel. With the Browns 2016 NFL Draft added to these two drafts, the Browns would likely be competing for a Playoff spot.
While other redrafts open things up, limiting it to the positions that were already drafted still gives the Browns a great team. If only Farmer had a time machine, he would have a GM job and the love of the Browns faithful. It wasn't to be.
Redrafting this way, what changes would you make that we didn't?null