The Cleveland Browns have long been associated with mediocrity. In the past 16 seasons, they have only had two winning records. These came in 2002 and 2007. Since then they have not won more than seven games and are often found at the very bottom of league standings. They’ve also had plenty of chances to add talent through the draft as they are almost always picking in the top five, but they seemingly haven’t been able to put things together.
This year feels different. The Browns seem to be doing things correctly. They haven’t signed any franchise crippling contracts, and they had a pretty solid draft. For once, cautious optimism is ok.
They resisted the temptations to take another huge swing on a quarterback prospect and did the right thing, taking the best player available in Myles Garrett. Drafting Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 1 pick would’ve been a reach. Furthermore, to be honest, he probably would’ve ended up as another bust for the Browns. That isn’t a knock against Trubisky, as much as it is an indictment against the situation he would’ve been thrown in.
Next, they picked up the swiss army knife of a player, Jabrill Peppers. The verdict is still out on Peppers. His freakish athletic abilities aren’t being questioned. Rather, it is a question of where he will play. It also was a surprise to many that they traded back to get him and talented tight end David Njoku. They also were able to pick up an inconsistent but talent DeShone Kizer at quarterback to compete for the starting spot.
The Browns almost certainly won’t compete for a playoff spot, but they will be an entertaining team to watch on Sundays. They have a lot of young and intriguing talent on both sides of the ball, and if the coaches can maximize their individual players’ talents, they could surprise a few people.