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Browns Football Club Through The Ages
The Browns drafted one of the most high-profile college players ever to be their new face of the franchise when they selected Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M in with the 22nd selection overall in the first round. Manziel gives the Browns hope, although many experts believe out of all of the quarterbacks to go in the top rounds of this draft, he is the most likely to fail because of his attitude and off-the-field problems. Still, he will compete with Bryan Hoyer to start and at some point will get that opportunity. The Browns also had many other needs in this draft. One of those needs was cornerback, and they selected Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State with the 8 selection overall to fill that need. Gilbert has good size and has all the makings of an elite NFL cornerback. Whoever plays quarterback is going to need protection. The Browns filled this need by selecting Joel Bitonio from Nevada in round two. Bitonio is a powerful guy with a high upside. Next up for Cleveland was the linebacker. They filled this need by selecting Christian Kirksey from Iowa in round three. After trading Trent Richardson, the Browns needed a running back. They selected Terrance West from Towson at the end of round three. West is a short but big back who is good between the tackles. With just one selection left after round three, the Browns added more depth at cornerback when they drafted Pierre Desir from Lindenwood in round four. Desir looks the part of a starter, and time will tell if he can develop into one.
The original Cleveland Browns franchise was created in 1946. Despite their recent failures, the Cleveland Browns are still one of the most tradition-rich teams in NFL history. The Browns have made the playoffs 28 times, won their division 13 times, won their conference 11 times, and won their league eight times. Four of them were AAFC championships, and four are NFL championships. Throughout their history, the Browns have called just two places home. First was Cleveland Municipal Stadium where they played from 1946 until the original franchise moved to Baltimore in 1995. When they returned to the league four years later, the Browns moved into First Energy Stadium. Whether or not Cleveland can finally get this right, this new trio should be at the very least entertaining.
This 2016 offseason, the Browns decided to clean house and take on a whole new philosophy. They hired baseball executive Paul DePodesta to be their Chief Strategy Officer. DePodesta will attempt to bring the “Moneyball” style that has overtaken baseball to the NFL. The Browns also fired head coach Bo Pettine, replacing him with Hue Jackson. They also released Johnny Manziel. In addition, the Browns signed much-discussed quarterback Robert Griffin to be more of a short-term solution while they search for their long-term answer.
The Cleveland Brown's 2017 season went as follows- 0-16. That’s right, they failed to win a single game all season. There is nothing more to say. Let’s move on. They began by hiring a new general manager, former Kansas City Chiefs boss John Dorsey, who wasted no time getting started. By the time the dust settled, the Browns had maybe the busiest offseason in the NFL. To be exact, the Browns have made 103 transactions since the new year began. So what exactly did they do?
To start, they announced the retirement of longtime offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who is surely headed to Canton in five years. Then they did something extraordinary, they made four trades in one day. First, they traded two draft choices to the Dolphins for wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Next, they sent another draft choice to Buffalo for quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Next, they traded quarterback Deshone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers for cornerback Damarious Randall. Finally, they traded defensive tackle Danny Shelton and a 5th-round draft choice to New England for a 3rd-round draft choice. They weren’t done with the trades either. The next day they traded defensive back Jason McCourty to New England for a 6th-round draft choice. Two weeks later they sent quarterback Cody Kessler to Jacksonville for a 7th-round draft choice. To finish trades, a week later they sent quarterback Kevin Hogan to the Redskins for a 6th-round draft choice. In free agency, they signed defensive backs E.J. Gaines, Terrance Mitchell, and T.J. Carrie. They also added defensive lineman Chris Smith, running back Carlos Hyde, offensive lineman Chris Hubbard, and tight end Darren Fells. Late in free agency, they added quarterback Drew Stanton and wide receiver Jeff Janis.
By the time Dorsey was all done wheeling and dealing, the Browns ended up making nine selections in the draft. They wanted a quarterback first overall and got the guy they wanted in Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. With the four overall selections, they grabbed another defensive player for their rebuilt defense, cornerback Denzel Ward from Ohio State. In round two they went to work on their offensive line, getting Austin Corbett from Nevada. Also in round two, they grabbed running back Nick Chubb from Georgia. Later on, in the draft, they grabbed two wide receivers, Antonio Callaway from Florida, and Danion Ratley from Texas A&M. Now we will see if a completely rebuilt roster top to bottom will help the Browns finally climb out of football purgatory.
The Browns had a big draft as well. They had the top selection in the draft and used it on defensive end Myles Garrett from Texas A&M. Also in round one they drafted safety Jabril Peppers from Michigan. In round two they decided to try to find their quarterback and selected the talented polarized Deshone Kizer from Notre Dame. With the first pick in round three, they selected the fast-rising defensive tackle from Charlotte, Larry Ogunjobi. In round four they drafted cornerback Howard Wilson from Houston, and in round five, they grabbed the plummeting offensive tackle Roderick Johnson From Florida State, who was once thought of as the top offensive lineman in this draft. The Browns have long been the NFL's team with the most to gain, and they are doing their best to make that happen.
The Cleveland Browns have been the NFL’s perennial losers for years now. However, that appears to be changing. The Browns spent the first overall selection a year ago on quarterback Baker Mayfield from Oklahoma, and he guided the team to its best season in years, finishing 7-8-1. So what did the Browns do this offseason to build on their success from a year ago?
On March 13 the Browns shook the NFL world and almost broke Twitter when they sent offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, strong safety Jabril Peppers, and their first and second-round draft choices to the New York Giants for wide receiver Odell Beckham and outside linebacker Oliver Vernon. Beckham and Mayfield could potentially become the league’s top quarterback-wide receiver duo quickly. In free agency, they added tight end Demetrius Harris, offensive guard Eric Kush, outside linebacker Adarius Taylor, and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
Despite the trade, the Browns still had seven selections and used them wisely. In round two they added cornerback Greedy Williams from LSU. In round three they added depth to their pass rush with outside linebacker Sione Takitaki from BYU. In round four they added safety Sheldrick Redwine from Miami. With their two selections in round five, they added inside linebacker Mack Wilson from Alabama and kicker Austin Seibert from Oklahoma. They finished their draft with offensive tackle Drew Forbes from Southeast Missouri State and cornerback Donnie Lewis from Tulane. The Browns are on the rise and enter 2019 as the favorites to win the AFC North. Let that one sink in.