Well, It’s that magic time of year again. All Cleveland Browns fans have suffered through yet another atrocious season of football, and are now prepared to reap the rewards of our futility on the field. It’s time for the NFL Draft: The time of year where Browns fans get a little bit of hope that this will be the year we land a big time player that will help turn our beloved franchise into a winner once again.
And man, do we need a little bit of hope right now. After another 4-12 season that saw the offense put up only one more point than the 1999 Browns, a pitiful offseason where we decided to not sign any significant names in free agency, (Frostee Rucker? Really? That’s the best we could do?) and receiving the third hardest schedule for this season, with NFL.com predicting that the Browns will start the season 0-13, Browns fans are desperate for something to look forward to this fall.
While the needs of the Browns are many, they have more picks than any other team this year at 13. To put that into perspective, they could draft an entirely new offense or defense, and still have two back-ups. In the past two drafts, Tom Heckert has used our first round picks on defensive players Joe Haden (CB) and Phil Taylor (DT). It’s time to get some first round talent on the offensive side of the ball. The picks that I would like to see the Browns make in the first round this year are: 1) #4 Trent Richardson, RB, out of Alabama, and 2) #22 Cordy Glenn, OT, out of Georgia.
Richardson is needed to fill the gapping hole at running back that was created by the departure of Peyton Hillis this offseason. Adding Richardson will not only improve our ground attack, but it will take some pressure off of Colt McCoy. In his first season as a Brown, McCoy looked solid when he had Hillis in the backfield with him. Last season, however, Hillis was constantly battling injuries or sickness, and McCoy’s production suffered. Richardson has also shown that he is an excellent blocker, which is needed if the Browns want to avoid McCoy suffering any more concussions. There were, of course, more factors hindering McCoy last year, and that’s where drafting Glenn comes in.
Glenn is needed to bolster the right side of the offensive line. Actually, he’s needed because there is no right side of our offensive line. With both Tony Pashos and Eric Steinbach gone, there needs to be some protection for McCoy if the Browns have any hope of winning. The game against the San Francisco 49ers last year should have been enough for the Browns front office to get an elite player. For those who didn’t see it, the defensive linemen blew past Pashos untouched, McCoy was sacked, and then fumbled on the Browns five-yard line. In short, the game was over after that play. I know that many fans want a big-time receiver taken in the first round, but if McCoy doesn’t have time to throw, it won’t matter if we have Calvin Johnson, we’re not going to be able to throw the ball.
If the Browns were to pick either one of these players, I would be thrilled.
Hopefully, whatever the Browns do Thursday night will create some excitement for this season. God knows we need it.