Cleveland Browns fans have been talking draft nonstop for what seems like the last 13 years, and if the end isn't near, I may go on a baseball binge the likes of which has never been seen before. Every time I turn on a radio or read sports columns all I see are Trent Richardson and Matt Kalil supporters yelling at each other. (Thank goodness the Ryan Tannehill express has lost some steam. I was two mock drafts away from buying Detroit Lions jerseys for next season)
What I don't understand about the draft arguments is that it seems like everyone with an opinion seems to think they've won. Opinions don't win. Especially not when all of the opinions are technically right. Check this out.
Matt Kalil is the correct pick for the Browns because he'll sure up the offensive line for Colt McCoy and provide better running lanes for the back that we would draft later in the first round. Not only does Kalil provide instant depth at a weak spot, but he can ensure another five or six seasons of having a stud left tackle because he can move over when perennial Pro-Bowler Joe Thomas retires.
Trent Richardson has got to be the Browns pick because he's the premier running back in this draft and the Browns are staring at a roster of backups. Even former Indianapolis Colts Vice Chairmen turned ESPN analyst Bill Polian called Richardson a sure-thing player. A great running back is a huge difference maker for a struggling quarterback because the running back can make plays in so many different ways for the offense. Hand-offs don't require standing in the pocket behind a possibly shaky offensive line and since Richardson can block and catch the ball, he'll be able to help Colt McCoy gain confidence on virtually every play.
Wide-receiver Justin Blackmon is an upgrade over any of the Browns' current wide-outs and would aid in the development of current young receivers. A threat like Blackmon would take pressure off of incumbent pass catchers Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi. Both pressure from defenses and pressure from fans. The Browns' offensive system is an embarrassment, but it's an embarrassment that needs playmaking wide receivers. That's Justin Blackmon.
And let's not forget Jim Thorpe Award (given to the nation's top defensive back) winning Morris Claiborne. Claiborne could pair with Joe Haden and T.J. Ward to form a defensive backfield that would rival any group in the league. There are a lot of smart people who preach that the best way to take pressure off of a struggling offense is to have a defense that never gives up points. I wasn't even through scoffing at that notion before visions of the 2011 San Francisco 49ers, led by enigma quarterback Alex Smith, were seen dancing through my head.
That's four arguments for four likely draftees. They're all correct. Everybody is right, except for those Tannehill people. The Browns have too many holes for fans to start dividing themselves and spewing hate at each other and the front office over any of these draft picks. I'm certainly not going to stand on Lou Groza Boulevard wearing a sandwich board that says Mike Holmgren is a genius, but when the team needs a right tackle, running back, wide receiver, and defensive standout, I'm not going to come off of the rails because he drafted one of those positions.
I say flip a coin between Richardson and Kalil. I also say stop pretending like the west coast offense is rocket science and stop calling plays so conservatively that Browns fans beg for Marty Schottenheimer to come back.
Actually, can we draft Marty instead?
Josh Flagner was born barely a par 4 away from Downtown Cleveland and has been in a Browns, Indians, or Cavaliers hoodie ever since. Josh's sports obsession has led to him be a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and a Co-Founder of More Than a Fan.
- Trent Richardson
- Matt Kalil
- the Browns
- Cleveland Browns