- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Cleveland Browns are planning to move into a long window of competing for the Super Bowl. Their roster has been upgraded through trades, free agency and the development of young players. For a long time, the latter was severely lacking.
Very few players drafted by the team found themselves signing second contracts much less third ones with the team. Those very few were legends with the team like Joe Thomas and Joe Haden.
The constant turnover in the front office and coaching staff often led to players being drafted to fit one scheme but then a year or two later being thrown into a different one. Too many times, new regimes wanted “their guys” and got rid of the last regime’s “guys.”
Many times, the old regime was knocked out due to their inability to draft and develop players but very few were ever given the time to do so.
Browns fans know the recent history of draft buts including, but certainly not limited to, Trent Richardson, Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden and Justin Gilbert.
While the team has added players like Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, Nick Chubb, Jedrick Wills, Greg Newsome II and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah lately, the last decade of drafts shows just how far the uphill battle really is. ESPN completed a study of the last 10 drafts using Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value to compare players to their draft selection to rank each team over the last decade.
Cleveland came in third to last during that timeframe.
Mitchell Schwartz and Travis Benjamin were the best players from the first year of the study but finding multiple quality producers in each draft is difficult. 2012 also takes us back to the Joe Banner/Tom Heckert year before Mike Lombardi joined in 2013.
During the 10-year span studied, Cleveland had six different front-office bosses in place. When Andrew Berry completes the 2022 NFL draft, he will be the first head of personnel to complete three during that time. Phil Savage, between 2005-2008, has been the only one to get four years running the team.
Bad draft selections lead to turnover in the front office. Turnover in the front office leads to draft selections not getting time to develop. Both lead to a Cleveland team with the second-worst record over the last decade.
Given Berry’s success, so far, at the top of the draft, perhaps that ranking will change in the next few years. For now, the Browns have figured out other ways to supplement their roster and are ready to compete for a Super Bowl this season.