The Cleveland Browns pick first and fourth in next week’s NFL draft, and that can mean only one thing for the team’s fans: Two chances to screw the franchise up further.
That really should not happen. Not with a new general manager, John Dorsey, who has been part of winning programs in Green Bay and Kansas City, and is a proven talent evaluator.
And yet …
We are talking about a team that lost all 16 games last season, after going 1-15 the year before. You’d have to be cataclysmically unlucky as well as awful to do that.
We are talking about a team whose stadium has been nicknamed “The Factory of Sadness.”
We are talking about a team without a playoff win since January of 1995 or a winning season since 2007, a team with seven straight last-place finishes in its division.
The Browns are in a position to take a quarterback with either of those two picks and the chance to let that player mature a bit while Tyrod Taylor holds the starting job.
They’re also set up to get another top talent – perhaps running back Saquon Barkley. Perhaps they can erase the memories of Johnny Manziel and Brandon Weeden, first-round picks in 2014 and 2012 respectively, who achieved little.
Despite some media reports that Dorsey has his QB choice in mind (Wyoming’s Josh Allen), coach Hue Jackson says the long study sessions continue with no decision set.
“When I say this, I mean it: John Dorsey and his group, they don’t come up for air,” Jackson said. “This is 24 hours, seven days a week, through the weekend. I’ve worked more on the weekends here than I ever had to be a part of this. That’s what John does. There’s no detail that we’re going to leave unturned.”
We shall see. After going 0-16, it’s not like things can get much worse.
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