Over this offseason, the Cleveland Browns started experiencing something they haven’t seen in quite some time: attention from the rest of the NFL for something other than being terrible.
With 2 very high draft picks in one of the most QB talent-heavy drafts in recent years and the acquisition of Jarvis Landry, an excellent wide receiver coming off his second consecutive 950+ yard season, the Browns were beginning to look like a dangerous offense. It all depended on whether or not they cashed in at the draft.
With the #1 pick and the #4 pick, many including myself thought the Browns would take Penn State star Saquon Barkley and then pick up their QB with the #4 pick. In a draft where the top 3 or 4 QB prospects looked like they all could be very dangerous NFL players, why not wait until the 4th pick?
The Browns delivered a shocker. With the 1st pick they selected Baker Mayfield, the lion hearted undersized QB out of Oklahoma. With their 4th pick they selected Denzel Ward, a CB out of Ohio State.
Now this is not to discredit these players in any way. They are both phenomenal talents that have potential to make an impact in the NFL. But Baker at #1? Seriously? Most NFL teams had Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen over Baker. Baker did express interest in Cleveland, but did the Browns really think they could not get him at 4?
Whether or not Baker winds up leading the Browns to the promised land, they are now always going to have this “what if”. What if they had Saquon Barkley and Baker?
Now, every draft pick is a risk but Saquon Barkley is as good as it gets when it comes to RB talent. Behind a poor Giants O-line, he may not put up the stats expected from him, but his upside is undeniable. An offense consisting of Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley, Jarvis Landry, and Josh Gordon would be a pain for defenses everywhere.
With thoughts of a Browns offense that could’ve had it all, it’s easy to be disappointed with the results of their draft. Only time will tell if Baker Mayfield has the NFL gene in him, but Cleveland could have got so much more from this draft. I didn’t think it was possible for the Browns to botch yet another draft, especially in a class this talented. But they proved me wrong. Perhaps the Browns know more than I do and these picks were the result of calculated analytics. But right now, this is looking like a team that may be struggling for that first win for the entire season.
Written By: Patrick Doyle @PatriickDoyle @Udawgsports
Feature Image Source: NFL Spin Zone