Yours truly has not been an NFL fan since The Shield allowed Art Modell — along with plenty of assistance from accomplace Al Lerner — to steal the Browns off to Baltimore.
However, Loyal Readers, I know the vast majority of you do follow professional football, and with perhaps the most anticipated draft in Browns history kicking off tonight, I asked on my Facebook page what the team should do in the 2014 draft.
What follows is a sampling of the responses I received:
- Don Robinson — The first pick is the hardest. Especially, with the Browns’ draft history. I will give my picks ,but they will probably draft a long snapper with their first pick !! “With the fourth pick of the draftn the Cleveland Browns select from Kent bBranch.....” Needing a QB in the worst way, you would think I’m going to say pick just that, but NO! Sammy Watkins would also look great in a Cleveland uniform, but NO ! You have to go with a solid, safe pick here and pick Jake Matthews to boost our O line. QB and receivers will still be available later. The second pick at No. 26 is a bit tougher as it depends on who is available still. I think here you need to go with the QB. Again, depending on who is available but I’m thinking Manziel will still be there as will Bridgewater. Bortles will be gone. It is a coin toss with the QB, anyhow. Who knows how they will perform in the NFL? At No 35... you are now at the point to try to get another playmaker. Get the best available receiver here or go with Carlos Hyde, but I don’t think he will be there. Obviously I went with offense. So tired of watching what we have now. I mean sleeping through most of it. Got insomnia? Watch the Browns offense!!! Hopefully, that changes real soon!
- Rusty Webker — Do not draft a quarterback. Browns fans are unfair toward them. Why would any QB want to come here?
- Dave Jones — Looks like Johnny Manziel, but I would take Sammy Watkins or (Blake) Bortels.
- Sabrina Renee Stokes — Sammy Watkins at 4, then...???
- Rich Kelly — As I see this team, first pick should be watkins, to provide more weapons for whoever is taking the snaps. with 26, grab Carr or bortles , whoever is left by then, to groom for future. I also like idea of signing Vince Young to back up Hoyer, just in case. More possibilities for a wide-open offense that way. then with second round picks, possible linebacker or offensive lineman.
- Steve Urchek — With the 4th pick in the draft, I would select Johnny Football. We need to get some life back into this town and I don’t mean false excitement exhibited by a washed up has-been like Nick “Swisher Stinks”. Johnny is a larger-than-life, real-life superstar that we have not had in CLE since Albert Belle. (LeBron doesn’t count). He is Joe Namath and Elvis with a dash of Mickey Mantle. With our 26th pick, I would take WR kelvin Benjamin from FSU. In the 2nd round, I would Darqueze Dennard CB from Muchigan St., 3rd round LB CJ Mosely from BAMA, 4th Michael Sam DE Missouri, 5th Jimmy Ward S Northern Illinois, 6th Dri Archer Kent, 7th Terrence Mitchell CB Oregon.
- Jim English — Matthews or Robinson at No. 4 , Hyde at No. 26..... Best QB left at No. 35.
- David Negin — Denard won’t be available in the second round. I want him in Round 1... I’d try to trade back a few slots and get another second rounder and take Denard, quarterback, top receiver, and offensive lineman available....Good guards are usually available in that second round . I like Carr or Bridgewater..... Both, I think, will fall until the end of the first round.... Then sit them behind Hoyer and let them develop.
- Dustin Olah — Mack at 4, only because Watkins will be gone and linebacker is a need, top CB left at 26 to shore up the other corner, and McCarron in the second round, big-arm QB that knows how to win and is more than just a game manager...Allen Robinson, WR from Penn State next to shore up another reciever. Linebacker is a need because of the age of our current LB and for a better pass rush to let Haden and the other DBs not need to stay in coverage as long. I would love to see Watkins and make our offense nearly QB-proof, but I think he goes to Jacksonville.
- Steve Goldman — Watkins at 4. No QB is worth that pick, and that would provide a very dangerous tandem at wideout. Carr at 26. I would take Manziel if he were still there, but I don’t think he will be. Offensive lineman in the second round. They do need a lineman, but I don’t believe the situation there is as dire as some think.
- Shawn J. Shannon — I like Watkins if he is there at No. 4. Him and Gordon and maybe next year sign Big Ben from Pittsburgh. If Watkins is gone, trade down with Minnesota — take Darqueze Dennard — top CB from Michigan State, then with pick in second round from Minnesota, take A.J. McCarron from Alabama. All he did was win consistently in the SEC. At No. 26, I might look at Anthony Barr from UCLA — the Defensive Sleeper of the draft.
- Michael Shaffer — In a perfect scenario, they get Watkins at 4 and Carr at 26. It is my understanding that Carr is the “safest quarterback on the board and his stock is rising.” Therefore, if Watkins is gone, I would not be stunned if the Browns took him at 4, being that we’ve not had anyone under center since Bernie Kosar, we cannot afford to gamble. Then, get the best receiver and corner available with the next two picks before turning my attention to the right side of the offensive line and the running game. And let’s hope next year, we’re not talking so much about the draft, if you know what I mean.
McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.