Best team pick – QB: The Cleveland Browns select with the fourth overall pick….

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It’s the time of year where all the “experts” and idiots alike make their bold predictions that mean absolutely nothing. Other than to make faces and say neener neener in December there really is no point in predicting anything at this time of year. Players are at home resting, playing Madden, chillaxing and not even considering what NFL team they will play for in 2014. Still, it’s my job as a fan and a writer to make bold ridiculous statements and hope that it just might come true.

My bold statement for the day is; I believe if the Browns draft Johnny Manziel, they won’t only be a playoff team but a top ten team in the NFL. It took me a while to come around to this (OK, more like a week) but I think I’m really starting to believe that this team could turn it around. There are several reasons why I believe in this crazy absurd theory that the hapless Browns just COULD be not only competitive but downright good this coming year.

Reason #1: Right now on paper (unless they lose a bunch of players to free agency) this defense is pretty dang good. They were top ten in the NFL in most categories last season and they have a big time defensively minded coach taking over. Pettine was the coach of a pounding defense in New York under Rex Ryan and I expect him to bring that fire and grit to Cleveland’s D. In other words, if the team doesn’t have a fire sale on defense and if they add a few solid players (particularly pass rushers) this defense could be one of the top five in the league.

Reason #2: Kyle Shanahan is a great fit with this offense. He is a hot head and not always well liked but he is widely considered to be an offensive mastermind and that’s what they need. He also worked the last two years with Robert Griffin III and the read option and zone blocking scheme which brings me to my last and biggest point.

Reason#3: Johnny “Football” Manziel is a winner. He’s small and may have some off the field issues but on the field he’s a gem. He’s a leader, he’s a playmaker and most importantly he’s a good QB.  He doesn’t quite have the arm of a Cam Newton or Joe Flacco but the dude is eye popping in terms of keeping plays alive and making things happen. He wouldn’t only bring excitement and ticket sales back to Cleveland but he would bring a winning attitude AND a load of talent. In Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme he could be downright lethal. Mix that with Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and (please please please) a beastly #2 receiver and a solid running game…wow! Run enough Zone read plays with Manziel that the defense is scared of it and use your run game and play action to just terrorize the opposing defense. Good gosh I’m getting excited for the possibility of this kid in C town!

So, that’s it. That’s why I’m excited and why YOU should be too! This is the time to get that hope in the back of your brain that this team, our team, could be a powerhouse next season. We can watch for their offseason moves and see step by step if they will build a successful team or not. First step is to sign some of their key free agents and the biggest step is to sign Mr Football himself, Johnny Manziel.

 

You can also read Eric the Caveman’s thoughts on the Browns and their need for a play making QB


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  • T Kekic

    Agree with a lot of what you wrote. I just am not sold on JM. I fear that all the running around will not work as well in the NFL. Players are bigger, faster, stronger and meaner in the NFL. Many of them are playing for their professional lives on every play. Look at RG3. Great talent but too small. And in year two of his professional career was broken. Just to small to avoid getting banged up. I think the sleeper QB in the draft is Murray from Georgia. Need to rebuild the right side of the O line and resign Mack. Just my two cents.

    • Eric Johnson

      Great point, but I think the correlation between size and injury is overblown. Whether or not players have injury issues has more to do with their decision-making and even more to do with how their individual ligaments and joints are put together (no way to really tell that). Physical size and weight are factors, but very small ones. Two words: Drew Brees.

      • Neil R

        Drew Brees? Eric, he hasn’t left the pocket since he came into the league. We are talking about one of two options: either JM runs a ton like Vick in his early years and as a result gets injured to the point he misses half of his games, or he stays in the pocket playing a Rothlesburger-type game in which he gets hit mercilessly whenever someone isn’t open. Either way he’s going to get hurt like RG3. JM is a winner, but a winner in college isn’t necessarily a winner in the NFL.

  • Kevin Gillikin

    A good two cents T Kekic, thanks for your comment! I see Manziel as more of a Russell Wilson type QB who is typically smart enough to get down and not get hit while outside the pocket. You’re absolutely right that the NFL is bigger faster strong but I think JM is just the guy to bring this team to greatness! Your argument, however, is very valid! With Shanny as OC there will no doubt be a bigger importance put on the O-line and I expect to see the typical Shanahan zone blocking scheme.

  • Browns4ever

    Manziel all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lovethosebrowns

    i am cautiously optomistic about this year. some good things in place. with JM it immediately makes the Browns relevant which is one great mindset that this young team needs. immediately put on national tv at least 2 times this season. adding a carlos hyde would be a home run draft and thats only after 2 picks. after all the bs for some reason i feel good about hiring pettine and i think he will suprise.

  • tigersbrowns2

    good read … i think they’re gonna take a QB at # 4 … however , it is not an absolute must to take QB at the # 4 overall pick … clowney , watkins & one of the top O-linemen could also be acceptable if there’s another QB they covet that can be had later in the draft … it’s hard to believe the browns would be tipping their hand on going all-in on manziel .

  • T Kekic

    Eric, Kevin. I accept the Drew Brees example. I feel that he is a great example of a solid supporting cast with him working within his abilities, shortcomings and smarts. I do feel that JM can be a solid leader. If they draft him by brother and I will still hold on to our season tickets. Concerning Coach Pettine I seem to recall that a coach named Andy Reed was hired by Philly and he turned out OK. I think he was the Packers Special Teams coach at the time. I am willing to give this man a fair shot. Wow, is this a big Browns draft or what!

  • Threeseasonfan

    lovethosebrowns, You’re the first person aside from my self that I’ve heard mention Carlos Hyde. He would be a great addition to the Browns. Quick feet, hits the hole hard and goes north & south. Something the Browns haven’t had since the days of Mack & Byner.

  • FrankNozeBrowns

    Johnny Manziel is not worth the risk to trade picks and jump up 2-3 spots as I’m sure it will cost us at least both first rounders or 4th overall and the coveted 2nd round pick at the minimum. Given all the hype surrounding this athlete I’m sure that someone will take that leap if Houston doesn’t want him 1st overall, being that I feel St. Louis would love to trade down to someone like cleveland, oakland, or the like as long as they are still a high first round pick. I just hope it isn’t us. We have too many holes to fill to package picks together. Plus the quarterbacks that are going to be available in this drafts first 5 picks, besides the potential people see in Manziel, are all rated for the most part the same (not super stars but possibly very solid starting/developement quarterbacks). So I believe that if Manziel isn’t there at 4, we can get a very solid QB be it Bridgewater or Bortles to develop early while Hoyer starts the season. As for grabbing Hyde in the first round. I know most of us are Buckeyes fans, and we think all of our players are the best, but we traded our first round back this year to then turn around and grab another first round back? No. Hyde is a very good athlete, but he’s definitely not going to come in and be a top 5 back in this league (at least for reasons strictly about talent and skills). Given the right situation he could reach this, but not based solely on talent. We need someone to come in and give options to a young quarterback. Josh Gordan and Jordan Cameron are great skill players that are going to do well, but we need a 3rd option with sturdy hands and great seperation ability (not just speed). We’ll see more doubles on Gordon and attention to Cameron, leaving the 3rd option with 1 on 1 coverage island style. Greg Little and Bess are not sure handed enough to be reliable, we all seen it this year. Add another WR with the 2nd first round pick and your assured a very solid talent. He won’t be premier at his position, but we don’t need that we have Gordon. We need someone who will be the go to dump down guy that we can count on. If it’s not a WR here, we need OG, which will also help a young quarterback progress options. It’s not sexy, but it’s a very solid pick. Think when we drafted Phil Taylor around this position after trading down. He wasn’t the best rated DT in the draft, but he has turned out to be a monster and force to stopping opposing teams run. If we can find a guard like that to solidify the middle, then even perhaps the running back we take after the 3rd round, or sign in free agency, will have a chance to perform. Don’t forget about Dion Lewis, if he comes back 100% and plays all season he is a very gifted athlete. My positions of need rank per draft picks available: 1st round: QB and WR/OG; 2nd round: WR/OG (which ever wasn’t chosen with 1st round); 3rd round: Both pick should go to a RB/CB/LB (LB for depth in 3-4 defense and a cornerback in case we failed on McFadden); 4th round: Both picks OT/OG/TE; 5th/6th/7th round: CB/S/DE or Project WR/QB. Sorry so lengthy but thats my thought process.