CANTON, Ohio- I had a chance to, both listen to and watch the Browns pre-draft press conference with Sashi Brown and Andrew Berry. Needless to say, I have quite a few opinions on the press conference. And, surprisingly, I was pretty impressed.
- Both Sashi Brown and Andrew Berry came off as extremely confident in their plan and did a nice job of two things. The first being that we now know this front office has no plans on trading down from the #1 pick. That should be music to a lot of Browns fans. Too many times in the past, Cleveland has traded down for a player. And their history of doing that isn’t good. The second thing? It’s very obvious that Myles Garrett, the defensive end out of Texas A&M is going to be the pick. It would shock, not only myself, but probably 95% of the football world if they passed on Garrett. Cleveland has done their homework on Garrett from every aspect.
- Not reaching for a QB. It took longer than I expected, but the question about drafting a quarterback finally came up. I don’t think a QB will be selected at #12. Sashi Brown said that while the Browns do value the quarterback position, YOU CAN’T FORCE IT! I’ve been saying that for a few months now. He also said that while you take notice that the teams that make the playoffs have great QB’s, it’s tough to find a guy that can play at a high level consistently at the quarterback position. Also, Brown made a great point. A great edge rusher can also help have a big impact on a defense. If you look at a team like the Broncos, yes, I’ve used them for an example before, they have a great defense, now they just need a QB to get back into the title picture. I’m starting to feel that this will be a draft that the Cleveland Browns take advantage of when it comes to the quality of impact players on defense. While the NFL is a scoring league now, you still need to keep teams from scoring. You shouldn’t have to score 40 points a game to win.
- Sashi Brown came out early and said that they’ve already begun researching the 2018 draft prospects. Their scouts have already begun their homework on players that will or could be available in the 2018 NFL in Dallas. I’ve got a feeling that they’re going to be doing some extended work on at least five of the QB’s for 2018.
- Unless they can find a good deal in a trade, Brock Osweiler will be involved in the battle for the starting quarterback for this upcoming season. I have no problem with that. I also don’t expect any QB Cleveland has on the roster to light up the scoreboard and stat sheet. The way I see it, it’ll be Brock, Cody Kessler and a QB from the draft battling it out for the starting quarterback role. Again, no problems here.
- While technically it’s not impossible for Cleveland to have a winning season, I’m not one of the people saying that in order for this front office to stay together, the Browns must reach 8 wins. I think that’s expecting way too much out of a team that lacks as much talent as Cleveland does and let’s remember that the Browns are coming off their worst season in team history at 1-15. My guess is that Cleveland, having the 21st ranked schedule in the NFL for 2017, might reach 3-5 wins. And for me, 5 wins is pushing it.
- The point was made that with having the same front office, for the most part, back for a second straight season, that helps in knowing each other better and what head coach Hue Jackson needs to be successful from the stand point of what type of players he needs to help this team win. Unless every game is a total blowout or the team losses every game, I would hope that this front office is still kept together heading into 2018. You can’t keep firing coaches and changing front office people once every two years and expect to all of the sudden become a title contender.
- Andrew Berry was asked how difficult it is to judge QB’s and how much the system that QB ran in college effects how well they’ll do in the NFL. Berry simple stated that while the physical skills are still important and are actually pretty easy to judge, whether or not that quarterback ran a “spread offense” as opposed to a quarterback that ran more of a “pro-style offense” isn’t exactly as important as their work ethic, attitude, ability to learn and the ability to prepare. So, translation, it’s a big leap from college to the NFL, which most people should know, yet some still don’t. But, if a quarterback is smart enough and has an ability to learn a new offense, learn NFL defenses and wants to put the time in to learn how to become better and has a great work ethic, the style of offense they ran in college doesn’t mean much.
- Later in the press conference, Sashi Brown was asked if they viewed this draft as make or break draft for this team. While Brown stated that they realize the importance of this draft, they also know that every draft should be viewed as an extremely important draft. This year’s draft will be used to improve the team and make them better than they were in 2016. Next year’s draft will be used to push the team further along for the 2018 season. What I liked the most, is that Brown referenced how teams within Cleveland’s own division are great examples of how you must stick together for long periods of time and work together to try and stack successful drafts together. You can’t just have one or two good or great drafts and then have a few down years, if you want to stay in contention for championships. Again, translation, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Both organizations know how important each draft is and how far they could be set back just by having one or two mediocre drafts.
Before this press conference began, I wasn’t expecting much. But again, I’m leaning towards the Browns taking many defensive players. It was also great to hear Brown say that they won’t reach for a quarterback.
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis