Panic Regarding Browns Is Unfounded…For Now.

The Cleveland Browns have started 0-2 once again this year, and we think it is a reflex for the fans and media alike to start thinking another disastrous season is ahead for the team.

While it is a possibility that Hue Jackson ends the season with a 2-14 season, we still think that the 5-11 mark we expect is still very much in play.

We know the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns’ opponent in the home opener are the favorites to win the AFC North, and for all we know, the Baltimore Ravens could be a 10 win team as well.

That’s why you can’t overreact to things after just two weeks.

The next four games come against opponents which should give people an idea if the Browns have indeed improved from the 1-15 mark a year ago, and being widely regarded as the worst team in the NFL.

Next week, Cleveland visits Indianapolis to visit a Colts team that is without Andrew Luck and has the same record as Jackson’s squad at 0-2.

They will be starting Jacoby Brisset, making his fourth career start, a far cry from Super Bowl winners Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco.

The Colts lost to playoff contender Arizona in overtime on Sunday, but were hammered by the Rams in week one.  Let’s just say the Browns’ foes are in a higher class than those teams.

Then come home games against Cincinnati and the New York Jets, both sitting at 0-2, the same as Cleveland.

The Bengals have already replaced their offensive coordinator, and have looked dreadful against the Ravens and Texans.

Meanwhile, the Jets are copying what Sashi Brown did a year ago, jettisoning many older players and collecting draft picks, probably in an effort to take a shot at the possible franchise quarterbacks coming out in the 2018 NFL Draft.

They are starting Josh McCown at QB, and their losses have been against another rebuilding team in Buffalo, and a pummeling by the Raiders.

Then comes another road game at Houston (1-1), a team whose win is against Cincinnati and they lost to another team that usually drafts in the top ten, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

These four opponents are more in the Browns’ “weight class” than the mighty Steelers and the perennial playoff contender Ravens.

This isn’t to say the Browns will win all four games, or even two of them, but they have a better shot at victories against this quartet than they did in the first two games.

And remember that Cleveland is starting a rookie quarterback, and it would be more the norm than not to expect up and down performances from a player just entering the league.

However, we would still like to see a more simplistic approach from the coaching staff.  We would like to see more of an emphasis on the ground game using an offensive line that the front office spent a boatload of money on.

For all we know right now, the Steelers and the Ravens could be two of the three or four best teams in the AFC.  If you can’t get some victories against the next four teams, then there will be reason for panic and concern.

Right now, Browns fans just need to relax just a little bit.

JD

 

 

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Browns Continue To Get Younger

The Cleveland Browns cut down to 53 players today, although our guess is that the final roster will won’t be finished for several days.

A common theme since the beginning of last year has been youth.  If your name is not Joe Thomas, and you are over 30 years old, it is very difficult to make this roster.

After the end of last season, we speculated that Desmond Bryant and John Greco might have difficulty being with the team in 2017, and we wound up being correct.  Neither are still wearing brown and orange.

Besides Thomas, only two players have reached their 30th birthday, and one of them is the punter, Britton Colquitt.  Only CB Jason McCourty escaped the wrath of the organization’s obsession with Father Time.

Not that we disagree with what Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Andrew Berry have done.  They took over a football organization that made one playoff appearance since returning to the NFL in 1999, and never really tried to build through the draft.

From the first year Cleveland returned, they had players like Jerry Ball, Lomas Brown, and John Jurkevic on the roster.

The second and third year, they didn’t have many players over 30 on the roster, and they got to 7-9 in the third year (2001), and made the playoffs in 2002 at 9-7.

After making the playoffs, it seemed like that became the goal, and the organization started adding veterans every year, mostly guys nearing the end of their careers, players like Orpheus Roye, Ross Verba, Jeff Garcia, Trent Dilfer, Joe Andruzzi, Kenard Lang, etc.

Combined with not drafting well, and you can see why the franchise was floundering.

Brown and DePodesta stopped the madness, although many veteran football media people couldn’t see what they were doing.

Outside of Thomas, they unloaded veteran players who were no longer improving.  The only holdover was Thomas, a future Hall of Famer for sure.  And Thomas had to buy into the process, otherwise he would have asked out.

As of right now, 42 of the 53 players on the roster were brought in the past two years, and that doesn’t count players like Christian Kirksey, Joel Bitonio, and Danny Shelton, who are still young guys, but were drafted by Ray Farmer.

The new regime needs to has success, for sure.  We aren’t saying that Brown and DePodesta did the right thing after going 1-15 a year ago.

However, we do feel the team is going in the right direction, and fans shouldn’t be discouraged if the Browns go 4-12 or 5-11 this season.

Why?  Because they will be doing it with a very, very young roster that should continue to improve over the next three or four seasons.

And because the front office seems to be drafting better.  Knock on wood, but it looks like both first round picks, Myles Garrett and Jabril Peppers, can be impact players.

Last year’s choices look to be improved too.  Emmanuel Ogbah, Corey Coleman, Shon Coleman, Derrick Kindred, Joe Schobert, and Seth DeValve look like contributors.

The scouting department has found solid players like Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Tyrone Holmes, and Dan Vitale off the waiver wire.

Whether success comes in the next few years or not, what the Browns are doing is the right thing to do.

We have said it many times, the only thing worse than being a bad team is being a bad, old team.

The Cleveland Browns definitely cannot be considered the latter.

JD

 

 

 

Leave Browns Alone…They Drafted a QB

Picking up where we left off after round one of the NFL Draft, any criticism about what Sashi Brown and the rest of the Browns’ management did on day one had to do if you are one of those who are QB-centric.

If you are a fan obsessed with the quarterback position, you bemoaned the fact that Cleveland didn’t draft Mitch Trubisky with the first overall pick (a massive reach), and then didn’t trade up for Patrick Mahomes II (very raw), or just sit at #12 and pick Deshaun Watson (our choice).

The lure of getting another first round pick was too much for the front office, and when it was all said and done, Cleveland still got two excellent athletes in Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku, who should have inside tracks to start in 2017.

We even joked that apparently the QB drama queens must have thought that the draft ended on Thursday although several good passers currently in the league (Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson, and the great Tom Brady) were picked after round one.

Those people can relax today because in the second round, the Browns drafted DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame.

Kizer was expected to be a first rounder, so there is good value in the pick.  He’s also the big guy (6’4″, 233) that some feel is necessary to win the cold and wind of the AFC North.

The downside on Kizer is his Irish team went 4-8 a year ago, and he is inconsistent.  He appears to need a lot of work on his mechanics, which makes him a good pupil for coach Hue Jackson and his “quarterback whisperer” credentials.

We said before the draft that even if the Browns drafted a QB in the first round, that Cody Kessler should be the starter coming into the season, and the rookie should sit back, learn, and develop.

Remember, that at the beginning of the college football season, the consensus best two signal callers were considered to be Watson and Kizer.  Notre Dame’s losing season hurt Kizer’s stock.

There are also rumors about Kizer’s love for the sport, but perhaps he didn’t take well to Brian Kelly’s constant temper tantrums at practice and on the sidelines.

One thing we won’t know if would Kizer have stayed at ND had Kelly left.  There are some who speculate he would have.

No doubt Kizer is a boom or bust pick, but the same can be said about Trubisky and Mahomes.  The difference is the Browns did it on round two, which is what we have been advocating since the end of the season.

Cleveland also bolstered its defensive line with the pick of Charlotte DT Larry Ogunjobi, who may end the tenure of Desmond Bryant, another player over 30 years old in Berea.

He could be next to Danny Shelton at DT and join Emmanuel Ogbah and Myles Garrett on the Browns’ front four.

Ogunjobi played in the Senior Bowl, so Jackson and his staff got a real good look at him, and must have been impressed.

There are still picks to come today, but isn’t it refreshing to not hear the commentators saying the Browns have no clue as to what we are doing?

The media who wanted “football people” running the show must be thinking hard to themselves today.

Of course, these players still have to play, and the Cleveland Browns have to start getting better.

JD

Browns Draft Athleticism For Most Part

After all the rumors about the Browns taking local favorite Mitchell Trubisky with the first overall pick, common sense took over and they selected pass rusher Myles Garrett with Texas A & M with the choice.

Garrett was at the top of most analysts draft boards, so Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta didn’t overthink it, they took the best player available, which you should if you have the first pick in the draft.

As we have written before, we have followed the Browns for over 50 years, and they’ve never had a dominant pass rusher.  Hopefully, they filled that need today.

As for possible scenarios talked about during the day of the draft, that is trading up from #12 for Trubisky, those plans were thwarted when the Bears moved up to #2 to take the Mentor native.

There were several potentially good players waiting with the Browns’ second first round choice, but instead of taking Ohio State S Malik Hooker or Deshaun Watson, they traded with Houston, who did take the Clemson QB.

In return, Cleveland picked up another first round pick in 2018 and received the Texans’ 25th selection this year.

This gives the Browns five picks in the first two rounds next year, and infuriated fans who wanted the team to take somebody, anybody.

When they finally picked at #25, they took versatile defender Jabrill Peppers from Michigan.

We would have to classify this as new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ new toy, as we would bet he will primarily be a strong safety, but he can be used near the line of scrimmage too, and also fills a need as a punt returner.

The best thing we can say about Peppers is he’s a football player.  He can be used all over the place, and he played at a big time program which this regime likes.

There was one more move to be made when Cleveland moved back into the first round to take the 29th pick to take Miami TE David Njoku, another freaky athlete.

Our guess is it will not be long before Gary Barnidge is let go by the Browns, as he is over 30 years old, and this front office doesn’t seem to want anyone of that ilk besides Joe Thomas.

What do all of these picks have in common?  They are phenomenal athletes.  If you watched the NFL Combine, you saw what Garrett can do.  He’s got speed, power, and great leaping ability.

Peppers played some tailback at Michigan as well as his defensive duties, and at the combine, did drills with the linebackers and the secondary players.

Njoku is considered a rare athlete, with speed agility and explosiveness.  He’s only 20 years old, so he can get bigger as he matures.

As for the quarterback, remember that the draft did not end last night.  There are still six rounds to go and the Browns have a lot of picks.

Second, even if Cleveland would have drafted a QB last night, we would have started Cody Kessler at the beginning of the season anyway.  And if they draft a guy today, there is no pressure to start him right away.

If you are one of the quarterback obsessed, we understand you are not happy with the what happened last night in regards to the Cleveland Browns.

However, if you are about adding talent to a football team that needs it, you are happy today.  The Browns have helped their defense, and whoever the starting quarterback will be in 2017.

JD

Draft Week Brings Out Crazy Talk

One week from now, the NFL Draft will be over, and as a by product, so will the endless talk about what the Cleveland Browns will do in the three day selection process.

And if they don’t draft a quarterback, fans will be sentenced to three months, until training camp actually opens, of hearing about how the front office passed on the “most important position in sports”.

By the way, it probably is, but we put it in quotes because of the righteous indignation media people use when talking about signal callers.

We’ve heard people say the Browns are sentenced to another 1-15 type season in 2017 if they don’t get a QB early in the draft.  That, of course, supports their notion that Cleveland has to take one with the first overall pick if they “really like the guy”.

Consider these names:  Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and Carson Palmer.

Most people would consider these players as among the better quarterbacks in the NFL, correct?

None of them made the playoffs a year ago.

Why?  Because other parts of their team were found lacking,  Either the team’s defense was poor, or they didn’t have a sufficient running game, or their offensive line had gaping holes.

The point is, you have to have a complete team to win in the NFL, it isn’t enough to just have a great quarterback.

No doubt it helps considerably.  The only team that made the playoffs a year ago with shoddy QB play is the Houston Texans, and they continue to search for their guy.

Still, having a good player at that position doesn’t guarantee that you will make the post-season.  You still have to have solid players around the QB.

Remember, the Browns were 1-15 a year ago.  Clearly, they aren’t lacking only a quarterback, that’s why we stick with the premise that if you have the first overall pick, you have to take the most talented player, which by all accounts is Myles Garrett.

Also, our opinion is that the greatest improvement for a player is between his first and second seasons, because it becomes their job.  They get to spend the off-season getting bigger and stronger for the upcoming season.

The Browns have many holes to fill, they need secondary help, a tight end, a linebacker, and maybe another wide receiver.

So, while Garrett should be the pick at #1, the Browns’ front office still should address the quarterback spot at either #12, or with the first pick in the second round (#33).

We feel one of these three passers (Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes) will be there at #12, and since they have Garrett, they can afford to reach a little to take a QB.

If one of the three aren’t there, then Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta can take solace in grabbing another blue chip talent, either someone for the secondary or Alabama TE O.J. Howard.

And if they take a QB at #12, we would still plan on starting Cody Kessler against Pittsburgh in week one.  Let the rookie quarterback observe for awhile before throwing him in there.

There will no doubt be plenty of noise, misinformation, about what the Browns are going to do next weekend.  The good thing is a week from now, the speculation will be over.

Finally.

JD

 

 

Browns Could Take QB At #1, But They’d Be Wrong

The NFL Draft is two weeks away, and things are getting downright insane.

This week, in separate reports by national writers, the Browns are thinking about not taking Texas A & M pass rusher Myles Garrett with the first overall pick, because either Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta want to take a quarterback, or they want to take Garrett, and Hue Jackson doesn’t.

Of course, that got the quarterback hysteria that often occurs in Cleveland going again, supporting their argument with insanity.

Our favorite is that if the Browns really love somebody at the QB in the draft, then they should go ahead and pick him with the first overall pick.

By that logic, let’s say the front office like Cal’s Davis Webb a lot.  So they should take him at #1?  Even though he could quite possibly be there with the first pick in the second round?

That’s crazy.

Let’s look at the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

Here is our top five at the most important position in sports–

Tom Brady
Aaron Rodgers
Ben Roethlisberger
Matt Ryan
Drew Brees

What do all of those QBs have in common outside that they have all played in or won a Super Bowl?

That’s right, none of them were the first overall pick in the draft, and only one of them (Ryan) were picked in the top five selections the year they were drafted.

How is that possible if you have to take a quarterback with the first pick if you get the chance?

Here are five more names to ponder–

Andrew Luck
Philip Rivers
Russell Wilson
Eli Manning
Matthew Stafford

Three of those quarterbacks were the first overall pick, but the only one who went #1 and won a Super Bowl is Manning, who has won two with the Giants.

Luck was a consensus first overall choice, and he got as far as an AFC Championship Game, while the other first selection, Stafford, has never won a playoff game.

Wilson, who has gone to two Super Bowls, was a third round pick.

The point is despite the quarterback hysteria, you don’t have to use the first pick in the draft to get a signal caller who can take you to the playoffs consistently.

We aren’t ready to evaluate the passers taken early in the past two drafts (Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff, and Carson Wentz) yet, although the first two would rank in the 11-15 range for us.

And for fans of Wentz, it is convenient they forget the 2-9 record in the middle of the season for the Eagles.  Look, he might wind up being very good, but right now, he’s a lower tier guy.

Let’s go back to the premise we have talked about time and time again.  If you have the first pick in a draft, you take the most talented player.  We said the same thing when the Cavs had the first pick in the NBA draft.

This year, the most talented player is Myles Garrett.  So, the Browns need to take him.

They have plenty of other picks in the top 100 choices to take a quarterback.  Use one of them to address that need.

JD

Shocking Trade A Positive For Browns Front Office

The front office of the Cleveland Browns continues to do business in an unorthodox way, which, of course, is why they can polarizing among both the national and local media.

They aren’t “football guys”, we know that, and the Browns went 1-15 last year, so it’s hard to put any trust in them, but we feel they are laying the groundwork for the future.

That should have been done in 1999 when Cleveland came back into the NFL, and it could have been done several times and several regimes since, but instead the franchise went for quick fixes, and have just two winning seasons and one playoff spot in 17 seasons.

The most surprising and talked about move was the trade with the Houston Texans, involving QB Brock Osweiler.

The first reaction was this is who the Browns want to move forward at the quarterback?  The guy benched by the Texans before his first season ended after inking a deal paying him $18 million?

Instead as more details came out, Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta simply gave up some salary cap space, of which the Browns have plenty, to get a 2018 second round draft pick, which Houston had to throw in the deal for Cleveland to take Osweiler.

The old guard didn’t understand the move, Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian blasted the move hours after it happened.

A day later, when Terrelle Pryor signed with the Redskins, the Browns were hammered for giving away cap space instead of reaching an agreement with the wide receiver.

Now we hear fans wondering why the Browns just don’t give Osweiler a shot at the job in training camp.

First, Cleveland still has almost $70-80 million (depending on the source) in salary cap space, and let’s face it, there aren’t enough quality free agents remaining to spend that kind of money this off-season.

So, the money isn’t an issue.

And the Browns get to add to their cadre of high draft picks they have accumulated over the next two drafts.  Obviously, if you are afraid of success in drafting, then having more picks gives you a better chance to get good players.

As for Osweiler, his season last year was a nightmare, and although he get a lot of credit for winning with Denver in 2015, there are plenty of questions about him.

He’s made 22 career NFL starts and has two games with a passer rating of over 100.0.  Before you challenge us, we know that passer rating isn’t the end all in evaluating quarterbacks.

By contrast, Browns’ rookie QB, Cody Kessler, has three games with a rating higher than 100.0 last season.  If you complete a good percentage of throws and avoid interceptions, you will have a good rating.

Remember also that the Texans went to the playoffs last year, so obviously Bill O’Brien felt strongly that Tom Savage gave his team a better chance to win.

Meanwhile, here is a memo to all media people in Cleveland…We are pretty sure the Browns know they need a quarterback, and they will get one this off-season, whether it is drafting one early or getting one in a trade (Jimmy Garoppolo).

So, please stop with the idea the front office hasn’t done a good job because they haven’t addressing the “most important position in professional sports”!

Relax, they know it’s a problem.  They will take care of it.

Until then, can we get off the notion that Brown, DePodesta, and the analytical people don’t know what they are doing?

JD

Is Browns’ Plan Working? We Say Yes.

We had a smile on our face last week when the New York Jets released WR Brandon Marshall and CB Darrelle Revis.

Obviously, the grin wasn’t because the players were let go, but rather the report attached to these roster moves, saying the Jets front office were considering going with a full blown rebuilding process, much like the Browns starting in 2016.

That would kind of fly in the face of the critics of Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta’s strategy.

Brown and DePodesta were widely second guessed for what they did with the Browns roster, mostly by the media, and mainly because they weren’t “football guys”, and they were doing something different.

You have to admit it’s kind of funny that another NFL team is said to be considering the plan to strip down the roster and start over.

It couldn’t have been too stupid of a plan then, right?

Today starts the free agency period for the NFL, and we will guess the Browns will be active, signing two or three should be starters with their massive salary cap space.

It has been reported they will sign WR Kenny Britt, who caught 68 passes for 1002 yards for the Rams, another team who had quarterback issues a year ago.  In 2015, Britt averaged 18.9 yards per catch.

Britt is 28 years old and presumably will replace Terrelle Pryor, who is a free agent.

It would not be surprising if Britt is the oldest free agent Cleveland signs.

The players the Browns are targeting are coming off their first contract, putting them in the 25-26 year old range.  They are experienced, but still in the prime of their careers.

And if you can fill two or three starting spots with free agents, in narrows the focus of the draft, so you can concentrate on specific areas of need.

For example, it would seem that the Browns need two or three starters in the defensive secondary.  If you sign a free agent (Johnathan Cyprien from Jacksonville?), then you can focus on cornerbacks and free safeties in the draft.

Or like another free agent, center JC Tretter from Green Bay, 26, who is reportedly signing with the Browns.  Tretter bolsters the offensive line, providing an anchor in the middle.

Another thing that humors us is the love from the writers who cover the Browns for Myles Garrett now that they saw the impressive workout from the pass rusher at the Scouting Combine.

You have to ask the question was this the first time they ever saw Garrett?  The national guys have been saying the Texas A & M product is the most talented player in the draft since the end of the college football season.

Now that they’ve seen Garrett’s combination of speed and power, suddenly, Cleveland should look for their quarterback with the 12th overall selection, instead of picking one first overall.

This is something we have been saying all along.  It would no longer be surprising if Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson still available when Cleveland’s turn comes up again at #12.

Certainly, fans would be very happy if the Browns could get one of those guys, right?

That’s why the best thing to do is what it appears the front office will do.  Take the best player at #1, and get the QB later.

JD

 

 

 

Browns Media Continuing QB Envy

Yesterday, Cleveland Browns’ executive Sashi Brown returned to his lawyer roots and basically sidestepped any question thrown at him by the media.

As usual, what did they expect him to do?  Did they really think Brown was going to tell them exactly what the Browns were going to do in free agency and in the draft?

Brown even said the team would be interested in listening to offers for the first overall pick, and of course, he should listen.  What if Indianapolis offered QB Andrew Luck for the choice?  You would have to take it.

Now, that’s not likely, so the probability is Cleveland will keep the first overall pick, and should take Texas A & M pass rusher Myles Garrett.

To be sure, this will offend the wacky members of the media here who are obsessed with the quarterback position.  We have often said these people’s jobs don’t depend on making good choices in the draft, so they are always in favor of picking a QB.

In our opinion, one of the top three quarterbacks available this year (Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, or Deshone Kizer) will be there at #12, when the Browns have their second pick in the first round.

So, you can still get a first round passer and also get the guy most scouts/draft experts think is the best player in the draft.

Does anyone else think it’s funny that the people who believe you have to use a first round pick on a QB are also enamored with potential free agent Kirk Cousins?  Cousins was a fourth round pick.  How did he overcome that status to become a productive starting quarterback in the NFL?

We also don’t believe for a minute that Jimmy Garoppolo is off the market.  Our guess is no one is offering the first round pick the Patriots thought they could get for Tom Brady’s back up, so they are trying to drive up the price.

Remember the Patriots traded Jamie Collins to the Browns because they didn’t want to pay him big money.  If Brady wants to play three or four more years, they aren’t going to pay huge cash on his back up.

That means New England is motivated to move the former Eastern Illinois product, which puts another QB on the market.

Add to that mix, Tyrod Taylor and possibly Colin Kaepernick, although we don’t know how much interest there will be in him because of his recent performance, and now you have five quarterbacks who are out there for teams in need.

Most draft gurus say besides the Browns, the following teams drafting before Cleveland need QBs:  San Francisco, Chicago, New York Jets, and Buffalo.

We don’t believe that all four will choose quarterbacks, because at least a couple of teams will feel the same as the Browns and determine none of the college guys are worth a top five or top ten pick, and will either trade down or wait until round two.

So, in our opinion, there is no need to trade up or take a QB with the first overall pick.  Someone will be there at #12, hopefully Watson or Trubisky.

As for the Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta?  They aren’t going to say anything worthwhile.

JD

 

Slight Change In Browns’ Plan?

Looking at the current roster of the Cleveland Browns, one thing stands out, or should we say, the absence of one thing stands out.

Take a look at the experience column.  Three players have been in the NFL for more than 10 seasons.  TE Gary Barnidge and OL John Greco have been in the league for ten years, while stalwart T Joe Thomas has been in the league for 11 seasons.

This comes after the release of two veterans yesterday, QB Josh McCown and DB Tramon Williams were both given their walking papers, and actually, probably a year too late for both of them in our opinion.

If you look at the ages of the roster, those three, plus DL Desmond Bryant, P Britton Colquitt, and WR Andrew Hawkins represent the only players on the team that have passed the big “3-0”.  Colquitt is probably safe, but it would not be surprising if the other two were let go, before the new league year starts.

The significance of the releases of McCown and Williams is it frees up another $11 million in salary cap space for the Browns.  This is where the slight change in the Browns’ plan comes in.

Our guess is the front office is going to make a splash in free agency, and not like before when they signed guys like Donte Whitner and Karlos Dansby, players well past their prime, but brought in as culture changes.

Our belief is the Browns will go after some players finishing their first pro contract, players just entering the prime of their career to speed up the building process.  With a tremendous amount of money below the salary cap, an estimated $113 million, perhaps Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson can bring in three starters, plus the draft class which will include five picks in the first 65 players taken.

Those are guys you want.  Most of those guys are in the 25-27 years of age range, and signing them to a three or four year deal takes them through at the most age 31.  And that seems right in line with what the Browns plan is.

Get good young players and let them grow together, and hopefully you can win sooner than later.

It is hard to argue with that logic. It may just allow the Browns to fill six or seven spots in the starting lineup, and a few of those will be with players who have a track record in the league.

The point men for this will be Jackson and new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.  They will have to sell these players and their agents, that Cleveland isn’t the vast wasteland of the NFL and they are building something to last.

Of course, they will probably have to overpay to do this, but when you are $113 million under the cap, that’s not a big deal either.

And we believe that number will grow, because it would not be a shock if Bryant and Hawkins are cut soon as well.

It’s a subtle shift, but one that should speed up the process of winning.  And that is something we can all buy into.

JD