Inside the Pylon’s Plan to Rebuild the Cleveland Browns

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]

The Cleveland Browns finished the 2016 season with one win, but the work is hardly done for General Manager Sashi Brown and his staff. The Browns boast the league’s worst record, and the 31st-ranked offense and defense by both points and yards. They need plenty of help. Fortunately, they enter the 2017 offseason with a bounty of draft picks, including the 1st and 12th overall picks and two more picks in the second round, as well as $59 MM in cap space, plus as much as $49 MM in cap rolled over from 2016. But where do they even begin to fix all their on-field issues? A hypothetical question about the 2016 draft led to an extensive discussion in the ITP Slack channel, which we’ve edited and published here for your amusement.

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]

Wentz, or Picks?

Joseph Ferraiola [6:30 PM]  

I’ve been thinking about this with the Browns. Potentially they might have messed up not keeping the #2 pick last year. Are they going to get a QB as good as Carson Wentz? I get they got later round picks, but would you rather have the potential of having Wentz and [Texas A&M defensive end and presumed #1 overall pick] Myles Garrett or Myles and the #12 pick? Or is this flawed thinking?

Dave Archibald [6:38 PM]  

For the record, it was Wentz and a 2017 4th-rounder for #8, #77, #100, the 2017 #12 pick, and a 2018 2nd-rounder. Then they traded #8 and #176 for #15, #76, and a 2017 2nd. Two more smaller deals: #77 and #141 for #93, #129, #168, and #100 for #115 and #154.

So it’s Wentz, a 2017 4th, #176, and #141 for Corey Coleman, Shon Coleman, Cody Kessler, Ricardo Louis, Jordan Payton, Derrick Kindred, and Spencer Drango. And they still have #12 and an extra 2nd this year and an extra 2nd next year.

Joseph Ferraiola [6:43 PM]  

Interesting. I didn’t know they made that many trades with the picks acquired. I wonder what the value of Wentz is going to be compared to the rest of those selections. What if they never get a QB worth building around with those picks, though? I get the “building the entire team” theory. But with how difficult it is to get a franchise QB I’m not sure what’s the right move. I don’t think there’s an answer yet either.

Dave Archibald [6:49 PM]  

Valid question. But you also have to ask: If Cleveland got its franchise QB this year, what kind of situation are they putting him into for his development?

Joseph Ferraiola [6:52 PM]  

That’s true too. We obviously have more information on Wentz now than during April. The situation question is interesting because you can have a solid team built around a mediocre QB that wins an average amount of games and never be near the top to draft your franchise QB.

Dave Archibald [6:56 PM]  

Which is the situation Houston‘s in now, essentially, leading them to overpay for Brock Osweiler.

Joseph Ferraiola [6:56 PM]  

Yeah, prime example.

Michael Nuttle [7:50 AM]  

I think looking at what Wentz is now, it is tough to say fully that no, I wouldn’t have taken Wentz and taken all the picks. I remember looking at Wentz last year and thinking that although he could potentially be a great QB, he was going to need time to develop and that he would be coming into a terrible situation in Cleveland where his development likely was going to hinder him to the point that maybe he doesn’t become the QB he could become. Plus, the Browns  graded him and determined he wasn’t their guy (hindsight 20/20, yeah, they were probably wrong on this – and that’s something else I have to stomach as a Browns fan), so I wouldn’t want them to take a QB they didn’t really want just to take a QB. I also think that when you look at the QBs this year compared to Wentz, maybe they are not as good, but I do truly feel they will be stepping into a better situation this year in the second year under [head coach] Hue Jackson than last year, especially given the fact the Browns did a complete of a tear down of the roster to start over.

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]

Browns Front Office Vision

Dave Archibald [9:08 AM]  

The tough thing with the Browns is, where do you even start? They were 31st or 32nd in almost every meaningful category on both offense and defense.

Positives: effective rush offense (4.7 YPC) and they turned the ball over an average amount.

Negatives: everything else

Michael Nuttle [9:25 AM]  

I agree, Dave. Which may not be a bad thing from a draft perspective because you don’t have to feel like you lock yourself into any one position. You can almost truly go BPA [best player available] because heck, it’s likely any player outside of maybe WR is going to fill a need.

Dave Archibald [9:31 AM]  

I don’t really believe in BPA – I think you have to have some kind of vision for how the pieces are going to fit together.

Michael Nuttle [9:36 AM]  

Well I do think your BPA is going to get skewed whether consciously or unconsciously by needs. Like if you are grading two guys almost equally and then one is a position you need and one isn’t, again consciously or unconsciously, the one of need may get a little higher bump. BPA is subjective. Like we will all have our own boards and have our idea of BPA at a certain spot, but that won’t hold true for every evaluator so it’s not farfetched to think that bias towards one position affects what a team views as BPA at that time.

Dave Archibald [9:41 AM]  

I just don’t think they’re any closer to having a team than they were before the season. They invested all these picks on WR and they finished dead last in Net Yards per Attempt. They have 25 rookies or something and none that look like a sure shot to be better than average.

Michael Nuttle [9:43 AM]  

Did they go out and select 14 future All-Pros last year? No. Maybe one or two of those guys ends up being a stud, but I think what they did do was fill up their roster with a lot of guys that could eventually be adequate to solid players. And in the NFL, with the 53-man roster, you are going to be filling it with a lot more guys that are just OK than guys that are great (credit to Dan Hatman for that thought from a phone call we had yesterday). So basically what they did was fill their roster with these average guys who tested well athletically or had big numbers in college and showed they were willing to work hard and give good, consistent effort also while still setting themselves up to get more of the “lower risk” guys in the future.

I can tell you from watching all of the games this year that yes, the statistics weren’t good, and yes, they are a 1-14 team, but the effort that I saw them put forth for most of the season was much better than from ’15. So yes, a lot of it is that they just have a bunch of guys that will be average, but those guys may be below average now and may be working to improve themselves to average. And as those guys improve from below average to average, the team will get better. And that is when you can start to maximize those higher picked players that are more polished and dynamic.

Now if they go out and just draft a bunch of raw guys who test well again this year, then maybe I’m more concerned about the direction they are taking this. There is always they chance that they Jacksonville it up and they stay patient and try to let guys develop and at the end of they day you’ve got Blake Bortles and his atrocious windup and you’re still a 3-13 team too.

Dave Archibald [9:48 AM]  

I 100% agree there is value in guys who are average. I just question the vision here.They took a speedster vertical threat WR in the first round, but they let 40% of the offensive line walk and drafted a weak-arm QB in the third round.

Michael Nuttle [9:53 AM]  

I think that it is fair to question it. It may not all make sense right now, but again, when starting from scratch, it is going to take time. Maybe they took Coleman with the hopes that later on they have a more strong-armed guy in the future. I don’t know if that is the thinking or not. Because the drafting of Kessler is a bit odd but it all could’ve come down to Hue wanted a young guy that he knew was smart to have as a sort of guy he brings along his whole career. Like a solid backup type.

Plus with Coleman missing 6 weeks in the middle of the season, it’s tough to say how they would’ve used him. Yes, he was a vertical guy in college, but that was his offense also. Maybe the Browns saw his athleticism and thought he could be a guy that they just needed to get the ball in his hands quickly and let him be athletic and create for himself. But with him missing they time, they didn’t get the chance to develop him into that role. I don’t know. I don’t think I can answer all of that.

Dave Archibald [10:18 AM]  

That’s fair. The other thing I would say about their 2016 draft strategy is that WR is a weird place for a bad team to invest heavily because the passing game has so many moving parts. How do you evaluate WRs getting thrown to by bad QBs who are being protected by an OL that can’t pass block? Investing in the front seven or the OL would seem to produce more immediate returns. Maybe that’s part of the point – they intended to be horrible in 2016 to get a high pick again in 2017 – but I don’t think it helps with development or evaluation.

Michael Nuttle [10:40 AM]  

I agree that it does make it more difficult to evaluate. And I won’t even try to justify drafting 4 WRs in a single draft. And on top of all of that, Higgins, Payton, and even Louis for the most part weren’t seeing many snaps throughout the season anyways. Again, maybe to just have those guys in place for when they do invest in the OL and do have a decent QB in place.

Jeff Feyerer [2:14 PM]  

Well, let’s see, because this is only the second offseason with this staff.

Michael Nuttle [2:17 PM]  

That’s a good point. I see a lot of people on Twitter saying the Browns will do X because they did that last year, but I don’t think you can truly rely on what they did or how they approached things to be held constant this year, because it is only their second season. The number of people saying the Browns will trade back from #1 to get more picks because they did it last year is crazy.

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]

Offensive Line

Dave Archibald [6:59 PM]  

I think the “what if” for Cleveland’s offseason is, what if they tried to keep Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz, then draft Wentz and say “we don’t have weapons but at least the OL is pretty good”

Joseph Ferraiola [7:01 PM]  

Sounds kinda like Philly’s offense a bit.

Michael Nuttle [7:50 AM]

I would argue Mack was never going to re-sign in Cleveland. He had said before two season ago that if they didn’t show they could win (following the 7-9 season in ’14) that he was going to be going elsewhere. Cleveland responded by going 3-13. Schwartz, however, they did muck up. And they did try to re-sign him, but then there was all the BS that they pulled their offer and stuff and he went and signed in KC.

Dave Archibald [10:18 AM]  

How do you evaluate WRs getting thrown to by bad QBs who are being protected by an OL that can’t pass block?

Michael Nuttle [10:40 AM]  

You and Joe Thomas would get along well. He rarely publicly complains about things but one thing he did gripe about this season is the fact they didn’t invest in the OL.

Dave Archibald [10:42 AM]  

They did take Shon Coleman in the third (their fourth pick) and Cam Erving in 2015 and Joel Bitonio in 2014.

Michael Nuttle [10:45 AM]  

Shon Coleman is interesting to me because he was hurt when they took him, but has since been activated yet they still haven’t played him much. Maybe to just spare him and not hurt his development, but that seems silly. I think they intend for him to be the right tackle going forward, but have insisted on playing Pasztor (out of position, in my opinion) at RT all season instead. Bitonio is good, he just can’t stay healthy, which is an issue. And causes some scrambling of the OL.

Jeff Feyerer [11:33 AM]  

I think you have to consider cutting bait or dealing anyone you don’t think will be on the team in three years if the team is successful.

Michael Nuttle [11:35]  

I agree with you to an extent and go back to the conversation about trading Joe Thomas we had a few months back. A guy like Joe Thomas leaves a pretty big hole at an already questionable position group, especially a position group of such high importance, so although he may not be around when the Browns are good again, he’s a good guy to have bridge them there when they can adequately replace him.

Jeff Feyerer [11:36 AM]  

God, I still can’t understand that. I don’t get spending that money on a depreciating asset when your LT being good isn’t the only thing holding the team back. Getting whatever draft picks you could get in a deal for him plus reallocating the money to multiple, younger players that could improve over time just makes more sense in my mind.

Michael Nuttle [11:39 AM]  

A depreciating asset that is still arguably a top 5 left tackle though. And $10M a year for the next 2-3 years for a guy who is still playing really well seems to be a good price.

Jeff Feyerer [11:41 AM]  

Which is why I said draft picks in a deal too.

Dave Archibald [11:42 AM]  

Yeah, but then what? You get a draft pick or two, and you have to immediately try to find a LT because you don’t have one anymore. I’m reminded of when the Jets traded Revis for a first, but then they had to use that first on Dee Milliner to try to replace him.

Jeff Feyerer [11:43 AM]  

But it doesn’t matter if you have a left tackle! Your team sucks at many positions! And by the time they get those other positions covered, or the young players they currently have are peaking, you’re going to be looking for a LT to replace Thomas.

Michael Nuttle [11:44 AM]  

But why make it worse by trading the LT and creating another hole when you already have the picks to address a lot of the holes? I think you have enough picks that now that you can already be doing that without trading Joe for more picks.

Jeff Feyerer [11:44 AM]  

That’s a great point.

Andrew Jordan [11:45 AM]  

I’d say keep Thomas since a) he still produces and b) young offensive linemen they bring in can see the type of preparation he bring week in and week out.

Jeff Feyerer [11:48 AM]  

I may be alone on Trade Joe Thomas Island but there are definitely points both ways.

Andrew Jordan [11:50 AM]  

I don’t think trading Thomas is a terrible idea, but if they want to keep him, management and the coaching staff need to make it clear that he’s part of their plans. If he’s on board it gives a really young offense the leader they need.

Shane Alexander [11:54 AM]  

I would’ve heavily considered trading him last draft (and we’ve talked that into a circle, I know). If they’re going to keep him, they need to be trying to win as much as possible as soon as possible, otherwise you’re wasting him as an asset.

Jeff Feyerer [11:55 AM]  

What’s been the take on Shon Coleman? Do they see him taking over at left tackle or working at RT?

Michael Nuttle [11:56 AM]  

There really hasn’t been much talk about him at all. He’s been active but unused for most of the season but from what little there has been, it’s been more about him on the right side. He’s been one of the biggest mysteries this season.

Philip Kibbey [12:04 PM]  

Some interesting OL options too for FA if they don’t re-sign:

Michael Nuttle [12:05 PM]  

I would sign T.J. Lang in a heartbeat, but I doubt he gets to the market.

Jeff Feyerer [12:08 PM]  

Now here’s a question prompted by Philip adding the FA list. For the baseball people out there, the White Sox have had a lot of success in the past acquiring high draft picks who floundered at the first team only to blossom with the Sox. The Cubs also had this this year with Arrieta. I wonder if a team like the Browns could employ the same idea by signing guys like Warmack or Joeckel. Guys that never blossomed into that they were “supposed” to be, but in the right system could be a low risk, high upside signing

Michael Nuttle [12:16 PM]  

I think that’s a pretty good idea, really. Especially if you are getting them low(er) cost. And like you said, for the Browns, what do you really have to lose if you’re not sinking a ton of money into them. Even more so with the Browns, because you are not just one or two guys away.

Dave Archibald [12:20 PM]  

Laken Tomlinson is a guy they could target. He’s fallen out of favor in Detroit.

Michael Nuttle [12:21 PM]  

Do you think Detroit will cut him? He’s still on his rookie deal, right? Or do you mean via trade?

Dave Archibald [12:23 PM]  

Yeah, trade. Two years left on his rookie deal. Does a fifth get it done? A fourth? I don’t think they’d cut him, but I don’t think it would take a lot. Been passed by Graham Glasgow and maybe by Joe Dahl.

Michael Nuttle [12:25 PM]  

I’m sure a 5th could if they aren’t using him. And he was a first round pick so he has the 5th year option, correct? May entice a team to trade for him if they think they can fix him and then still be able to use the extra option year.

Dave Archibald [10:23 AM]  

Further thoughts on the idea of trading Thomas: if you make kind of bank statement of team assets and needs, trading Joe Thomas adds (whatever draft picks) to the asset columns and adds “LT” to the needs column. The question becomes: what do you place greater value on? The assets gained, or the hole created?

The answer has to be guided by your team-building philosophy. If you say “we want to build a dominant run game around our OL a la Dallas” then LT jumps to the top of your needs list and you are moving backwards trading Thomas. If you say, “LT is overvalued generally (and especially the superstar LT); we can plug in an undersized guy there and focus on being solid across the board on the OL instead,” then it makes perfect sense to trade him for what you can get. But you can’t even start to answer that question until you’ve built a philosophy around “what kind of team do we want to be?”

Brandon Thorn [10:47 AM]  

Gotta be able to evaluate OL for any of that to work. Jury is still out on that one for this front office.

Dave Archibald [10:54 AM]  

Every strategy will fail if you can’t evaluate talent. But if you don’t have a vision or philosophy, you could fail even if you can evaluate talent.

Brandon Thorn [11:19 AM]  

Agree there, but like I’ve mentioned before, how they’ve handled their OL overall is a bit worrisome. We’ll see how it plays out though.

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]

Quarterback Options

Dave Archibald [11:03 AM]  

If you can build a package for [New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy] Garoppolo around pick #33 (and maybe a highish 2018 pick), do you do it?

Michael Nuttle [11:04 AM]  

Do I have a guarantee that he will re-sign? I just think giving up a lot for him isn’t smart because you still have so much more to address that you wouldn’t want to give up multiple assets for a position when you have so many other holes to fill. But if you know you have him for 5 years, I think that changes it.

Dave Archibald [11:09 AM]  

I think the cost of #33 vs #12 is huge. You still get two top-12 picks and Tennessee’s second.

Michael Nuttle [11:09 AM]  

I agree. I feel better trading #33 versus the 1st and 4th rumor that is floating around. And I think you automatically improve what you have with Jimmy.

Philip Kibbey [11:10 AM]  

Plus, Jimmy G is essentially a draft prospect with 3 years experience. I think he’s inherently less risky than dropping a top pick on a guy

Dave Archibald [11:10 AM]  

He can start right away, he’s young enough to be the future guy, and his best asset is a quick release so he can help the OL.

Michael Nuttle [11:13 AM]  

Agree with both of you guys. I don’t dislike Jimmy or his very full, Italian eyebrows, but I don’t think you can do something like trading away a top pick when you have so much more to address if it’s only for a year, maybe two.

jimmygeyebrowsJimmy Garoppolo and his very full, Italian eyebrows

Philip Kibbey [11:13 AM]  

Top 10 QBs since 1998 (minus Winston / Mariota / Goff / Wentz):

top10qbsbrownsThis hit rate for QBs in the top 10 is less than 50%. If you remove 1st overall, then it is 4 out of 15, which is really risky.

Michael Nuttle [11:15 AM]  

Yeah, there’s definitely risk. And I’m not saying you keep the top ten pick specifically for a QB either. But trading it away also keeps you from drafting a CB or an OL or another place of need.

Philip Kibbey [11:15 AM]  

If I’m the Browns, I go and acquire a QB who is at minimum average and then spend draft assets on other positions. Whether that acquisition is via trade or free agency, it just seems like the smartest play when there is no clear-cut #1 QB prospect.

Michael Nuttle [11:17 AM]  

I agree with that logic if you feel that the draft class is not going to produce a great QB prospect. Especially with the [possible] impending free agency of Tyrod Taylor, but because a guy like that doesn’t become a free agent often, that may drive up his cost too.

Do you not consider McCown / Kessler adequate to do that for another year and then wait and see where the chips fall with the ’18 QB class?

Philip Kibbey [11:20 AM]  

Not without a good OL and / or RB. I think Coleman and Terrelle Pryor are a good WR tandem. [Gary] Barnidge is workable at TE. But without a run game and a bad OL defenses will just overwhelm them.

Michael Nuttle [11:21 AM]  

I think they have a decent run game, I think Hue just doesn’t utilize it, granted they played from behind a lot. But the thing is if you trade for a QB, you’re giving up assets that you would use to address the positions that could then help McCown / Kessler be more of an option. It’s a real catch-22. So by that logic, FA is your best route because you could upgrade the QB position with a guy like Tyrod AND still keep your assets to improve the OL/defense, etc. But then you’re going to be paying a premium. And you have to try to re-sign the likes of [linebacker] Jamie Collins and Pryor.

Philip Kibbey [11:24 AM]  

The last two drafts took care of many of the immediate QB-needy teams. People keep putting Taylor in Denver but they probably don’t have the cap space for him. Houston is screwed by the Brock contract.

I think at the end of the day there probably isn’t a huge market for Taylor.  The Browns have the cap space, too. You might have 2-3 teams bidding but the Browns hold the cards with their cap situation.

Michael Nuttle [11:25 AM]  

That’s a pretty good point there, Mr. Kibbey.

Philip Kibbey [11:27 AM]  

I’m already high on Taylor because he’s mobile, has a good arm, and protects the ball. His deep ball is great too. He’s a better version of RGIII [current Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III] and fits Hue’s scheme nicely. And it lets Coleman resume his Baylor role. And unlike RGIII he actually throws to the TE.

Michael Nuttle [11:29 AM]  

I would caution that you do have guys like [linebacker] Christian Kirksey and Joel Bitonio and such that will also be needing to get paid, not this off season but in the future, so you don’t want to blow the full $115M in space this year just because you have it. But I don’t think you are paying Tyrod Andrew Luck money by any means either. I like Tyrod. Watched his ’15 tape for the Scouting Academy this fall and came away much more impressed than I thought. Not in love with his deep ball, but I saw him progress as going from a guy who was just a mobile QB to a guy who could stand in the pocket and then escape with his mobility if needed on a fairly consistent basis. And yes, he’s much better than Bobby.

Shane Alexander [12:05 PM]  

I’m probably in the minority on this but as the Browns strengthen their roster, I actually like Kessler as a QB2. If he’s the QB3 next season behind rookie/vet, that’s a better QB3 than most teams have.

Jeff Feyerer [12:06 PM]  

I like Kessler as a #2.

Michael Nuttle [12:06 PM]  

I like Kessler as well. I just don’t think he is THE guy and you can stop there with him. Not saying anyone is suggesting that, though.

Dave Archibald [12:06 PM]  

If Hue doesn’t love any of Taylor / Garoppolo / draft guys, can you roll with Kessler as the #1 for 2017? I think you probably can.

Michael Nuttle [12:07 PM]  

Yes.

Joseph Ferraiola [12:11 PM]  

I think Mark Schofield wrote in his Kessler profile he could be a Colt McCoy type.

Mark Schofield [12:12 PM]  

Yep.

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]

The Defense

Dave Archibald [10:18 AM]  

I would have thought they’d invest more in the front seven.

Michael Nuttle [10:40 AM]  

And I would argue they did set out to invest in the front seven by using two of their first three picks in [edge rushers] Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah. Whether those were the right guys or not, that remains to be seen. Again, they didn’t invest in absolute studs at the position, but they invested in guys that will be able to at least provide them depth in the future.

Dave Archibald [10:42 AM]  

I guess. And it was on top of [nose tackle] Danny Shelton as their first-rounder in 2015, so they could assume some development there. But they are 32nd in sack rate and 30th in run defense (YPC) so early returns are not promising.

Michael Nuttle [10:45 AM]  

No they are not. Can’t argue with you there. Ogbah is leading the team in sacks, though, which is encouraging. Even if it’s “best of the worst”. Shelton did improve this year too. Then you add a Myles Garrett to the mix and maybe that pass rush gets much better because they have to focus on him more.

Philip Kibbey [11:27 AM]  

How has Collins looked? I’m a little biased because I haven’t watched the film and the last Browns game on TV here was the Giants game where Collins was giving like 40% effort.

Michael Nuttle [11:29 AM]  

I think Collins has looked really good, actually. I think everyone saw him loaf on that OBJ touchdown against the Giants and assumed he hasn’t been working hard, but that has not been the case. I would have no qualms with re-signing Collins at this point even if it is for a big contract.

Because you have such a young roster, I think it allows you to do that because so many guys are still on their rookie deals and will be until about 2019-2020. You can pay him and clear a lot of the cap early on right by the time you are paying the guys from this past draft class, if there are any you want to keep.

Philip Kibbey [11:32 AM]  

Good point there. Collins is a good player on a team that needs talent and a veteran presence too.

Especially if [cornerback Joe] Haden is cut, and the post-June-1 dead money is $3.5mm so they probably are going to think hard about that.

Michael Nuttle [11:33 AM]  

I’m advocating for it. It’s $14M if he stays on versus that number of dead cap. I’m OK with it. Also [cornerback] Tramon Williams is owed $7M next year but only 500K dead cap if he is cut too.

Adam Chappell [1:51]  

There’s a ton of defensive talent in the draft this year; the Browns could almost rebuild the entire D.

Michael Nuttle [1:54 PM]  

And honestly that entire defense basically needs rebuilt sans Kirksey, Shelton, Ogbah, Nassib (maybe) and Collins if you can re-sign him.

Jeff Feyerer [1:59 PM]  

Kirksey, Shelton, Ogbah, Nassib, Collins is a good start. I like Ibraheim Campbell at safety, too.

Michael Nuttle [2:02 PM]  

Yeah, he’s a good, physical guy. A liability in coverage. The problem they have is Derrick Kindred who is the exact same guy as a Strong Safety. Campbell was a [former coach Mike] Pettine guy. Kindred is a Jackson guy. Will be curious to see if they stick with both of them.

Dave Archibald [2:05 PM]  

A strong safety who can’t cover is kind of a dinosaur. How many downs can you get that guy out for? Do you have a LB who can cover the TE / RB?

Michael Nuttle [2:06 PM]  

Answer for the Browns to that last question: not really. TEs killed the Browns this season.

Dave Archibald [2:06 PM]  

Your SS pretty much has to be a better cover player than your LBs, or what is he doing out there? He’s just an undersized LB at that point.

Michael Nuttle [2:08 PM]  

Right, and I agree with that.

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]

The Prescription

Dave Archibald [10:49 AM]  

So what’s your offseason prescription? Take Garrett #1, hope he invigorates the pass rush? Then what? What do you do at QB? OL? Secondary? Does Pryor come back, and do you have to do something at WR if he doesn’t? Do you add a couple vets just so you don’t go 1-15 again?

Michael Nuttle [11:03 AM]  

Right now, December 30th, I say you look long and hard at Garrett as well as the guys that are the first round QBs. If you find you love one of the QBs, I think you need to consider the drop off from that QB to the other QBs and the drop off from Garrett to the next pass rusher and see what you’re more willing to risk waiting for at #12 or whatever your second pick ends up being. If Garrett is a generational talent like a lot of people are saying he is, I don’t know how you walk away from him. And if you go with Garrett and your guy isn’t there at the next pick, I don’t think you force a QB. For OL, maybe you can address it in the draft, but from what I’ve heard (haven’t done my own tape study yet) it is not a good year to need a stud OL so I think you re-sign Pasztor, kick him inside to RG, put Shon Coleman at RT and then roll with that, which may be all the more incentive to not invest in a QB highly again in the draft because either a) you’re subjecting him to playing behind a questionable line or b) you are just going to hold him out because of the questionable line. I am an advocate for drafting and sitting QBs, but that’s me. I look to address every secondary position in the draft. Even Joe Haden, injured or not, should be considered for replacement.

Shane Alexander [11:54 AM]  

I’m drafting Myles Garrett at 1 and letting the NFL overthink [Clemson quarterback] Deshaun Watson – I’m drafting him with the Eagles pick. If Cleveland thinks that scenario is at all possible, they need to go balls to the wall for it. If they think San Francisco is taking Watson, I’d see about trading a second-rounder for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Michael Nuttle [11:55 AM]  

Is that Jimmy G trade regardless of if he re-signs or not?

Shane Alexander [11:56 AM]  

It would be contingent on $. A “prove it” team in the short term with the potential be a long term deal for the team.

Jeff Feyerer [11:58 AM]  

I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do

Michael Nuttle [11:58 AM]  

It certainly shall be an interesting off-season. Plenty of directions they could go.

Dave Archibald [12:01 PM]  

My thinking is: Garrett at #1. Let Hue make call on Taylor / Garoppolo / Watson, but my preference is to kick the tires on one of the first two and go best DB available at #12. (I Would look at OT but that appears to be weak this draft.) Look at value positions in the middle rounds where you can get immediate starters. At safety, tight end, and interior offensive line, you can often get a starter in the third / fourth round. Late rounds, I’m looking at athletic upside for development and help on special teams. They can’t roster 25 rookies again so you need guys who can fill roles; ST impact maybe lets you steal a game or two in 2017. And don’t be afraid to add a mid-price vet or two at positions of need in FA. No long-term outlays, but being horrible at everything is no way to develop and evaluate. Stanch the bleeding.

Jeff Feyerer [12:03 PM]  

Wonder if they even consider trading back from 12 to acquire more picks in anticipation of a QB trade. May be in a good spot if a team wants to move up to grab a falling QB.

Michael Nuttle [12:03 PM]  

Now that is an option I think should be considered.

Adam Chappell [1:47 PM]  

As of now I’m of the opinion the Browns should a) take Garrett #1 and [Alabama linebacker Reuben] Foster / [LSU safety Jamal] Adams with Eagles pick or b trade down from one, or both spots if you get a good return.

Jeff Feyerer [1:59 PM]  

I think you have to stick at 1 and take Garrett if you think he’s the guy. Get one guy that you believe is a franchise guy. And then be flexible with the 2nd pick.

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]

Wrap Up

So there you have it: ITP’s plan of attack to fix the Cleveland Browns. It is a daunting task, on the order of Kennedy promising to go to the moon or Willie Beamen leading the Miami Sharks to a comeback playoff victory. The Browns will need to show a clear vision and be patient and steadfast in executing that vision. Still, the assets are there for the 2017 Browns to show much more promise than the 2016 unit.

Follow @davearchie on Twitter. Check out his other work here, like his look at the QB class of 2014, his analysis of value plays at left tackle and a great performance from Case Keenum.

Want more Inside the Pylon? Subscribe to our podcasts, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or catch us at our YouTube channel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.