May. 11, 2018
Trying to rebuild one of the worst teams in history, the Cleveland Browns.
Trying to rebuild possibly the worst team in NFL history is really complicated. The Browns have been an absolute mess compiling a total of 4 wins over the last three years including a 0-16 record last year.
The Browns do have a few things going for them. They do have a lot of young talented players that could develop well a few years down the road. DE Miles Garrett and S Jabrill Peppers are both rookies who were some of the most electric playmakers in college football and could turn into superstars on their defense, while on offense their QB DeShone Kizer is only 21 years old and has plenty of time for improvement while they work on building a solid team around him.
Outside of the potential for players to develop into quality starters, the Browns only have one player who actually played like a quality starter last season. They could use improvement at almost every position and will need a miracle to have a shot at making the playoffs next year.
With that in mind, their plan should be to improve slowly and hope to be a contender by the turn of the decade.
One thing to get excited for is they do have the first and fourth overall draft pick in this years draft, most people are expecting them to take a Quarterback with one of those picks (which would solidify last years second round selection of Deshone Kizer a complete waste of a valuable pick). Kizer did not play well in 2017, but given the fact he is only 21 years old and played with one of the worst supporting casts in this century I believe he should get at least 2 or 3 years to see if he can improve.
With those two picks instead of putting another poor Quarterback into a failing situation they could try to build around the young players they already have. RB Saquon Barkley is considered the best player in this year's draft and taking him with the first pick would give them a solid running game and help to not rely on Kizer to carry the offense. With the fourth pick in the draft I think they have two options, keep giving Kizer help on offense, which would also help them see if they need to get a new Quarterback after the season, or keep beefing up the defense which has the potential to be a very solid unit a few years down the road.
The Browns are in need of so many things, but giving Kizer or whoever may be their Quarterback down the road as much help on offense should be their main priority, as I stated before their defense is still young and they have time to see how those players can develop. So I say selecting T Orlando Brown with the fourth pick is the best way to go.
With the rest of their picks a team that could use improvement at almost every position should almost always just take the best player available and just hope as many of them turn into quality players as possible.
The Browns also do have a large sur of money for Free Agency in a class that has a lot of valuable players available to sign. They should already have accepted the fact that they won't compete for the playoffs next year so signing a young player they can continue to develop should be their top priority.
The list of players I believe they should go after the hardest in order are:
1. G Andrew Norwell IF they choose to draft Saquon Barkley with one of their picks.
Norwell is one of the top Run Blockers in the entire league and would greatly help him in the early years of his career.
2. WR Allen Robinson
Once again, helping their Quarterback succeed so they can finally stop worrying about it would help them greatly. Allen Robinson is only 24 and would be a huge improvement over their current receivers right away.
3. CB Malcom Butler
I don't believe this would happen, but boy would it help them if it did. Quarterbacks had a 102.3 QBR against the Browns with a 28 - 7 TD to INT ratio, Malcom Butler would help immensely.
These are obviously big name players who will be in high demand, but the Browns have to use this large sur of money they have eventually and I believe winning more than zero games in a season is enough of a necessity to warrant using it this year.
Obviously there are many other players who would be huge improvements over their current starters, but those are the three I believe they should push for the hardest, as they are both young and extremely talented.
I really do hope the Browns turn it around in the next couple of years, not only because you can't help but feel bad for their incredibly loyal fanbase who have suffered for so long, but also because they could be a very fun team of young playmakers if everything works out perfectly. I really hope they start getting aggressive and hopefully give Kizer another shot to prove himself with an improved supporting cast. Hypothetically, if they were to do all of the things I mentioned above, I believe they could be a playoff team by 2020, any improvement faster than that I believe is unrealistic though.