Nobody. They trade down. Strange, considering the Cleveland Browns’ recent history in the NFL Draft. Don’t lie, you, and everyone else, expected them to trade away both their first round picks (4th and 26th) this year, plus next year’s, for the #1 spot and select A.J. McCarron. That just seems like something they’d do, right? AJ! He won games!
But Ray Farmer, just some three months on the job, is not one for tradition or trend. As horrible as both are for Cleveland these days. He trades out. Gets arguably the best cornerback in the draft, and a first and fourth round picks for 2015. From the Buffalo Bills, mind you, a team that’s not guaranteed to win many games. Potentially a top 15 selection with that first rounder. Cleveland does give away a 5th round pick to move up one spot, from 9 to 8, for reasons that are beyond logic at the moment. But they get someone to start opposite the Pro Bowler Joe Haden. This already has the markings of a great, young secondary.
For the first round encore, the Browns trade up again, giving away a 3rd round pick. This time from 26th to 22nd overall pick and select the one and only, the most talked about player in this draft, Johnny “Football” Manziel. And the crowd goes wild! They couldn’t resist, they just couldn’t. Another first round quarterback pick. Exciting, mobile, undersized, wild, improvisational. Adjective laden.
Will he sell jerseys? Absolutely. Will he win games? Better question. And undoubtedly one the Browns fans will want answered. While Brian Hoyer will likely remain the starter, this pick puts a lot of pressure on #6 to perform right out of the gate. Otherwise expect a quarterback controversy, and clamors for a change by the faithful Dawg Pound, et al. Potentially creating a toxic environment for anyone to succeed in. Take your pick, the unproven veteran or the unproven rookie.
Only time will tell. The Browns have a good recent history with drafting outside the quarterback position in the first round. Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Joe Haden, and Phil Taylor remain an integral part of the team. As for quarterbacks. Well. Brandon Weeden, Brady Quinn, and now Johnny Manziel – all taken with the 22nd overall pick. As a Browns fan you want to feel excited, have faith. But fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third time? I guess I’m a Browns fan.