Like a wee lad having a bad spell of the heebee jeebees the night before Christmas, I awoke last Wednesday in the middle of the night, antsy for the start of the NFL draft. It’s been that way for most of the previous week. As the big day drew near, with a hidden fear of another Tim Couch, Brandon Weeden or DeShone Kizer, the worse it got.
We all remember those days, especially Kizer and the 2017 season. Thank the Good Lord it’s over.
With certain picks in mind, I prayed hard that Cleveland Browns General Manager John Dorsey saw it exactly as I did, that they don’t blow it again this time. Or so I hoped. That was before the first selection. Afterward, it was a different matter. There more praying, only harder.
When you have the first overall pick, you choose only the very best, and Heisman Trophy winner or no Heisman Trophy winner, Baker Mayfield, the Oklahoma quarterback, was not listed in my book as the number one player in this year’s NFL draft. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t even close.
My number one was never a quarterback. He was a running back named Saquon Barlkey from Penn State. When he’d take off with the ball, he was like that iconic cartoon character, the Road Runner, leaving behind Wile E. Coyote in a cloud of dust. But instead he went to the new York Giants with the number two pick.
Let’s hope we didn’t blow it once again by passing on Barkley. Sadly, however, it just may be one more loss to add to our dismal draft record.
Then with the fourth overall pick, we chose Denzel Ward, a cornerback from Ohio State. Now, I have nothing against Ward or the Buckeyes, but I do question the wisdom of making him as high a number as a four pick. When there were bound to be better picks, especially with a barrel full of good, solid, quarterbacks still available, we should have been making that quarterback pick at number four, instead of number one.
The New York Jets selected my QB choice, Sam Darnold from Southern Cal, but still, Josh Rosen of UCLA and Josh Allen of Wyoming, all respectable quarterbacks, and even Mayfield, would’ve been available. If Mayfield had been selected by the Giants as the number two pick, or the Jets at three, it would have made Darnold, Allen and Rosen available at number four.
With possibly three quarterbacks still available, and maybe Mayfield, the number four pick was the time to choose a QB.
For a quarterback, Mayfield is shorter than most, standing a half inch over six feet. While he does escape tough situations, much like Johnny Manziel did, by running the 40 yard dash in 4.8 seconds he is much slower than the other quarterbacks available at the beginning of the draft.
Like Manziel, his personal history leaves a lot to be desired. Reportedly, his public record shows he was arrested for drunkenness, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing. For the Browns’ sake, let’s all hope and pray he doesn’t turn out to be a jerk or a carbon copy of Manziel.
On the second day, I think the Browns did much better. They picked Austin Corbett, a guard from Nevada to strengthen their offensive line and could possibly replace Joe Thomas; Nick Chubb, a running back from Georgia whose talents allow him to evade tacklers and create his own clear running space; and Chad Thomas, an explosive defensive end from Miami who could start immediately. With the remaining picks secondary, it was the first five that really mattered.
I hope I’m wrong with my thoughts on those first two picks. We should know, however, by the year’s end. In the meanwhile, GO CAVS!
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