Here’s Johnny!!…Just not in Cleveland.


“And with the 4th pick in the NFL draft, The Cleveland Browns select……”(anyone, but Johnny Manziel). I understand that Johnny is the sexy and flashy pick for the Browns. However, after everything that Ray Farmer and The Browns have shown us this off season. I don’t think that Johnny is their guy.

The Browns have 10 picks in this draft, a draft in which experts are calling the deepest draft in years. The Browns are embracing a new ideology of “win now”. This team needs immediate starters from this draft. To name a few the Browns need a corner, an inside linebacker, a lineman, and a running back. Those spots need to be filled with starters. The offensive line was a disappointment last season, with Shawn Lauvo being an abomination. Buster Skrine doesn’t instill fear in #2 receivers and let’s be honest, Ben Tate is not going to play all 16 games this season.

The needs are crystal clear; the Browns need to get better and deeper through this draft. Now some people are going to argue that the Browns can take Johnny at 4 and still fill all of their needs. I would agree with this, however, I don’t think Johnny is the best player on the board if he is available at 4. Let us play out the top 3 picks as, Jadeveon Clowny, Greg Robinson, and Khalil Mack. This leaves the Browns at 4 with a variety of options. They can select Sammy Watkins, Jake Mathews, Mike Evans, Blake Bortles, along with Johnny Manziel and a few others. If Ray Farmer’s words are true, and the Browns big board is driven by the best player available, does Johnny Manziel really make sense? The answer is NO. It is still being debated whether Johnny is even the best QB in this draft.

Recent rumors have the Browns shopping trade down options. Potential partners are the Falcons at 6, the Buccaneers at 7, and the Bills at 9. Draft value has a trade down with any of those spots netting the Browns an additional 3rd round pick this year. In this scenario the Browns would now have 11 picks in this draft. Even with trading down to 9, the Browns will still have great options on the board. If the goals of this draft are to grab the best players and to win now, I see the Browns trading down a few spots and acquiring an additional pick.

The other reason why the Browns won’t draft Johnny is two-fold. First, the model is win now. Johnny Manziel is a huge question mark when it comes to NFL success. I will admit, Johnny is fun to watch and he is a winner. However, there are a lot of “winners” in the last decade that have face-planted in the NFL. For fun, lets name a few; Colt McCoy, Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow, Vince Young (Yes, the Browns just signed Young), Sam Bradford (he is running out of chances to succeed), and Alex Smith. This list can go on and on, but you get the idea. This is a list of with Heisman winners and National Champions. With the exception of Smith, all of these guys played with big time college programs. How many Superbowl wins are on that list? Hell, how many starting Superbowl appearances are on that list. Don’t worry, I will go and refill my coffee while I wait for you to count them………… That’s right, it’s ZERO. Big time winning QB’s from traditional college programs do not impress me. So when people keep saying Johnny is a winner, I just refer to my previous list.

Second of all, if the Browns were smart, whatever QB they choose should be on the bench for the entire year. There is no way the 4th pick in the draft sits on the bench to start the season. As a joke, the Browns could draft Johnny and sit him, and he could be on the bench for 5 years and he would still be 3 years younger than Brandon Weeden during his first season. I won’t even start on how bad of an idea Brandon Weeden was.

Now, back to my point, the goal for the Browns is win now. With that in mind Johnny is too risky of a pick. The Browns are not a desperate franchise in terms of talent and potential ability to win. The Browns are a few moves away from being a playoff team. Picking Johnny at 4 would be a desperate ploy by a desperate team to draw in fans. The Browns are too smart for that, and they have too many picks available to stretch for Johnny. This is why trading down a few spots and adding an additional third round pick would be genius for the Browns. Forget about the round and think about it like this, with a trade down in the first round, the Browns would have 6 picks of the top 100 players in this draft. WOW.

-Rick Giavonette

Follow me on Twitter @CST_RickG

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