First and foremost, I just want to say the last few days have been rather comical for me knowing I was drafting for the Cleveland Browns. That said, let's discuss my pick for the fourth overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, which belongs to those Browns.
Cleveland had a much improved defense last season and they’re now focusing on the offensive side of the ball. In free agency, they added Ben Tate at tailback and Andrew Hawkins to their receiving corps to pair alongside budding star Josh Gordon. However, despite anchors at left tackle in Joe Thomas and center in Alex Mack, the Browns have little talent elsewhere on the offensive line.
The Browns' quarterback woes in recent years have been well-published, and the Green Bay Packers got to see them first-hand when they defeated a Brandon Weeden-led Browns team 31-13 in week 7 last season. The Browns used a combination of Weeden, Brian Hoyer, and Jason Campbell a year ago, but only Hoyer will return for the 2014 season.
With the 4th overall pick, the Cleveland Browns select:
Player: Johnny Manziel
School: Texas A&M
Year: Sophomore (RS)
Cleveland desperately needs a quarterback (we’ve been saying this for years) and some excitement, and this guy can clearly bring both if things shape out right. Despite his height, we know that Manziel can fling the football and make plays outside the pocket. With Blake Bortles already off the board and Teddy Bridgewater not having the cleanest of Pro Days (plus Manziel being connected to the Browns on multiple occasions), I decided to select him for the Browns.
Another option I considered for Cleveland was trading the pick along with Josh Gordon. I'm kidding, of course. The option I actually considered was drafting OT Greg Robinson from Auburn. If that were the case, the Browns would look to take someone like Derek Carr with their other first-round pick, or draft a Zach Mettenberger or another QB in the latter rounds. Of course, the last time the Browns went the route of drafting their quarterback in the late first-round, they drafted Brandon Weeden. He’s been awful, as we all know.
This draft pick for the Browns really shapes up a lot for them going forward. Going with Manziel would lead to them shifting towards a pass-happy offense, and going with Robinson would lean towards a run-based.
Both Manziel and Robinson are great talents, and yes, Cleveland has Brian Hoyer coming back next season and he played pretty well in his time before injury. But let’s face it, the Browns' quarterbacks over the past few years have been a complete joke around the league. The team has legitimate talent at most spots on their roster to help them compete, they just need that franchise quarterback. If they can take a potential star in Manziel, I think they should and will do it.
Round One Summary
|1||Houston Texans||Blake Bortles||QB||Central Florida|
|2||St. Louis Rams||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||South Carolina|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Khalil Mack||OLB||Buffalo|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M|