Browns set up to get better through draft

Who’s ready for the NFL draft to be here by now?

Doesn’t it seem like forever that we have been talking about it, or writing about it?

And for Browns’ fans, it has been even longer that we had been pointing toward the coming weekend.

How about since during last year’s NFL regular season?

Ugh!

You know we get excited about the NFL draft, but as we get closer, the realization that the Browns’ front office will screw it up every year and then it is right back to frustration.

Double Ugh!

But this year is going to be different!

What?

Why?

Because it HAS to be different for the Browns.

The franchise has hit rock bottom.

There isn’t one position where you say that they are OK with.

Probably quarterback if there is even one, and that contradicts most of Browns fandom with the thought that Cleveland will never be good again until it drafts a “franchise” quarterback.

Do you really believe that the Browns would have traded out of the No. 2 overall pick if they thought that either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz were that?

Look, I know this team needs a “franchise” signal-caller, but the Browns have way too many needs.

That is why the trade down last week to get more draft picks was a good thing.

There is a rumor that the Browns may even trade down again, come Thursday night.

Right now, Cleveland owns 12 draft picks this coming weekend, including six of the top 100.

That appears to be a fantastic opportunity to begin the rebuilding of this team.

Again, the “negative nellies” will point to previous drafts and the Browns making poor choices — year after year.

You could make a case that the Browns haven’t had a good draft since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999.

More ugh!

The last time I was happy with a Browns top pick was when they selected Alabama running back Trent Richardson back in the 2012 draft.

At the time, former Indianapolis Colts vice chairman Bill Polian reportedly called Richardson — “one of the three sure-thing players” in that draft.

I didn’t like the Browns giving up picks to move up one spot to get him, but it was the “stud running back” that we needed.

How did that work out?

Not good!

Although, few remember that Richardson’s rookie season in Cleveland, he actually tied Jim Brown’s rookie touchdown rushing record with nine TDs.

Sure went downhill after that.

So have the Browns’ drafts, too.

Do I have to bring up that the Browns had a second first round pick in 2012 — Brandon Weeden?

Then in 2013, their first round pick was Barvevious Mingo.

In 2014, must I remind us of Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel?

Oh, and last year it was Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving.

Ugh, ugh, ugh, and more ugh!

Heeeellllpppp!

We can only go one way in 2016.

The draft AND the franchise.

And the best way to rebuild a team is through the draft.

The Browns have set themselves up with 12 picks this year, already an extra first round choice in 2017, and have added a pick for 2018.

Now they have to make good selections!

Good luck Browns!

I will be rooting for you this weekend to have a great draft!

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By Vince Koza

Contributing Columnist

You can comment to Vince Koza at [email protected]