After Season Of Misery, Browns Now On The Clock For 2017 NFL Draft

The Cleveland Browns, no matter how the game would have ended yesterday, had a rather Cleveland Browns sort of day. They put up a fight throughout the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, even jumping out to an early 14-0 lead, and then scoring a field goal to start the overtime period, but still managed to lose, and in doing so, they locked up the first-overall draft pick for the 2017 NFL Draft.

They nearly got the win—and lost the top pick—late in regulation when a 43-yard pass set them up with first and goal from the five-yard line, only to see running back Isaiah Crowell fumble the ball at the three-yard line, courtesy of backup outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, the only player on defense who was playing due to the decision to rest somebody.

The Browns only narrowly avoided a winless season when a late blocked field goal against the Chargers a week ago preserved their 20-17 lead late in the fourth quarter. But they still concluded their first campaign under the latest regime spearheaded by Head Coach Hue Jackson with a 1-15 record, the worst record in the league.

While they did not manage to join the Lions as the only ‘unfeated’ team in the 16-game era, they may still be in the discussion for the worst team of all time, as the Lions in that season were often significantly more competitive than this Cleveland team proved to be, and found more spectacular ways to play leads and lose games.

Incredibly, the Browns in 2016 not only allowed their quarterbacks to be sacked a total of 66 times over the course of the year, averaging four and a quarter sacks per game, they allowed a total of six different pass-throwers to be sacked, including three who were sacked at least 18 times. In five games, Robert Griffin III was sacked 22 times.

On the flip side, the Browns only recorded 26 sacks all year. Their defense ranked 30th in points allowed and 31st in total yards allowed, while the offense was 31st in points scored and 30th in yards gained. But that, of course, shouldn’t be too surprising for a team that narrowly one won single game all year.

While it did drag on one extra day, their misery of 2016, however, is finally behind them, and they can soon begin to prepare for how to rebound and get their ship sailing on the right path. They do believe that they have the right regime in place. It’s just a matter of putting the right team together and coaching it up.

Having the first-overall draft pick will help, as will the many other high draft picks that they have accumulated via trades over the course of the past couple of years. I would imagine that the biggest intrigue following them is whether or not one of those high picks gets used on a quarterback, and what Griffin’s future is with respect to the starting lineup.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Big White

    They should have taken Wentz at #2 or Lynch when they moved down to #8 which they traded away also. Now, this 2017 class is very weak at QB. They may have an interest with Mitch Trubinsky of North Carolina as he’s a Cleveland native. He’s not a lottery pick, but probably won’t be there at #33 in the second either. Problem is, Trubinsky is a sprint option guy as was Lynch and is definitely not a opening day starter, unless……you are the Clevelend Browns.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I think they have the offensive pieces in place to be very good.

  • Applebite

    The Browns MUST get that O-line in order. If it’s the players, take care of it. If it’s the coaches, take care of it. But no matter what they do, they must get that O-line in order, or it won’t matter who they pick up in the draft, they will FAIL.

    It’s been this way since their re-entry into the league. When they picked Tim C”ouch”, they didn’t have a decent line to protect him with. Couch got hit more times than any QB ever did, entering the league.

    56 times, he was sacked in 1999. Think about that for a moment. He was sacked an additional 51 times in 2001. He was sacked 166 times (33.2 sacks per season) during his 5 year stint with the Browns. Keep in mind, he didn’t finish a couple of seasons, thanks to being injured.

    “Oh. Well, how did that happen (Tim being injured so badly…)?”

    Oh, I don’t know. The AFC North have these ‘free range’ LBs and DLs running around, I guess they’re responsible… When you think back to the defensive players running around at the time in the AFC North, there were some serious hitters running around out there.

    They broke a very good QB coming out of college, because they never bothered to focus on the O-line. Hue Jackson can’t afford to travel that path, regardless of who his QB is. That O-line must be a priority. Trade for players, pick up good ones, do whatever. Just fix that O-line.

  • SouthernSteel

    They can get 3 defensive stars with first 3 picks and have a nice defense then work on the OL and QB next year

  • Zhan 使美国再次伟大

    Fix their o-line and build on defense.

    Shelton is a great cornerstone…