The Browns are in a strange position this year: As of today, we have the number one pick in the draft (i.e. worst record in the league). We haven’t had the number one draft pick since 2000 and many fans are rooting for the team to go down in shambles to hold onto that pick. We’ve consistently had high draft picks but never seem to be within grasp of that one player we really wanted in the draft. That may change this year….unless the Ravens out-Brown us.
As a Browns fan, we’ve seen our share of bad seasons. I can’t even remember the last time that we haven’t had to start our third string QB at some point in the season. Injuries have ravaged our seasons and turned potential to disappointment. The Ravens are having that type of season. Before the season even began, they lost their first round draft pick (Breshad Perriman). They’ve lost All-Pro linebacker Terrell Suggs in week 1. The unbreakable Steve Smith Jr broke. Center Jeremy Zuttah went down last week and now Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett go down this week (perhaps as a result). The Ravens are, by far, having an awful year when it comes to injuries.
While the Browns do hold the number 1 pick currently (with a 2-8 record), the Ravens are 3-7. One measly game separates the cellar teams of the AFC North and they meet this Monday. This will be the second of the two slap fights between these two teams. The first contest was taken by the Browns 33-30 in October. If the Browns win Monday, the Ravens will have the worst record in the league (as the Browns would have beaten them twice). And, unfortunately, the Browns are publicly looking to end this season on a positive note.
Wouldn’t it be just like the Ravens to swoop in and steal the number one draft pick in next year’s draft? Of course, San Diego, Detroit, and Tennessee are in this same conversation. But they all have different needs than the Browns. San Diego and Tennessee will probably target OT’s while Detroit is probably in the same position as the Browns (they could use a multitude of players).
But, if the Ravens did get the number one draft pick, would they target the same players that Cleveland would? Many mock drafts currently have the Ravens targeting OSU pass rusher Joey Bosa. With Ohio State right down the road, many fans here are pushing for the same. Of course, it’s not a draft without the Browns needing a QB so the experts are saying that’s where they’ll go. With Johnny Manziel under center now for the rest of the year, time will tell whether that is true or not. Personally, I think Bosa or another pass rusher will complete the defense. Offensively, I’d go WR (and the highest WR on the board is going to Dallas at 5).
Since returning in 1999, the Browns have had the number 3 pick 4 times. In 2007, they hit on Joe Thomas at that position. Having the number 1 pick does not guarantee success, but it at least puts the team in charge of its own destiny. That may be one of the problems that the team has dealt with over the last 15 years: They’ve been really bad, and sometimes they’re even awful. But, they are rarely the worst. We can’t even win at losing, and it would be completely ironic to see the Baltimore Ravens out-Brown us again.