The headline is not a mistake and it’s nothing for you to laugh at. You may be asking yourself; “how can a team, that is now winless win a tough division like the AFC North the following season”? Easy.
The Cleveland Brows are not 0-12 because of a lack of talent on their roster. The Browns are 0-12 due to injuries, youth and one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. But, there is a silver-lining in all this madness. The Philadelphia Eagles made a ton of moves in the offseason to acquire the No.2 pick, which they used to select QB Carson Wentz. Wentz has done a good job leading the Eagles in his rookie year but Browns fan are still scratching their head wondering what could have been had they selected him.[embedit snippet=”2″]
No need to cry over spilled milk Dawg Pound, you are better off without him.
I’m not saying that Wentz is a bad QB but what the Eagles gave the Browns, in the long run, may just be enough to take them to the top of the North in 2017. The Eagles gave the Brown a first-round pick, at the time it didn’t seem like much as the Eagles thought they would be a playoff contending team. And as they raced out to a 3-0 record it looked as if that pick would fall somewhere in the late 20’s. But my oh my, how things have changed. With the Eagles at 5-7, that pick could fall in the top 10 or further depending if the Eagles continue their downward spiral.
What that will give the Browns is two picks in the top 10 or better come the 2017 Draft. Now, who’s to say that those two players will turn out to be stars but the Browns are in a position to make serious noise next season.
The Browns have talent. I hope they don’t do anything stupid like waste one of those first rounders on a QB that’s not needed. They have two that can play at the NFL level now in RG3 and Cody Kessler. The Browns will need to look elsewhere with those high picks. There’s no telling what’s going to happen with the Josh Gordon situation and the Brown will be wise to take a glance in the direction of Clemson WR, Mike Williams. Williams has great speed and hands which will make him a perfect complement to Terrelle Pryor on the opposite side.
Their main area of concern is the pass rush. The Browns are last in the NFL in sacks and must find a way to get to the QB to let their talented secondary do their job. If the Eagles should continue to falter, the Browns could very well end up with the 1st and 5th picks. If that’s the case they will need to grab either Myles Garrett (A&M) or Charles Harris (Missouri). Both players can play the edge, which will free up the LBs to attack the run and cover the middle of the field.
But, the Browns are not done there. They have so many options with these picks that it could give you a headache just thinking about it. What they are not able to get in the first round, they can always pick up in the second with the two picks they have waiting. Then there is a little thing called Free Agency.[embedit snippet=”2″]
But, how do these picks equal a division title?
The Browns will not have as tough as a schedule they had this year. In 2016 the team has faced eight teams with winning records, who might all be in the playoffs this season. The division is not what it once was. The Bengals are in decline and may see a change in leadership. The Steelers are still good but they are getting older and you can see the cracks in their armor and the Ravens are hanging on by a thread. If the Browns are to make a move, 2017 is the year to do so.
The team is not that far off. What most people see is that 0-12 record and forget the laundry list of injuries they have and some of the inexperienced players that were forced to step up. But what happens in 2017? Those same players that had no experience will now have regular season reps, have learned the ropes a little and will be ready. Then you add in the players that were injured, high draft picks and possible a free agent or two and the Browns will be as good as any team in their divison. And to be fair, there is no real divison bully like the Patriots or the Cowboys. The North is up for grabs.
And thanks to the Eagles and Carson Wentz, they will have all the options needed.