Hey there! I’m an idiot who couldn’t keep this thing under 2,000 words so I broke it into 2 parts! This is Part One but you can click HERE for Part Two!
So the NFL draft’s first round FINALLY happened, and Johnny Manziel to Cleveland is of course the big story. I’m glad Manziel went to Cleveland. I like the idea of him becoming the face of a franchise, and he’s better off in Cleveland than Bortles is in Jacksonville (not by much, but I’m convinced Bortles will get the David Carr treatment with the Jags and he’ll be pounded into Hamburger Helper by his third year in the league) BUT I’m pretty worried for Manziel anyway.
I really like Manziel and I want him to succeed in the NFL. But this Cleveland organization has blown through 20 quarterbacks since they got their team back and most of them left Cleveland as shattered husks of their former selves. (see: Couch, Timothy).
Moreover, the ownership and management do not lend hope to Manziel’s success. The Cleveland GM was like a scared little puppy out there, running around, trading all the picks that two MUCH better personnel guys put together in Cleveland’s warchest… a warchest which had Cleveland fans refreshingly optimistic. That continues to be a comically bad move, but more so after tonight. It was bad in the first place to think these guys who managed to turn the “run 2 yards and fall down” Trent Richardson into Indianapolis’s first round pick (a move that should have earned Lombardi and Banner co-GM of the year awards in its own right) and stockpiled 11 picks in this years draft, including 2 first rounders and 7 in the top 127. That is an amazing, franchise saving draft board. Banner and Lombardi assembled it, and it got them fired. Farmer took a sledgehammer to it and keeps the job. What an excellent owner you are Jimmy Haslam.
Now, this is sad to me, for one because I really like Lombardi. He’s an excellent NFL analyst and writer, and I was incredibly excited to root for him with the Browns. I loved how right some of his analysis turned out to be once he got a team in his hand. He disliked Trent Richardson, flipped him for a first rounder, and Trent promptly sucked in Indy. He loved Brian Hoyer as a backup in New England, always said the first thing he would do if he took over a team was trade for Hoyer. He brought him to Cleveland and Hoyer promptly made the Browns exciting, instantly developing chemistry with Tight End Jordan Cameron before heartbreakingly injuring himself and taking the Browns’ season down with him.
Buuuuut none of that was any good. So Haslam promptly fired his two excellent front office men and replaced them with a dude who runs an NFL team like he’s playing Madden on his Xbox. Those trades made no sense. Trading down from 4 I was fine with but they didn’t get nearly enough back. Then they promptly gave up their meager gains from that trade to trade up 2 more times … one of which was ONE PLACE from 9 to 8 to take Justin Gilbert who wasn’t going to be drafted until #10 anyway… so that was a waste… then he gave up even more picks to move up from 26 to 22 to draft Manziel which is fine, but it cost them a 3rd rounder which was too high a price to move up 4 spots at the end of the first round. All things considered they didn’t really hurt themselves there, but I can’t help but think that Haslam was telling the truth when he said he turns to the homeless for his draft day consultations. In any event Cleveland is very talent depleted. Hoyer can bridge the gap nicely while Manziel gets up to speed with the NFL game and Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron will help Johnny Football bring excitement to Cleveland, but I for one am worried for the guy… but what do I know… only the homeless can be trusted with personnel decisions.
HOWEVER… after watching the first round I can’t help but think the Lions would be better off with a homeless man running their team than Martin Mayhew.
Click HERE for Part Two!