Suffering is something that Cleveland sports fans have become very familiar with over the years. Not since their Cleveland Browns won 1964 NFL Championship has there been a pro team that brought home a title. LeBron James of course came close before jumping ship and breaking a city’s collective hearts. Focusing on the Browns, 1999 was supposed to be the rebirth of this once proud franchise when they returned. That year quarterback Tim Couch was drafted at the same time being chosen to represent a new era.
Well most know how this experiment turned out. Over five seasons Couch could only produce a record of 22-37 with 64 touchdowns and 67 interceptions. Kelly Holcomb created some excitement leading them back to the playoffs in 2002. Since then there has only been one winning season (2007) when their 10-6 record didn’t even qualify for postseason action. Quarterback stability also continues to elude this organization, although in my opinion Colt McCoy did not get enough time to develop. What they have right now in Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell, and Brian Hoyer simply will not cut it.
This year’s Draft offers several intriguing options. Teddy Bridgewater is the most “pro ready” according to some. Blake Bortles continues his climb up many projections. However, Johnny Manziel captures the imagination of fans and experts alike. Manziel’s ability to extend plays outside the pocket dazzles spectators while he also excels on designed runs. Questions about passing at the next level because of height might present an issue to certain scouts, but players like Drew Brees have shown that “shorter” signal-callers can thrive.
“Johnny Football’s” doubts are mainly based on behavioral concerns. While Cleveland enjoys a great vibe with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it does not have the same temptations of New York. Weapons like Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron could allow him to smoothly transition. If Bridgewater is gone, taking Manziel with their No. 4 pick may breathe life into this franchise.