NFL Draft Apathy

OBR Browns Reporter
Posted Apr 24, 2013


This year’s draft, like so many in the recent past, feature a top-10 pick for the Cleveland Browns and with it the potential to land an impact player.

 

I want to have NFL Draft apathy for all the right reasons.

Imagine approaching late April knowing the draft won’t be appointment television.

The Browns have a late-round pick. He’ll no doubt be a solid player and fill a need, but he won’t be someone who is considered the team savior.

Imagine entering the draft weekend knowing you can follow along on Twitter while working on your golf swing.

Instead, this year’s draft, like so many in the recent past, feature a top-10 pick for the Cleveland Browns and with it the potential to land an impact player.

Add in another new coach and another new front office staff and that ratchets up the intensity.

So why have I been so aphetic leading up to the three-day draft extravaganza?

Fool me once

Phil Savage was the next great general manager. So, too, was Tom Heckert.

Those two witnessed a combined zero Browns playoff games. I want to believe Mike Lombardi has learned from his past mistakes and Joe Banner is ready to repeat and improve on the success he experienced in Philadelphia.

I’m just not all in with these guys … yet. Since 1999, I’ve had one too many leaps into the deep end of the pool only to choke myself by swallowing too much water.

Unanswered roster questions

All of our questions won’t be answered by the time the draft ends Saturday afternoon. How exactly will coordinators Norv Turner and Ray Horton use the players the Browns draft and the players the Browns currently have?

So much is expected to change on the field from last year to this year. This week’s draft is only a small piece of that final puzzle. With or without these new first-year players, there are so many questions at various positions on this roster.

Those questions won’t begin to get answered until the season begins.

Too many opinions

You can swing a dead computer mouse without hitting 50 draft experts nowadays. The online boom of NFL Draft experts seems to be moving at an exponential pace.

That isn’t to say the original, Mel Kiper, is the end all. He’s made some glaring errors in his past.

This is an inexact science. I’m tired of reading grades on draft classes for players who haven’t even signed NFL contracts. Or, hearing that this player was a steal or that player was a reach.

We can only speculate how good these players are based on their college game and the gap between college football and pro football is as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Ownership issues

Fraud.

That word has been hanging over me ever since last Monday. NFL owners getting in trouble with federal agencies isn’t a weekly occurrence.

Haslam may be innocent in all of this, but there is some evidence that is unlikely. I can’t help but feel uneasy about where this is going. Perhaps it is the cynicism of a Cleveland sports fan, but this situation simply isn’t good when the FBI and IRS raid your owner’s company.

My gut feeling is this doesn’t end well for Haslam and, more importantly, his newest toy, our beloved Cleveland Browns.

Summary

Honestly, it just feels like a wait-and-see approach with these Browns.

Wait and see if Lombardi and Banner can bolster this roster’s talent.

Wait and see if Haslam’s legal troubles trickle down to the Browns.

Wait and see if Rob Chudzinski is ready to make the leap to NFL head coach.

Wait and see if quarterback Brandon Weeden thrives under offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

Wait and see if defensive coordinator Ray Horton can re-create Dick LeBeau’s 3-4 defense in Cleveland.

Until the team starts training camp and games start being played, I’ll enjoy this weekend for the simple fact that NFL football returns to center stage. That said, steadying that golf swing for the upcoming summer seems a bit more pressing.


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