Farmer Shines

Farmer Shines

Forget the deabte about Johnny Football or the rumors swirling Josh Gordon for now, Browns' GM doin' work on the first two days of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Johnny Savior?

Maybe, maybe not, but the discussion of whether or not Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel is the team's long-needed franchise quarterback can wait.

Flash "In-The-Pan" Gordon?

We don't know the full story or whether or not Gordon will be a suspended an entire year for smoking pot.

Ray Farmer's Draft Day proved to be more interesting and exciting than the fictional Draft Day, an impregnation of Jennifer Garner notwithstanding.

Cleveland Browns fans and first-year general manager Ray Farmer is banking on Manziel to lead this franchise out of its more-than-a-decade era of suck.

"The Browns have not made the playoffs since 2002," flashed on the NFL Network broadcast before the team's pick at No. 9.

That's 11 years of losing football, 11 years of bad drafts, 11 years of failed free agents and 11 years of a team without a franchise quarterback.

Farmer may have secured that latter issue Thursday night. Again, this isn't about Manziel, even though the override theme of the NFL Draft television broadcasts were ‘When would Johnny Football get drafted?"

Farmer answered that question at No. 22, but it was not his only thing done all evening.

Three trades. Two selections of need. One 2015 first-round draft pick.

Regardless of your opinion on Manziel, it is hard not to like what Farmer did Friday night.

His first pick was one of need. As much as Buster Skrine improved last season, he is best suited as a slot cover corner. Insert Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, the first of nine defensive backs selected Friday night. Gilbert has size for a corner at 6-foot, he has speed (4.37 40-yard dash) and on many draftniks boards he was the best defensive back in this draft. In case you've forgotten, the Browns already have a Pro Bowl corner in Joe Haden. Add in Farmer's free agent signing of Donte Whitner, the Browns now have three top-10 draft picks in their secondary.

Speaking of high draft picks, the Browns defense also has first-round picks Phil Taylor (2011) and Barkevious Mingo (2013) and key free agent signings in Karlos Dansby and Whitner. The Browns have loaded up on talent on the defensive side of the ball. Not a bad idea when you have league foes with Super Bowl winning quarterbacks in Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco.

Three years is what it takes to accurately judge a draft. We know the amount of draft fails the Browns have had since 1999. Heck, we know them by heart. No need to rehash them now.

Remember the first time the Browns picked a quarterback at No. 22? No, not in 2012, but in 2007. After taking Joe Thomas at No. 3, the Browns moved up to take Brady Quinn at No. 22. All the talking heads were praising the Browns move and giving them an ‘A' draft grade. Thomas worked out, Quinn not so much.

On Friday night, news broke of Gordon's possible 16-game suspension. At that point, it was an ESPN report, but it was being refuted by Gordon's camp. Because of the news, Twitter was calling for the Browns to take a wide receiver in the second or third rounds. The Browns took an offensive lineman (Nevada's Joe Bitonio) and a linebacker (Iowa's Christian Kirksey). Sticking to the script.

According to the ESPN report, the Browns knew of Gordon's issue. It's easy to assume the Browns know more about this situation than your or I. The passing ofa wide receiver Friday in a deep class means they're confident Gordon will be back in 2014, right? Like Manziel, that discussion is for another time.

It would be ludicrous to definitely say Farmer earned an ‘A' on this draft so soon and after just two rounds.

Yet Thursday and Friday night felt different. The Browns draft felt calm, controlled, calculated and intelligent. Considering what we've seen from past regimes, it is a welcomed change.

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