Plodding toward the draft
Two weeks to go before the 2018 National Football League draft. Why does it feel more like two months?
Two more agonizingly long weeks before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell officially kicks off one of the most eagerly awaited annual events in the entire sports world.
In all the years I have been writing about the Browns whether it’s this blog, the OBR or the Plain Dealer, I can’t remember a more anticipated draft than this one for this franchise.
Perhaps that is why it seems as though the last three months feels more like three years, it has seemingly passed so sloth-like. This lottery can’t arrive soon enough, if only because it will finally put a stop to all the ridiculous stories involving what will happen at the top.
In runaway train-like fashion, what the Browns do with the first overall selection has been reduced to soap opera level with all the drama that surrounds it.
The nonsensical notions put forth by the various pundits around the Internet are messing with the minds of a football constituency that right now is fragile to the point it will glom onto just about anything.
Many Browns fans don’t really know what to think. They believe they do, but shreds of doubt have to linger somewhere in their thought processes until the first overall pick is actually announced.
Which quarterback will they take? Who will be the lucky guy? Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield. Depending on whom you have read and choose to believe over the last month or so, it could be any of this quartet.
Or will the Browns even take a quarterback at No. 1? Most draft experts don’t rank any of these quarterbacks among their top prospects. That honor goes to either Penn State running back Saquon Barkley or North Carolina State edge rusher Bradley Chubb.
Most of the pundits who know for certain which name that will be have settled on either Darnold or Allen. Their guesses – and that is all they are – are based on nothing more than casual rumors from so-called insiders.
It is assumed Cleveland General Manager John Dorsey will have total control of the War Room. But will it require a majority or unanimous vote from his All-Star group of aides to nail down the final decisions?
And what about Jimmy Haslam III and Hue Jackson? The owner and his should-have-been fired coach will not exactly be shrinking violets in that room. What will their roles be? And does Dorsey attempt to nullify their presence?
I suspect the GM, at this time, has no idea whose name to place on that first card for Goodell to read. In fact, I would be surprised if that isn't the case. Time and circumstances have a way of altering well-planned moves. Sometimes at the last minute.
In the meantime, inquiring minds, i.e. Browns Nation, want to know. They will go unrewarded for another, sigh, two weeks.