Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski had more than just an NFL draft waiting for them last weekend; they had the nervous, fatalistic, expectations Browns fans have for NFL Draft. We as Browns fans are so used to being the offseason champions that the draft almost fills the hole of winning itself. The Browns have acted like your one friend in your fantasy league who thinks he knows everything about football, but ends up drafting Tom Brady as his first pick. That’s been this organization in a nutshell.
The fan base has done mental gymnastics over the years to justify the lack of vision, cohesion, and chaos that was happening in Berea and would spill into every draft weekend. It seems like that same culture has seeped into the culture of the Dawg pound because we don’t know any better.
This time around this draft felt strange, not in the sense like I’m completely flabbergasted by what The Browns did, but what they didn’t do. Their draft wasn’t anything flashy, sexy, or too smart for their own good. The draft picks felt more logical, calculated, and purposeful than the chaotic drafts of years past.
Andrew Berry’s picks all made sense for his coach. He gifted Stefanski with possibly the best tackle in this class in Jedrick Wills and drafted him a tight end in Harrison Bryant that can help run the two tight end sets he loves so much. Also, he added a center in Nick Harris, who has the skill set to run the outside zone scheme. Every pick seems to be catering to the partnership we haven’t seen in Cleveland in a very long time.
Obviously we need to pump the brakes before we crown Andrew Berry king of Cleveland. Doing what he is supposed to do shouldn’t win him any brownie points. The fact this is considered progress in Berea, with how much infighting, ownership meddling, and a lack of direction has put the team behind the 8 ball for years and this has been refreshing. This offseason’s plan has been in motion since the free agency period and the draft picks seem to highlight what makes this regime different than the others. This group together seems to have a clear cut vision, with Andrew Berry being aggressive in finding the right players not just to help Kevin Stefanski run his offense, but their collective vision for how they want to Browns to be.
Of course, were in late April, I might just be a complete homer who is falling in love with every pick. This could blow up in my face like it has for the last 20 years of my Browns fandom, but for some reason, I feel like everything has been laid out to lend me the confidence that this group can finally get the Browns on track. In other words, I’m ready to get hurt again, GO BROWNS!
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