How about some sizzle? The Cleveland Browns made the correct choice by picking offensive tackle Joe Thomas over running back Adrian Peterson in the 2007 NFL Draft. NFL.com finds a way of pairing this year’s Petersonesque runner with Thomas before his expiration date though when Lance Zierlein mocks Leonard Fournette to the Browns with the No. 12 selection.
Running back is certainly not the biggest need on the Browns with Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson appearing to be a competent duo, but Zierlein argues that the talent is far too great for the team to pass on. Browns fans wouldn’t mind having a fun talent to cheer though there would still be a great many holes on the roster to fill.
No. 1 DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Garrett has an all-pro ceiling and combines elite traits with high-end football character. The Browns obviously need a quarterback, but they need great football players first and foremost, and Garrett has a chance to be special.
Given Joe Thomas’ statement about the Pittsburgh Steelers releasing Justin Gilbert, Garrett would be a refreshing selection as a high first-round pick. Not only is he the best prospect in the draft, but he is an outstanding person from all accounts. One example was utilizing a postgame presser to call for more help for the people of Haiti whom he had helped on a humanitarian mission the previous summer.
“I’d like to say one more thing. For all those affected with Hurricane Matthew, I wanted to say can you give whatever you have supporting and praying for them — those in Florida and those in Haiti. Can just pray for them and support Mission of Hope? And know their endeavors. They’re trying to pursue not only prayers, but them going out, actively helping them getting clothes, getting food, getting water for those who are without electricity or without anything right now. Without a home that’s just got blown away or washed away in the hurricane, so if you can support them. You know, show some love. Maybe send some letters, send some money, maybe send some clothes you don’t need or a canned food, it would be much appreciated. It would go a long way.”
If you are more into just pure football though, then he has plenty of good there too. Double-team Garrett in pass protection if you dare.
If you do not think Garrett is a factor against the run, then you are wrong.
No. 12 RB Leonard Fournette, LSU
If Fournette fell to this spot, the Browns might race their card to the podium. Teams don’t typically build around running backs anymore, but Fournette has rare size and speed and the potential to carry an offense on his back.
A ton was made about Fournette’s apparent decision to sit out LSU’s bowl game. Recently, he has come out to say it was a coach’s decision. Other sources have noted that his ankle injuries are a chronic condition that might need surgery at some point.
But, as long as he reminds some teams of Adrian Peterson, he will still have the potential to go high in the draft.