I love it when we all agree! I only have one thing to add about the idea of the Browns drafting Saquon Barkley before I let other WFNY’ers carry the rest of the water on this topic. You’ll get my take in a second.
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Also, we know you have many choices for bracket pick ’em leagues, but please add one more free one to your list. Our podcast sponsor Minuteman Tickets is having Minuteman Madness. They’re giving away prizes to winners, and there’s also a separate WFNY group that will get its own prize. Please sign up today and enter both the main and WFNY groups! They’ll be checking up on us to see how many of our people join our group so help us out and join Minuteman Madness and maybe win a prize with your picking prowess.
The Cleveland Browns shouldn’t draft a running back in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft
The title kind of says it all. Every time I start to write about this, I think back to Mike Hattery covering it on these pages. I think about Joe Gerberry hitting it too and I feel like I can just save my breath. So, I will. Mostly.
I will add that I think any idea of drafting Barkley is the sound of fear in the fanbase. A team that sits with two picks in the top four needs to answer their quarterback conundrum. Beyond Barkley, the debate around town this week is whether or not you would hypothetically trade one and four for Russell Wilson. The only way I do that is if my stupid butt is the one who is doing the picking. I can’t scout quarterbacks well enough to have any confidence that I’m going to fill the position better than a known quantity like Russell Wilson.
That’s why you and I aren’t making the pick, however. I don’t think Wilson is “worth” the one and four unless you’re too scared that you can’t get the QB situation correct in Cleveland. Despite our misreable history as Browns fans, our suckitude is in service of taking the shot at answering the question for ourselves with a guy who is in his early 20’s and should be the Browns answer for a long time. If you’re scared, you’re too much Dawg.
Now, onto the WFNY Barkley takes.
On January 2, Hattery fired the first shots and knowing what I know of our behind the scenes conversations, I know it hasn’t changed since Barkley went video game at the NFL Scouting Combine.
One of the recent arguments for drafting a running back near the top of the first round is Ezekiel Elliott. In many ways, the Elliott example illuminates the value of drafting running back in a circumstance where a team can compete immediately. At the time of the pick, Elliot was drafted to a loaded Cowboys team who had collapsed due to a quarterback injury. Indeed, Elliot was drafted to complement a team with the best offensive line in football and a pro-bowl caliber quarterback. In this context, drafting a running back in the first 10 picks makes a lot of sense because the front-loaded nature of running back production is useful to a team primed for contention.
However, the Browns are not a team ready for immediate contention, and offensively, seems miles from competence despite seemingly adequate weapons. The Browns need to use this pick on a player with a longer peak shelf-life and overall, better staying power.
Even though Gerberry thinks the Browns should consider Barkley at No. 4, I’ll paste his thoughts in here as well. I don’t love Barkley at four, but I’d talk myself into it. I’d never talk myself into Barkley at one.
I get it. Barkley amazed at the combine. Outlifted linemen, outran wide receivers, out jumped almost everyone. The explosiveness of the Penn State product gave fans and media members heart-eyed emojis as they thought of him running through what was and still is a rather stout offensive line3 in the orange and white. His offensive production in college has almost unrivaled and inserting him into the gritty AFC North is exactly the type of football Browns fans want to see. However…he’s not the right pick at number one. Take the quarterback and plan on Barkley at No. 4. It can happen that way, it should happen that way. Don’t screw this up, Dorsey.
Book Review: Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue by Ryan Holiday
This week I listened to an audiobook called Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday about the undoing of Gawker by Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel. It was fascinating to get the inside scoop of how everything went down even already knowing the end of the case and Gawker’s ultimate fate.
I was initially intimidated by the 11 hours and 39 minutes run time, but after listening to Ryan Holiday’s cadence, I amped that sucker up to 1.5x speed in my Audible app. It was absolutely fine at that speed with Holiday’s deliberate pace and enunciation. That’s a much more manageable seven hours and 45 minutes.
As for the topic itself, it’s worth considering with some distance and time from Gawker and their “wild west” approach to internet journalism and blogging. They dared the world to stop them, and their brash flaunting of the First Amendment didn’t save them from the time they posted a celebrity sex tape that had been stolen.
If you really think about it, the world has changed considerably in the past 10 years and this case has had quite an impact. We’re more concerned with ideas like revenge porn, hacked phones with nude picture leaks, and even the darker corners of places like Reddit that have been forced to come to grips with a new, more restrained, less lawless version of the internet.
Sometimes it feels like we never make any progress and that nothing ever changes. This is an example of something that has caused drastic change even if other problems cause us not to realize it all the time.