Hope all of you are having a great weak and a good Wednesday morning. Given Tuesday night’s news, I have a feeling that many of you are not only happy but already looking forward to football season, even more than you usually are.
For the past five weeks, Wednesday mornings have been reserved for NFL Mock Draft Roundups here on WFNY. Well, given that the Cleveland Browns no longer have a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, at least for now, last Wednesday was the final WFNY NFL Mock Draft Roundup. It was a good run.
So let’s get right to it: On March 5, Browns safety Damarious Randall tweeted that John Dorsey is a low-key genius. A number of cryptic tweets from others followed.
John Dorsey lowkey a genius…
— Damarious Randall (@RandallTime) March 5, 2019
It was at that moment that Cleveland fans were very curious as to the reason he tweeted that. Some that it was a possible extension, others speculated that it was a big-time trade. Fast-forward one week and well, it was a big (HUGE?) trade. Dorsey went from a low-key genius to officially a genius in a matter of seven days.
John Dorsey is officially a genius…
— Damarious Randall (@RandallTime) March 13, 2019
Whether he knew about a possible OBJ trade or not one week ago, it appears that, well, Dorsey is a genius.
Tuesday night, all that smoke became fire when the Browns traded for Odell Beckham Jr. It was a move that not only excited the Dawg Pound but put all of the NFL on notice. Cleveland will not only likely be the favorite to win the AFC North, but can I say, they may be among the top three or so odds to go to the Super Bowl? I know, we need to slow it down a little and let it all play out first, but look at this team!
In addition to acquiring OBJ, the Browns also signed defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson this week and traded for defensive end Olivier Vernon late last week as well. Both the trades and signing will likely become official soon after the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday afternoon.
In just 16 months leading the Browns, the general manager has already proven that he gets it. While he did so during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s much easier (and fun) to realize that now that he’s in Cleveland.
After the Browns went a perfect (imperfect?) 0-16 in 2016, Dorsey was tasked with improving one of the worst teams in NFL history immediately. While it was expected to take some time before the Browns became legitimate AFC North contenders, let alone Super Bowl contenders, Cleveland needed a winning football team, something that they have seemingly been in search of since their return in 1999. Little did we all know, the rebuild would go much quicker and smoother than we expected.
What a difference two years makes pic.twitter.com/WDVaI9HmDB
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) March 13, 2019
Add in that their front seven on defense is very good and well, this team could be something special in the very near future. That doesn’t even count what the Browns will do throughout the rest of free agency and in the draft either. There’s still plenty of time to improve this team quite a bit before training camp.
You could argue that the Browns have 11-of-22 of the best position players in the AFC North: QB, RB, WR1, WR2, TE, LG, DE1, DE2, DT2, CB1, FS. Less than one year ago, eight of those weren’t even on that list. Let that sink in.1
Browns have best AFC North
QB (long-term if not short-term too)
11-of-22 starting spots. Only 3 of those players were on the team just one year ago (TE, LG, DE1).
— michael bode (@mgbode_WFNY) March 13, 2019
Taking a look back, even before the 2018 NFL Draft, Dorsey made a huge splash when he traded for the trio of Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor, and Randall. Landry was a proven Pro-Bowl wide receiver that brought plenty of swagger and skill to a team in search of both, Taylor, well, that was a short run, and last but certainly not least, the Browns acquired Randall from the Green Bay Packers for only DeShone Kizer. Dorsey should be charged with highway robbery for that alone.
Then in his first draft with the Browns, Dorsey shocked the entire NFL world when he selected Baker Mayfield with the first-overall pick.2 Then instead of taking defensive end Bradley Chubb at No. 4, the general manager once again surprised many and instead took Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. Both Mayfield and Ward have already proven that they can be cornerstones on offense and defense.
The Dawg Pound seems to always look forward to football season. The Football Town that Cleveland is seems to have much higher expectations for their favorite football team than what they should have, expectations that turn out to be wrong. But you guys, in 2019, it’s clear that those expectations are becoming a reality. There’s a good chance that the Browns will be the favorites to win the AFC North this fall. Just two years after Cleveland was 0-16, they will not only be the favorites to win the division but, well, we’ll just leave it at that.
Enjoy this, Browns fans. Dorsey is building something special and it appears that Cleveland finally has a legitimate professional football franchise on the shores of Lake Erie. The Browns are quickly becoming America’s Team. Oh, and remember all those years it was so tough for the Browns to play a primetime game? That won’t be tough to do anymore. It will be a growing process and there will absolutely be some low points, but this time is on the rise and it’s only going to get better and better as time goes on. What a time to be alive.
Did anyone else wake up feeling dangerous or was it just me?