The Browns are making up for a disastrous 2014 NFL Draft here in 2021.
The Cleveland Browns signed Jadeveon Clowney. Let that sentence sink in for a minute.
Clowney is headed to Cleveland on a one-year deal to play alongside Myles Garrett in what should be an unstoppable defensive front. Both are former No. 1 overall picks as well.
Clowney was the No.1 pick back in 2014 in what was a historically terrible draft for the Browns. The team had two picks and used the first on defensive back Justin Gilbert. The second was famously, or infamously, used to bring Johnny Manziel to Cleveland. Landing Clowney in 2021 is a nice roundabout way to make up for that 2014 debacle of a draft.
Browns finally righting 2014 wrongs
The Browns are an entirely different organization in 2021. Elite talent actually wants to play in Cleveland. But it is never too late to correct past mistakes.
Clowney is not the only member of the 2014 draft class to find his way to Cleveland. Odell Beckham Jr. was the No. 12 overall pick in that draft and was available when the Browns made the decision to draft Gilbert at No. 8 overall. The team was actually on the upswing in 2014, so who knows how things could have been different if Beckham started his career in Cleveland.
The Gilbert and Manziel picks essentially started a new era in Cleveland. The team looked like a contender in 2014, only to lose the final five games of that season. 2015 was a disaster and a true rebuild started in 2016 with Hue Jackson as head coach. As we know now, things only got worse.
Hitting on first-round draft picks is an easy way to turn around a franchise. The Browns appear to have done that with Garrett, Denzel Ward, and Baker Mayfield. Adding Beckham was also huge, even if his impact hasn’t been felt so far.
Landing Clowney is just another bonus for this already stacked roster. Fans in Cleveland remember the days when the thought of signing elite free agents was nothing more than a dream or a pointless topic on sports talk radio. Now it is happening and the current front office led by Andrew Berry is making up for all the embarrassing mistakes of the past.
Browns fans can now actually laugh about the 2014 draft now that the top pick from the class is in Cleveland.