Who Should The Browns Take Fourth Overall?

Who Should The Browns Take Fourth Overall?

Saquon Barkley or Minkah Fitzpatrick?
1318
views

At this point in the year, most football minds have their attention focused on free agency and the draft. As crazy and incredible as free agency can be, my real interest lies on the college players who will find themselves getting paid millions of dollars this April. More specifically, which of those college athletes will be on the Browns.

With the first and fourth picks in the NFL draft, there is no shortage of possibilities for the Browns. Assuming the Browns get one of the many quarterbacks who will be available come free agency, it's my opinion that they should still use their first pick on a quarterback. A quarterback at number one is almost a foregone conclusion by now. The fourth pick, on the other hand, is still very much a mystery.

Even though you'll have the odd analyst every once in a while who will mock a QB at 4 or even Bradley Chubb, for the most part, it's believed that the Browns will select either Saquon Barkley or Minkah Fitzpatrick. With Jabrill Peppers playing out of position for much of last season and the perception that Isaiah Crowell will not return to the Browns, free safety and running back with certainly be positions of need for the Browns.

Despite that, each player and position come with their own drawbacks. For starters, neither position is typically considered valuable enough to be taken so early in the draft. The average NFL running back has a rather brief shelf life, and their usage can vary considerably depending on the offense and skillset of the back. With free safety, even the best at the position ultimately won't make a huge impact in each game, thus decreasing the overall value at the position. So that leaves the question of who should the Browns select.

Fitzpatrick is an Alabama FS/CB prospect with pro comparisons to Seattle's Earl Thomas. Minkah has done it all for Bama. Originally playing corner, he made the move to free safety after Eddie Jackson broke his leg two seasons ago.

After investing a first-round pick in a strong safety last season and then proceeding to play him almost exclusively at free safety, drafting Minkah would be like completing the puzzle for the Browns defense. With Myles Garret and Ogbah healthy plus a healthy linebacking core with Peppers in the box and Minkah playing centerfield, that's a scary image for opposing quarterbacks, especially with potential changes coming to defensive pass interference rules.

Another possibility that comes with Minkah is his ability to play corner. Minkah could move back to corner for the Browns, which makes the cornerback room rather crowded. My suggestion would be for Jason McCourty to then transition to free safety, a move that is not unheard of. With McCourty aging, his experience and skill set might be more help at the safety spot. Minkah allows for plenty of versatility.

Saquon Barkley is hardly an unknown name. He has been a fun player to watch since his freshman season at Penn State and is often thought of as the most talented player in the entire draft. The issue some have with that claim is that a running back in today's NFL can be so easily found relative to other positions. It seems that nearly every good value running back is available in the later rounds because they are so moldable to a gameplan.

Another issue with Barkley at four is how deep this class of running backs is perceived to be. With the plethora of picks the Browns hold, would it make sense to use a high pick on a position that has similar value at a lesser cost? The answer to that question would ultimately lie on a scouts grade on Barkley and how the drafter values the position.

Historically, John Dorsey hasn't selected a running back so highly. Kareem Hunt was drafted in the third round just last season by Dorsey. Dorsey is no stranger to finding a playmaker in late rounds, and I doubt he would change his philosophy on the Browns when it has been so successful in the past for him. Barkley would have to have shown hall of fame potential for Dorsey to use that pick on him.

So who is the pick? Minkah choice makes plenty of sense to me. After investing so much into our defense, it almost seems silly to leave the final piece of the puzzle on the board. With Minkah, our defense can grow together under a few more seasons with Williams calling the shots. Along with a couple of scheme changes, we might even have a Jacksonville caliber defense in a season or two. That being said, the Browns offense was embarrassing last season.

Going under the assumption the Browns will have a shiny new quarterback next season, Saquon is the perfect complement to a young quarterback while also being able to take some pressure off Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum, should he wear the orange and brown in 2018. After seeing the effect a quality running back like Elliott, Gurley, and Fournette can have for an offense and a young quarterback, Barkley seems like the perfect answer.

Rosen/Darnold/Cousins/Mayfield throwing to Coleman, Gordon, Njoku, Johnson, and possibly another WR in the draft with Barkley churning out yards on the ground sounds like the offense Cleveland has been yearning for since their return to Cleveland. Free safety is likely a position that can be more easily handled in the coming years, should the need remain, while a true game altering running back is rather difficult to come by. If it were up to me, Saquon is the pick.

I hope that this article was interesting to those of you who made it this far. With the draft and combine coming up, this part of the year is my favorite aside from the actual season. It is my hope for these coming weeks to continue to give my insight on the future NFL players, along with those who will soon be available in free agency. With roughly a dozen picks and over 110 million dollars in cap room, the Browns with their revamped front office should make some team-altering decisions in the coming months that I am supremely excited to see. Forever the optimist, I know. Such is life as a Cleveland Browns fan.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

Why An Athlete Is Not Defined By Their Level

Pressure can drive athletes crazy.
24210
views

With tryout season among us, it is so important that this be addressed before the teams for this upcoming year are formed.

So many athletes that tryout, don't make the team they want and either quit to "take a year off" or jump ship to a gym that promises them to place the athlete on a higher level. I know that every athlete wants to be on level 5 team, the division is the most prestigious of all of them, especially because going to worlds is the end game for most athletes.

The problem these days in the cheerleading world is that our athletes are trying to level up at a rate that is just not quite realistic. If an athlete is on a level 1 team, the chances of her being on level 4 next year are slim. It is necessary for athletes to experience each level for at least a year to learn all of the fundamentals of the level and build on them for their foundation as an athlete to be more concrete. This produces the best athlete possible.

A lot of athletes think that all that they need to jump levels is tumbling and that is just not the case. When teams are formed, coaches take a look at many different things, these qualities include but are not limited to: mental toughness, dedication, tumbling, stunting abilities, pace of learning, dance and attitude.

Contrary to popular belief, there are so many factors that go into forming a team. This team not only has to be suitable for individual athletes but putting a team together is like a puzzle and as coaches we have to put a team together that will work well and have all the necessary percentages of skills to be competitive in their division.

We are concerned about building well-rounded athletes, not an athlete that is only capable in one facet of cheerleading. Some athletes are great level-4 tumblers but have level-2 stunt ability and those two will not equal a level 4 athlete until we boost the stunting ability of said athlete.

Putting an athlete on a team to just tumble is doing a disservice to not just the team, but also the athletes themselves. If this athlete joins a level 4 team to just tumble all year, when their tumbling progresses to that of a level 5 athlete, they will still have level 2 stunting skills and won't be put to good use when they are level 5 eligible. A well-rounded athlete is the kind of athlete that wins Worlds.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When athletes take their time and learn their level, they are not just learning completely new skills each year, but building on them. If done correctly, each year an athlete should improve on all points of cheerleading and not just one. The rules in each level lead to progressions for the level that it directly follows, so that athletes can safely learn skills by going up the ladder one step at a time.

What most don't realize is that skipping steps is such an unnecessary practice. If Susie stays on level 2 for an extra year, she is not "learning nothing", she is improving on the skills that she didn't quite execute completely the year before, this will perfect her performance in this level and give a more solid foundation for her to build on when she is on a level 3 team.

Pressure can drive athletes crazy. Parents, your athletes have so many years ahead of them to be on a level 5 team and go to worlds, so pushing for a 10-year-old, that is just not ready, to be on a level 4 team is unreasonable. Let your 10-year-old learn maturity and mental toughness at a level that is more appropriate, when your athlete is pushing herself too hard it takes the fun out of the tryout process and creates unnecessary stress on the athletes.

Lastly, please be sure to support whatever decision your coaches make for your athlete's placement, they know your child and they are not trying to hurt their pride, but build them up so they can accomplish all of their goals as an athlete. Know that the level your kid makes this year doesn't define him or her as an athlete, but helps them grow into the cheerleader they have the ability to become!

Cover Image Credit: National Cheerleaders Association

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The NBA Draft Lottery In A Nutshell

A quick overview of the 2019 NBA lottery and which teams got the best picks.

75
views

The NBA draft lottery took place on Tuesday night where all of the NBA teams were looking to see their fate heading into the 2019 draft. Many people know that anything can truly happen with a lottery. This year proved that statement again as the New Orleans Pelicans claimed the number one overall pick. The Pelicans had just a six percent chance of claiming the number one pick yet they still beat the odds. The Pelicans are now in the driver seat with picking up top prospect Zion Williamson from Duke University. Most teams that knew they weren't making the playoffs tried to tank this year in order to pursue the college basketball icon.

As for the remaining top five picks, the Memphis Grizzlies got the number two overall pick, the New York Knicks with the number three overall pick, the Los Angeles Lakers at number four, and finally the Cleveland Cavaliers at number five. Most of the teams with the highest percentage of claiming the #1 overall pick did not even make it in the top five which is rare. An example of this is the Phoenix Suns who had one of the worst records in the NBA this past season with a record of 19-63. The Suns got screwed over at this year's lottery where they claimed the #6 pick.

The teams that got the most out of this year's lottery were the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Atlanta Hawks. The Atlanta Hawks, in my opinion, got the benefit of the doubt this year as they have secured two spots in the first 10 draft picks of the 2019 NBA Draft. There is a lot of talent in this draft class so this is a make or break draft for a lot of these struggling teams. Prospects like RJ Barrett, Ja Morant, Jarrett Culver, and Cam Reddish. A lot of these prospects are ready to make an impact on whatever team they end up on. As for the projected number one overall pick Zion Williamson, he has gotten compared to NBA greats such as Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley.

During an interview with Bill Simmons on his podcast show, NBA star Kevin Durant said that Zion is a once-in-a-generation athlete. The 2019 NBA draft should be quite interesting to see where these top prospects end up playing for. One thing is for almost certain in that the New Orleans Pelicans are going to end up with Zion Williamson with the number one overall pick in this year's draft. With that being said the Pelicans could have quite a bright future with this future star and hopefully, the rookie can help keep NBA star Anthony Davis in New Orleans. Anything can happen though during the NBA draft and we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Related Content

Facebook Comments