Let`s face it. The Cleveland Browns are not going to draft the `right` player at the number four position in the 2014 NFL Draft. Therefore, the Browns should trade out of the number four spot to pick up extra draft picks. In fact, the Browns should trade their second first round draft pick (26th overall); as well, for more picks in the 2014, 2015, and, possibly, 2016 NFL Drafts.
This idea on the surface may seem like complete and utter lunacy. But, it is time for the Browns` front office to think outside of the box. The Browns can improve their team this offseason in a big way. First, the Browns need to stop trying to hit a homerun with every first round draft pick. If the Browns commit more time and resources into their scouting department, they can do a better job of getting value from their mid-round to late round selections. Cleveland is not New York or L.A., but it is possible for the Browns to build a consistent winner without major first round talent and headline grabbing free agent signings.
The Seattle Seahawks have shown that lower draft picks and off of the radar free agent signings can build a deep and talented roster. The Browns can and should follow this model as a team in a small market. The recent high draft picks for Browns have been asked to be the second comings of some of the NFL greats due to the lack of any appreciable roster talent surrounding them on either side of the ball. And, outside of Joe Haden and Joe Thomas they have all fallen flat. This must stop, and stop with the 2014 season. This starts with the man right behind center.
The quarterback position can be significantly upgraded this offseason by trading for the Philadelphia Eagles` Michael Vick. He could come to Cleveland for a very affordable mid round draft pick(s), and while, yes, he has shown a tendency to get injured and some inconsistent play at times, he presents a big upgrade over any quarterback currently on the Browns` roster. And, the Browns have the salary cap space to easily absorb his contract for the 2014 season.
Vick also fits the skill set needed for new Browns` offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan`s offense and would come at a far cheaper than the draft pick price expected to be asked for Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins. And, despite his recent contract restructuring, Vick is not likely to beat out Nick Foles for the starting job in Philadelphia. In the short term, Vick would also be a better behind center option that any rookie the Browns could draft based on the dearth of talent currently on the Browns` offensive roster. The Browns can ill-afford a Tim Couch repeat of throwing a rookie quarterback to the wolves or picking another Tin Man like Brandon Weeden.
The 2014 offseason can be used to increase the overall talent level across the entire Browns` roster. And, perhaps, it may even allow them to remain in the Wild Card hunt with a veteran quarterback presence on a short term deal longer than Week Five of the NFL season. In addition, this would also be an excellent opportunity to truly evaluate whether or not Brian Hoyer, coming off of an injury, is truly the long term answer at quarterback for the Browns.
Even if Vick gets injured and Hoyer turns out to be a Tim Tebow clone, the Browns overall talent level will be significantly upgraded on its roster. Subsequently, the Browns` head coaching job then becomes a more attractive job opportunity for an established head coach looking to get back into the game; see Bill Cowher, in either 2015 or 2016. And, the Browns would again be able to draft a quarterback with a high draft pick if the need remains in 2015 or 2016. But, this time the odds of early success for a rookie quarterback would be greater than it is likely to be this season.
Finally, with the above moves and available salary cap space, it would; at long, long last, look like the Browns` front office has their act together by offering a competitive young team on the rise instead of the current smoldering disaster that diehard Browns` fans have painfully suffered through over the past several years.